Hawg Days of Summer

Hawg Days of SummerYou can enjoy bass fishing year around. Are you sitting at home wondering why your rods are dry? Has the heat of the summer driven you to the comfort of your pool or the air conditioner at home? I realize that when July, August and September roll around it is the hard hitters that are out there on the water reeling in the bass time and time again. Trust me, they are not just lucky they have a "fishing" plan. I have the inside line to some of the patterns that are used to catch quality bass during the hottest days of summer, try them out and see if you too can become a hard hitter or at least catch a few Hawgs during the summer months.

You might try moving up stream. Although all lakes are different most have these two things in common. They are fed by headwaters and stopped up by a dam. You can take a trip up the river so to speak and you will find that the current no matter how little will make a tremendous difference in the action of the bass. The current offers both oxygen and cooler temperatures and you will find that where there is current the bass will stay shallow. River fishing is sometimes incredible when the rest of the lake is suffering from the heat and the summer boat pressure.

Forget about the areas that you visit during the spring and concentrate on the river. You don't have to fish right in the river you can concentrate on the openings of creeks that feed into it or the backwater areas adjacent to it. Let the amount of current help you to determine where to fish. Look for bait fish usually shad and isolated pieces of cover such as stumps, weed beds, logs, and jetties, this will help you to determine exactly where the fish will be hiding.

{mosgoogle right 6838717991}Top water is an all day affair in the summer. You will get a lot of strikes in the early morning and fewer as the day goes on but as the bite thins the size of the bass will increase. One of the things that you can do to increase your hook up ratio is to make sure that you are using a good rod. A medium/light action rod will help you out a lot when it comes to hooking and holding onto that trophy bass with top water treble hooks. The limber tip will allow for shock absorption when you are setting the hook enabling the hooks to actually grab the skin rather than pulling out. It will also slow down your bait on hook set to allow the bass to get just a bit more of he bait into it's mouth and a better chance of the hook finding something that it can grab. During the fight the backbone of the rod is important but with top water and treble hooks you want to make sure that you hold onto the bass and you don't horse it in too quickly as the hooks are only able to grab the skin unlike a worm hook that will penetrate the mouth of the fish. This is where the limber tip will come into play the most, taking up some of the force when your big bass takes a run.

You can also us a buzzbait if you have shallow water and shade. The shade can come form big trees, boat docks, stumps, brush piles, or bridge pilings. Try an inline buzzbait for the days when the breeze is down and the water is calm, it will be a more subtle and you can pinpoint the fish and roll it by. For the days when the wind is up or you need to cover water use a more traditional buzzbait. It will be noisier and draw the fish to strike out of reaction. Make sure that you look at the cover as well as the shade. I firmly believe that the bass use the shade as cover as well as the docks, and tree stumps, and so on, so don't overlook edge of the shade as a strike point.

IF you happen to be fishing a larger deeper lake with little to no cover you are going to have to concentrate your efforts in the deeper water. Before moving to the South we lived close to Lake Oroville where you would concentrate on the bottom irregularities in deeper water if you planned to consistently catch fish during the summer. Looking for drop-offs, humps, ledges, and steep rock walls and using worms, deep diving cranks and spoons to lure the bass in.

You can do several things to increase the likelihood of catching the bass that you are after. Fish are likely to be sluggish due to the temperature of the water and the lower oxygen levels. You can downsize your bait and line as well as slow down the presentation. The one thing that I have found to be most effective is to use the vertical approach to the fish as sometimes you have to get right on top of the bass to get them to notice your bait. You can also look for the thermocline, once you find it you know that the fish are going to be at that depth. Use your depth finder or flasher to search the area and locate structure, you are sure to find bass there.

If you are lucky enough to have spotted bass you can adjust your fishing tactics a little to easily catch them. Hone in on the rocky shore lines and use small top water baits with light line, and when the noon sun is on top of you take it a little deeper. Look for defined ridges, humps, and long points. Spoons are a great tool to have in your arsenal as well as small curl tail worms and grubs. Personally a small 1/8 oz. jig head with a 4" curl tail worm is my favorite. Make a long cast across the irregularity and swim the bait back bouncing it off the bottom. Be prepared, Spotted bass are much stronger fighters per pound and they don't give in quite as easy as the Largemouth so you will be in for a fun time if you find the Spots on your lake.

Summertime fishing can be a great experience even during the hottest days. Try one of the patterns from this article and come out of the air conditioning to join the heavy hitters.

Laurie Cork

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