Planning on hitting the rivers this summer for largemouth bass? If your answer is “Yes,” then you need to prepare yourself ahead of time by learning the different places where bass like to hide in rivers. Furthermore, you’ll need to arm yourself with the best lures to throw at these locations. To learn more about what lures work best at certain depths and locations for bass along the diverse anatomy of a river, keep reading.

Summer brings with it heat from direct sunlight, and you’ll need to accommodate for this on the river if you want to catch fish. When it’s cloudy or cool out, stick to open water or structure, such as logs or rocks. Throwing a lure at structure, where bass lie in wait for food, is always a good idea. When the sun is high, bass will tend to seek out shaded areas, such as overhanging banks or hide under logs. Keep this sort of behavior in mind when choosing a lure and you’ll have no problem.

Most anglers will tell you that when the warm weather arrives, topwater action is where it’s at on the river. While this is true, I wouldn’t advise heading to the river with nothing but buzzbaits or plugs. To take advantage of the topwater bite, you’ll have great results with lures such as spooks, buzzbaits, Hula poppers, and frogs. Try to walk these lures across open water and around cover and then hold on tight.

If the surface bite slows down, or is just nonexistent, then it’s time to switch to a spinnerbait, a fluke, a swimbait, or a shallow hardbait, such as a stickbait. Work these just below the surface to locate fish, as they’ll enable you to cover water quickly.

If you need to go a little deeper, then it’s time to tie on a crankbait. There are hundreds upon hundreds of crankbaits on the market, so there’s no shortage of options. Keep a good mix of light and dark patterns in the tackle box, as well as a few random patterns, like silver/blue or chartreuse. Look to angler favorites like Storm’s Wiggle Warts, Norman, Strike King, and Rapala when purchasing crankbaits for the river.

There are times when fishing the bottom of the river is the immediate response when topwater action is dead. For this, try plastic worms from Zoom, Powerbait, Strike King, and YUM, and stick with natural colors, such as green pumpkin, oil, and black, to name a few options. Also, many have had luck with grubs along the bottom. Float these plastic beauties along structure slowly and you’ll have bites all day.

Of course, you should also keep a variety of other options in your tackle box, as well. For instance, it’s hard to deny the effectiveness of inline spinners or tubes, and creature baits are good bets, as well.

Keeping a variety of baits that will allow you to thoroughly fish a river is the best way to create a versatile, prepared tackle box for the trip and will go a long way towards helping you catch not only a lot of bass, but bigger bass, this summer. Furthermore, one great thing about fishing the river in summer is, when you’re done fishing, you can cool off by floating downriver in a tube!

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