Summertime Bass Fishing Tips
Summer can be a time for getting out on the water and enjoying family fun and relaxation (any excuse not to be stuck at work!).
But, let's be honest, it's not always a great time for bass fishing.
While it might be vacation time for us humans, bass have more of a staycation attitude, and can be found in the same lakes you found them in during the spring. Only now, they can be a little less active than they were a couple of months ago.
So to help you out on your next summertime bass fishing day out, we’ve put together some tips that will hopefully yield you more results...and hopefully make that sweltering day in the sun - WORTHWHILE.
Apart From The Weather, Why Is Summer Bass Fishing Good?
Summertime can be a great time for bass fishing because this is often when bass tend to be actively feeding.
While bass usually slow down in the winter due to the cold water slowing their metabolisms, the warmer water temperatures can mean an increase in their metabolism, meaning they generally need to eat more.
This can make it easier to catch bass, as they can be more likely to take a bait because they think it’s food.
However, they may not be as likely to move very far or chase down bait at this time of year, possibly because of the lower oxygen levels in the water, particularly during the middle of the day.
Summer can be an ideal time to try out a range of techniques and lures because bass can generally be found in a variety of locations across a lake or reservoir. This means you can catch bass both shallow and deep, depending on the time of day or how early or late it is in the season.
If it’s early in the summer, you may find that some bass will still be in their post-spawn locations and may still be quite shallow. However, this will likely depend on the water temperature and your geographical location.
In the middle of the summer, you will probably find that bass are seeking shelter from the warm temperatures and the bright sunshine. Depending on the lake or reservoir, the bass might still be close to the shallows if there is plenty of cover and oxygen from vegetation.
9 Tips To Catch More Bass In Summertime
1: Where To Catch Summer Bass
Summer can be a tricky time of year when it comes to pinpointing bass locations because their location will often depend on the water temperature and how far into the season you are.
If it is hot, you’ll usually find that bass are in deeper water, as this will tend to be colder than the water in the shallows or near the surface. You will also probably find that bass will be seeking shade or shelter, often around vegetation or structure.
Areas close to docks and marinas can also be good areas to target as these spots can usually provide cover to shelter them from the hot sun. They will often have varying depths where the bass can move to for feeding or for more oxygen.
2: Find Deep Water For Bigger Bass
While most bass will usually prefer to find deeper, cooler water during the heat of the summer sun, the larger bass will often be even deeper. This can be because the bigger bass tend to require more oxygen than smaller ones due to their larger size. And the colder, deeper water will often hold more oxygen than the warmer water closer to the surface.
However, this can make catching those larger bass a little bit trickier because you have to bypass the smaller ones that are holding up above them. This is where you may need a fast diving weighted lure that can get to the bass at the bottom.
3: Best Time Of Day
Generally, one of the best times of the day for bass fishing during the summer is early in the morning. This can be when the water temperature is at its coolest point before it gets heated by the sun. And this means that the water in the shallow areas will generally be cooler, allowing bass to move into these areas to feed.
Video: How To Catch Bass In The Summer
If you’ve ever been near a lake or river on a summer morning, you’ll probably know that the early morning can also be a time when some insects will spring into action, which can also attract bass into the shallows and closer to the surface.
Shad generally spawn during the early morning, often in the first two hours of daylight. They will tend to spawn in the shallows and bass will often be found close to these areas, usually along ledges or around vegetation, as they prey on the shad.
Evenings, just after sunset, can also be a good time to fish, as this can be when the temperatures are dropping slightly and the heat of the midday sun has disappeared. Similar to the early morning, bass will tend to use these cooler temperatures to move into the shallows to look for food.
4: Ledge Fishing
Ledges can be great spots to target in the summer because they will often have the ideal bass habitat which can allow them to move in the water column for feeding and oxygen, as well as provide them with shelter and cover for ambushing prey. Ledges that are close to vegetation or shallow spawning beds can be even better to target.
Jigs can be ideal lures for hopping along the bottom of the ledges. Crankbaits can also be useful for ledge fishing, with the larger crankbaits being ideal for targeting the larger bass.
If it’s bright sunlight, it can be better to look for bass on the deeper sides of the ledges but if it’s cloudy or around dawn and dusk, it may be better to target the shallower sides.
5: Finesse Fishing
Sometimes during the summer, you might find that with the added pressure on the water from boats, swimmers and other anglers, bass can become a little finicky.
But this is where finesse presentations can result in catching bass where other methods may have failed.
Video: Tips For Finesse Fishing
Shaky head rigging a finesse worm can be a useful tactic to use when you’re fishing in summer. It can be fished in deeper water and around cover. Tubes and drop shot rigs can also be ideal for finesse fishing along the bottom or in open water.
6: Target Vegetation
Weeds and lily pads are often found on lakes during the summer, as well as other types of vegetation. These areas can provide excellent habitat for bass, as they can use it for shelter from the hot sun, as well as take advantage of the oxygen it provides and the prey it attracts.
Vegetation mats can be the ideal spots to use topwater lures, such as frog lures, as frogs will usually be found naturally in these areas and will often form part of a bass’s natural diet in the summer.
7: Food Sources
In order to catch summer bass, it can be useful to know what they will tend to be feeding on at this time of the year. Summer can be when food is more plentiful compared to other times of the year, as more plants come alive and creatures make their way to the water.
Shad will often be a primary target for bass during the summer and bass can usually be found preying on shad during the early mornings when shad make their way to the shallows.
After shad have spawned, the sunfish will start to spawn, which can happen a little later in the summer and often in the same places where bass spawn.
Bass will usually target these spawning sunfish, such as bluegill, so they will often be found hiding close to the spawning beds.
8: Using Lures
Topwater lures can be a good choice to use in the summertime because of the amount of plant life that can often be found around lakes at this time of the year. Weedless lures, such as frogs can be ideal for casting into areas of vegetation, as bass will often be found lying in wait for prey underneath the weed mats.
Even if there are no weeds on the lake, you may still find that topwater lures can be a good option for targeting bass, with walk-the-dog style lures and popping lures being able to mimic the appearance of dying baitfish.
However, when you’re targeting bass that are holding out deeper in the water you might want to try diving lures such as crankbaits, jigs with crawfish trailers or Texas rigged creature baits. These types of lures can be useful for ledge fishing and when fishing in creek channels as they can allow you to fish close to the bottom.
9: Night Fishing
Summer can be the ideal time of year for night fishing. Lakes will generally become quieter and the bass will likely be working their way to shallower water to take advantage of the cooler temperatures.
Spinnerbaits can be a good choice to use in the dark because they can attract attention through vibrations. Rattling lures can be ideal for night fishing because bass will often rely on sound and vibrations at night because their vision is impaired.
Spinnerbaits may also be useful during the day if you’re fishing on deeper ledges, especially if you’re fishing in particularly murky water.
The summer can be a fantastic time for bass fishing once you know where you find them. Remember, the warmer the water and brighter the sun, the deeper the bass are likely to be. But during the cooler parts of the day, you might want to target the shallows.
Maybe you’ve caught some of your biggest bass during the summer? Tell us your techniques in the comments below. And give your buddies some summer tips by sharing this with them.