Cicadas are defenseless against predators, which means a buffet for any animals feeding on them. Bass and other fish who may feed on cicadas do so by sight, and when cicadas plop into the water from the bank or from tree branches, it signals an easy meal that entices fish to strike. Furthermore, the presence of cicadas will also affect fish behavior by drawing them closer to the banks of rivers and lakes, where cicadas are more likely to fall and where the fish can find a quick snack.
When cicadas hit the water, they tend to buzz their wings and create a lot of commotion. For this reason, topwater baits are ideal when cicadas are on the menu. Poppers, small buzzbaits, and spooks are great. Look for insect imitators, like Rebel’s Bumble Bug, a floating cicada imitator that always produces for me. Tie this onto a medium action, 6’6” spinning rod and you’ll be ready to take advantage of the topwater bite.
Furthermore, because the cicada action is so close to shore, you don’t even need a boat to take advantage of it. You can easily fish from shore, or even wade into the water if you prefer. If you do plan to fish from the shore, though, don’t be afraid to cast your line near and even underneath trees and bushes, where cicadas and other insects might be falling into the water.
Using your senses can really give you an edge in more ways than simply looking with your eyes. If you notice the song of cicadas in your neck of the woods, take advantage of the month or so they’re around and pick apart the surface like a Thanksgiving turkey.