Hot summer days can be brutal especially on days when there is nary a breeze and the humidity is like being in a steam bath. During times like these, the weekend warriors will beat the bank from sunrise until mid-morning and seek the A/C until sundown. It goes without saying that early morning and late afternoon is always a great topwater bite, but the odds dissipate rapidly as the sun rises. Not to say topwater can’t be good later in the day but it is not the most productive method. That said if the water you are fishing does not offer a lot of depth then look for structure that offers any kind of shade. Even the shallows can be a couple of degrees cooler under floating grass mats and lily pads. Much like a fisherman favors a shady bank for a brief reprieve from the sun, so do the bass. Punching grass mats with big sinkers and soft plastic works well in thick cover. Frog fishing over mats and pads is another technique during this time. Make sure to make several casts in an area that looks fishy in case old mossback takes a while to investigate. Also, vary your retrieve speed occasionally before giving up on an area. Lots of times if the bass are simply not feeding a faster retrieve can invoke a reaction strike. Once you have determined the bass are simply not surface feeding you can begin to seek deeper water fishing.
Once offshore you should look for typical structure on your sonar that may hold baitfish and therefore bass. Anything can be considered structure if it changes the dynamics of the lake bottom. Rocks, stumps, laydowns, and even a ditch can be a target. The quickest way to search this water is crankbaits. Cranks like the Strike King 6XD and 8XD are great choices. Drop shotting and shakyhead fishing can be used at any depth for a more subtle approach. Football jigs with a soft plastic trailer and a weedguard can be fished right in the middle of structure where fish are holding tight. Like to hunt for a big fish? Throw a big 10-12 inch worm and let it fall through the thick stuff. Finally, a weighted swim bait can be a real winner when slowly retrieved in and around deep structure.
Hot hot days can still be productive if you locate the right depths and structure. But remember always stay hydrated when fishing during these warm days. Be sure to check back in with us next week for more tips and tricks from our expert staff and pro staff around the country.
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