Summer Bass Behavior
Even when it gets extremely hot out during the summer and fall, you can catch bass if you know what you're doing. Bass will move around a lake depending on the season, and the respective water temperature.
While many anglers will tell you to simply, "move deeper when the water gets warmer", this doesn't always hold true. Yes, deeper waters are one place where bass will move in higher temperatures, but there are multiple other important factors to consider.
In this guide, we'll be giving you plenty of tips about summer bass fishing, and we'll be unveiling our favorite summertime lures.
Best Summer Water Columns
Bass will move around a lake depending on the cover available to them, varying oxygen levels, and where there are the most baitfish.
Bass become more aggressive when the water warms up, and so in certain situations, they'll put themselves in more uncomfortable, warmer environments.
If you ever fish ponds during the summer, things can be a bit different, so we recommend reading this great article on how to catch pond bass during the summer.
Bass Hiding Places
The number one rule to follow is that fish will move to shadows in the summer heat and shady areas when it gets really hot out.
If you want to catch bass during the summer, you need to fish shadows.
Docks and Trees
There are a few obvious places where you'll find shadows around a lake. The first is under docks and trees that obscure the sun. These hardcover options should be the first thing you look for and will be easy to repeatedly fish.
If you catch bass at certain docks in your lake, chances are that you'll be able to return there and consistently find fish.
These are great places to target, but usually, you'll be limited by the number of docks and trees you can find in any given lake. Docks with a lot of commotion also might not hold any fish, as fish are easily spooked by the echo created under a dock.
Vegetation Shadow Lines
The first place you may not have thought to look for shadows is next to a wall of weeds that frequently line the shore of a lake. It's hard to notice from a distance, but if you get close you'll see that the weeds will create a small dark shadow at the bottom of them.
Often times, you find bass here, tightly packed against the vegetation. We'll go more in-depth on this topic later in this article, but it's important to realize that bass will be holding out in the darkest shadows, not just in any shaded regions.
Open Water Grasses
The second thing to look for is grasses growing out in the open water. If the grasses have matted up, either on top of the water or just beneath the surface, this will cast a perfect shadow for the bass to rest under.
We have a great comprehensive guide to this next point, and we work hard to keep our content unique and nonrepetitive. Feel free to check it out and learn about the best technique for fishing grass beds, which is throwing one of the extremely productive topwater bass lures.
The third recommendation we have, that we know not enough anglers are taking advantage of, is searching out bluff walls.
Bluff walls are large underwater cliff walls that cast a great, deepwater shadow. Later in this article, we'll discuss which bluff walls will hold fish and at what times of the way.
Shallow Water Shadows
As we mentioned, bass will pull to the darkest shadows in any given region. A mistake many anglers will make is fishing every shadow they see, or even worse, going after the largest shadows that cover the most volume of water. Instead, you should be looking for the very darkest shadows and cover as we mentioned earlier.
Say you're fishing in a cove and it's 80 to 100 degrees outside. You think it's hot, the fish think it's hot, and everyone wants to get out of the shade as much as possible. A thick ball of grass will cast a much better shadow and give the bass more protection from the sun than say a large patchy tree.
From where you're standing or sitting in the water, look around you, and identify the 2 to 5 darkest spots. Search for places where the grass is the densest, where shadows from trees overlap, and where the watercolor is the least bright.
99% of the time, if there are bass where you're fishing, they'll be in these spots.
Locating Trophy Bass
Not only will there be more bass in the most protected areas, but this where you'll find the largest bass as well. Bass are competitive fish that work on a hierarchy scale.
The big bass will always take the best food, the prime bedding spots in the spring, and during the summer they'll bully the small bass away from the shade. Fishing in hot weather isn’t a guessing game.
You don’t have to waste your time and wasted distance fishing an entire bank looking for them.
If you cast into a significantly shadier spot and you catch a small bass, it almost always means that's the only bass in that area. If there were bigger fish nearby, they would have taken the spot from the smaller fish to have the best shadow.
Bass will physically fight each other, which is why you'll sometimes see scars on them.
Shadows Cast By Trees
Trees will cast great shadows into the water but look for overlapping trees that give off more cover from the sun, or trees with a full amount of leaves.
If you find one really large shadowed area created by trees along the shoreline and you're confused where the bass will be, cast as far into the bank as possible.
This will especially hold true if the bank has shrubbery or weeds along the waterline. The line of aquatic plants will cast that thin additional shadow that we mentioned earlier.
Bigger Fish are Farthest Back
If there’s a big fish holding up here, it will be positioned the farthest back. Anglers who care more about the size of the fish rather than the quantity, need to follow the golden rule to shadow fishing.
Big Bass take the best spots. Summer bass are extremely predictable, but you need to take the time to understand how to fish them, and then give it the practice to gain valuable experience.
Locating Deep Water Bass
It's smart to move out to deeper water if you just can't seem to find a bite near shore, which happens. When you're out in deeper water first look for long docks that extend out over deep water.
It doesn't have to be super deep but look for a depth of 8 to 15 feet. With these docks, the fish can choose where they want to be in the depth range and they're favorable among larger largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Bluff Walls Continued
The second thing to look for is bluff walls or underwater cliffs. Now, not every lake has bluffs, but if your lake does, all the better as these cast great shadows. When you're fishing them, they'll cast the best shadows in the morning, and in the evening.
Keep in mind that the West facing walls have great shadows in the morning, and the East walls have great shadows in the evening. If you want to take this another step further, try to figure out the spots along bluffs that cast the best shadows, or where the fish gather the most.
This will take time, but you'll be able to come back to those same spots again and again and be able to find fish. This is also a typical place where you can run into big striped bass if you know how to catch big freshwater striped bass.
Super Deep Waters
The third-place they'll be... is simply deeper water. Deeper water of course means less light penetration and lower temperatures.
Remember that the depth that water shines varies on the water clarity. Bass will be deeper in clear water, and shallower in murky water.
Berkley Yum Crawbug Bass Lure
This is the Yum Crawbug made by Yum Lures. It's an extremely effective bait to use on those hot, draining summer days up in the shallow water. This bait is ideal for fishing weeds, docks, and trees with the strategies we covered earlier.
This bait is extremely popular, effective, and has 4.6 Stars on Amazon. It has great action that will catch anything from mid-sized aggressive smallmouth bass to big slow largies.
Strike King 10XD Deep Diving Crankbait
The 10XD Deep Diving Crankbait by Strike King is a perfect lure for fishing in those deep water conditions that we covered earlier. Nothing really comes close to Strike King when it comes to crankbaits, but this is especially true for deep diving crankbaits.
You don't have to go with the 10XD model, but it's a great depth for fishing in the summer. It's best to match the diving depth to the water clarity of your lake and the amount of light penetration it allows.
This bait has 4.8 Stars on Amazon and is a favorite lure of many professional anglers.
Conclusion & Final Thoughts
Here, at BassTackleLures we hope you enjoyed this guide to bass fishing during the summer when it's hot outside. If you found this useful and want to learn more about bass fishing tackle, bass lures, and fishing tips, feel free to check out some of our other content.
We've got lots of great resources, and every one of them will make you a better angler. Most importantly, we hope you learn to enjoy the sport of bass fishing as much as we do, and we'll see you out on the water!