As a bass fisherman, you might find it tough fishing in hot weather.
Usually, the hotter the weather, the less the bass are biting.
That’s why some anglers head for the shade when the weather heats up.
Often, you’ll find the coolest place around a pond or stream bank to be the spot with the most shade.
Likewise, if you plan to fish during the middle of the day, it’s a good idea to hunt for a shady scene to set up your gear, especially if it’s on shallow water.
Shady fishing also can pay off if you’re on the lake around mid-day: sometimes big bass hold up on the shady side of boat docks, or in the shade of walkways leading to boat docks and piers.
Some water vegetation, such as weeds and grasses, also create shade for bass to hold in during the middle hours of the day. The thicker the cover (and the denser the grass), the more likely you’ll find bass holding there.
A friend of mine likes to use soft plastics and jigs in big water shade.
I’ve seen him pitch his plastic worm or lizard under a boat dock with excellent results.
I’ve also found that crawling a jig along the bottom, like drafting a worm, will invite a strike or two.
When I was a boy, I often tossed two-piece artificial minnows and tiny orange-black flat fish as far as I could under the boat dock during the middle of the day.
Really, just about anything, including jigs or plastic worms, can be fished around boat houses in the hot summer afternoons with bass-producing results.
I’ve taken a few bass in the grass with an old-style “pumpkinseed” lure. Of course, I’d toss it a few feet into the currents, away from the vegetation, and allow the bass to swim out and get it.
In clear, shallow water, it’s a good idea to wait until you see the lure disappear before you jerk the rod to set the hooks. Sometimes you can jerk the plug right out of the fish’s mouth before he gets a lock on it.
To catch big bass in the middle of the day during the summer months, fish a heavy jig that will punch a hole in the thick grass. Then let the bait fall and watch your line to see the strike.
If the bass doesn’t attack the bait within 10 seconds of its laying on the bottom, then reel the lure in and make another cast.
And if there’s a small creek flowing into the stream or lake, it’s usually a good place for bass, because the water coming in is cooler, according to Mark Scott, assistant chief fisheries biologist with the DNR in Charleston.
“Live bait can be productive, too,” Scott said. “Anglers should not be afraid to try something new. If the fish aren’t biting one kind of lure or bait, don’t hesitate to try another.”
He added, “If one place isn’t producing fish, anglers should move downstream. Covering more territory maximizes your chances of success. When you move around, you put your lure in front of more active fish, those that are feeding, instead of wasting your time in one spot, fishing for something that isn’t going to bite.”
Top o’ the morning!