Many anglers hang up there fishing gear once the hot days of July and August roll across the country. Summer heatwaves make bass fishing incredibly difficult, not to mention uncomfortable. However, for fishermen willing to sweat it out on these hot days, largemouth bass fishing can still be great, even fantastic at times. Consider these fishing tips for catching bass when the days climb into the triple temperature digits.
As soon as the day warms up and direct sunlight streams across the waters, bass will flee for the shadows. Extremely hot weather may push the fish deep, especially in large lakes and reservoirs. Fish will seek out the cooler waters, far below the surface. Having a bass boat or other watercraft equipped with a fish finder device is especially useful in these situations. Alternatively, in smaller lakes and ponds without as much “deep” water, bass fish quickly take to the shady spots. The brighter the sunshine and warmer the day, the deeper within the cover and shadows the fish will be. For example, I was recently fishing a small city park pond for largemouth bass, slowly working a Senko bass lure alongside a patch of reeds that covered one shore. I couldn’t get any hits the entire time, even when my lure was about 1ft from the reeds. However, when I finally managed to cast my lure right alongside the reeds (literally within an inch of the reedline) and worked the senko back, just as close, I hooked into fish.
Another time, I was fishing at 3pm, in the middle of a heatwave in Oklahoma. Temperatures were in the triple digits and the fishing was tough. Bass simply were not biting, no matter what I threw at them. I decided to skip casting in the middle of the water and instead start focusing on the occasional shaded spots underneath overhanging trees alongside the pond. I had to lean over and skip my lure under the branches to avoid getting snagged. The shaded spots weren’t large, no more than a 4 ft by 4ft area at most. However, this was were the bass were, and I ended the day having caught several nice largemouth bass by fishing the shade exclusively.
For fishing shaded water, target those areas with at least at 1-2 ft of water. Super hot days can quickly lead to oxygen depletion in shallow water and bass will look for good combinations of oxyegnated water with protective shade. Stale, stagnant ponds often see explosive algae growth during this time of the year and are often super difficult to fish effectively. I would recommend skipping these ponds, instead target similar sized-bodies of waters that have at least some flowing water. City park ponds and private ponds often have one or two fountains to keep water flowing and to prevent excessive insect populations from taking hold. Check out such ponds, just watch out for the large loads of duck and geese poo near the shore.
Finally, try fishing near sunset and evening. I prefer the hour right before and right after sunset. Fish activity tends to pick up during this time, making fishing much more enjoyable. Bring bug spray or cover up to avoid the swarms of bugs that often appear during this time of the evening. Grab a headlamp (available for as low as $4 from Wal-Mart and similar stores) for fishing once it gets darker. Try buzzbaits, topwaters stick baits, poppers, and other noisy lures, in darker shades (pure black is the best) during the night for big summer bass. Go catch ’em all!