We’ve all been there when the first warm day of summer arrives and we head to our favorite lake only to find dozens of boats, jet skis and swimmers on the water.
Rather than run through your vocabulary of four-letter words, be the bigger person and challenge yourself to catch fish in spite of the increased traffic. If too much pressure on your usual lake is killing your action, you can always switch from your usual tactics to bring more summer bass into the boat.
Here are three things to try out if your favorite fishing hole is pressured, so you don’t have to simply pack it up without making a cast.
Dust Off Your Hiking Boots
Sometimes when your spot is filled with weekend warriors or floating party pontoons, it’s best to pull up Google Maps or grab a GPS to look for lakes, rivers or farm ponds that aren’t as easy to find with the naked eye. I’ve found that the spots I can only get to after a bit of a hike and some thorn scratches tend to be treasure chests filled with big bass and huge panfish, like bluegill or crappie.
No boat access generally means you’ll be the only one there. Also, you may not have to discover a brand new lake as water skiers and pontoons can’t get into shallow weeds or coves with fallen timber, so it might pay off to head to these spots first.
Can You Be an Early Bird and a Night Owl?
Not only is the summer filled with holiday weekends that play host to a multitude of boaters and BBQ’s, but summer is just a little busier on the water in general. While this means less room on the lakes to fish, casual boaters don’t tend to be on the water as early or as late as anglers.
With this in mind, it might be smart to set your alarm for a little earlier than usual and hit the lake for the first few hours in the morning. Then in the evening, get on the water when everyone else is coming off it.
Stand Out From the Crowd
You might like to throw a big swimbait or rattling crankbait, but when an influx of noisy boats pressures fish, it’s time to go stealthy and downsize.
You may not always hook into a huge bass, but switching to smaller lures will at least get some strikes. Also, keep in mind that casual summer anglers don’t typically anchor near cover or structure, leaving these fish magnets wide open for you to swoop in. Keep a few jigs and finesse baits on hand for these opportunities.
Photo credit: Wikimedia