All anglers love to see those temperatures steadily increase after a frigid winter of wishing they were on the water instead of suffering from cabin fever. Once that thaw is over and the spawning season begins, many of us can be found nowhere else but the water. However, the temperature doesn’t usually hold off in the 70’s or even the 80’s, and when summer arrives, it can climb over the 100-degree mark. When the summer heat warms the waters, bass fishing can get a little tricky, especially in those warm southern regions. Today, though, I’ve provided you with a few tips to conquer the summer heat on the water and still pull in some nice bass.
One obvious way to beat the summer heat is to change the times when you fish. Many anglers will go night fishing when the temperatures reach unbearable levels and they have great success capitalizing on the night activity of bass. Bass tend to move into shallow water at night to feed, so keep that in mind. You’ll probably even be able to fish from shore with good results, depending on the body of water. When the sun goes down, you’ll want to use loud, dark lures such as spinnerbaits with a Colorado blade, buzzbaits, or poppers.
During the day, try to find structure that provides shade, such as docks, fallen trees, or vegetation. The shade in these locations cools the water a few degrees and also attracts bluegill, which are a top prey item for bass this time of year. Tubes, jigs, and worms are great lures to throw at docks and timber.
Also, look for areas where the water is heavily oxygenated, or flowing and moving enough to aerate. Areas such as runoffs, eddys, or creeks running into main lakes are ideal for this and bass will hold there. Also, shallow waters near the bank are great areas to fish due to the heavy wave activity that occurs there. Boat waves and natural currents that crash against the shore stir up shad and other baitfish, which attracts bass. Small jerkbaits, swimbaits, and flukes work well along the shore or in shallow waters where the oxygen content is higher.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to get out on the water in the middle of the day if the heat doesn’t bother you. The high sun around noon sparks aquatic vegetation to photosynthesize, which produces scents that attract bugs. This attracts smaller fish to feed on the bugs and where there are baitfish, there are bass. If you’re on the water during the day, throw some lures at the vegetation and see what happens.
I realize the summer heat can make many of us miserable, especially in the middle of a lake on a 100-degree day, but don’t let that discourage you from fishing altogether. Switching up your own habits to catch fish is necessary sometimes and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.