Hunting bass in the heat
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||Hunting bass in the heat
By Gary Klein
What's the difference between a cagey old bass and the person sitting in the boat trying to catch it?
there are a lot of differences, but one thing the two have in common -
especially on a hot, long summer day - is a natural attraction to the
shade. Most folks think that catching big bass in the summer is more
difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Much like anything else that has
to spend all day outside during the hottest part of the year, bass will
look for a shady place to hang out. Finding these places is the first
step towards catching more than a sunburn this summer.
fishing will pay off on big lakes (as well as farm ponds, backwater
sloughs and creeks) in the middle of the day where it is common to
locate big bass holding on the shady side of boat docks, in the shade
of walkways leading to boat docks and piers and in the shade of pilings
on the side of boat docks and piers. Water vegetation such as weeds and
grasses also create shade for bass to hold in during the middle of the
day. The thicker the cover and denser the grass, the more likely that
you'll find bass holding there.
Often you'll have the most
success when fishing soft plastics and jigs in big water shade.
Pitching the plastic worm or lizard under a boat dock can cause a bass
attack. These two lures also can catch bass in the grass. To catch big
bass in the middle of the day in the summer months, fish a heavy jig
that will punch a hole in the thick grass. Then let the bait fall.
I fish a jig in the grass, I'm primarily fishing the lure on the fall
and watching my line to see the strike. It's important to have a good
pair of polarized glasses so you can see the line against the contrast
of the water in the bright sunlight. I like Cocoons because they fit
over my glasses so I can tie my knots and still cut down on the glare.
When the lure hits the bottom, I shake my rod tip to make the bait
quiver. If the bass doesn't attack the bait within 10 seconds of its
laying on the bottom, then I reel the lure in and make another cast.
a finesse approach in the shade doesn't provide the action, topwater
baits can be equally effective in warm water. Regardless of the time of
year or the day, I'll always find some bass holding in shallow water,
holding on shoreline cover in shallow water, and most of the time they
will bite a topwater bait. Experience with depthfinders will also allow
anglers a third option in the summer, targeting structure-oriented bass
in deep water on bottom breaks, humps, drop-offs and ledges. Some
anglers will only fish where they see bass holding close to or on the
bottom of his depthfinder. More experienced anglers will fish the
bottom breaks and humps because they know that many times the bass will
hold just under or beside bottom cover, and you might not spot them on
While summertime fishing doesn't offer the
feeding-frenzy action that anglers experience closer to the spawn,
fishing doesn't have to cool off just because the temperatures rise.
note: This is part of a series of monthly columns by two-time BASS
Angler of the Year and 22-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier, Gary
Klein. Among the many fishing techniques that Klein demonstrates and
teaches anglers involves sight fishing and the importance of vision
while in the pursuit of big fish. Klein's columns will focus on
everything from eye care to spotting fish in the water and other
general and safety advice.)