Tip #71 – Catching Bass In The Summer
You’ve always got lots of options when fishing for bass. Both smallmouth bass and largemouth bass are usually pretty cooperative provided the water has warmed up enough to get them actively feeding. Because bass are a schooling fish, finding a school of bass usually means hooking into not just one, but several bass in just one spot.
I personally really like fishing top water baits for bass, especially largemouth bass. Its where I start most times on the water. Thats mainly because its the most fun! The whole experience is very visual. Tossing out big frog and mouse patterns for largemouth bass are highly effective methods. This is best done around weeds and lily pads where you can toss your lure or fly right on top and pop it along the surface. Takes are usually explosive and heavy lines are a must. I tend to stick with a minimum of 8 lb Berkley Vanish, but I’ll go right up to 20 lb line if I know there are some pigs in the area.
If the top water bite isn’t on, then your next step is sub surface lures and flies. I find that the colours red and/or yellow are my top producers. Bass are attracted to bright colours. Medium to large size spinners and spoons are highly effective especially when retrieved very quickly just below the surface. Bass will come up from deep water to hit spinners and spoons that are noisy, bright and moving erratically. Other subsurface lures that work well are body baits, swim baits, mister twister style jigs, rapalas and more.
When the water is a little colder, and the bite is slow, I will tend to switch over to using live baits. There are a few different approaches you can take to fishing live baits for bass. Live baits fished either under a float, or directly on bottom are the two most popular methods used. Fishing for bass using a float and maybe a minnow, worm, leech or crayfish is pretty simple. The real trick is finding the proper depth to fish. Once you’ve found the right depth, you should have no problem consistently hooking bass. When fishing directly on the bottom of a river or lake for bass, I tend to use the drop shot fishing method. This method greatly reduces snags on the bottom because the weight sits on the bottom, not the hook and bait. Another advantage of this method is that your bait sits at a pre determined depth in the water. Most times you want the bait sitting either at the fishes eye level, or just slightly above.