Summer Hot Spots

While summer seems way off on the horizon it will be here before you know it. Along with summer comes soaring surface water temperatures. Faced with warm water, often times the bass location mystery begins. Where did they go? Just a few months ago we could almost catch them at will now they’ve disappeared. Those bank hugging bass are gone. Credit that in large part to the spawn. Bass eat ravenously prior to the spawn and then protect the nest during hence become easy targets for the shallow water kayak casters during the first few months of the year. Kayak anglers like anyone else love to run the shoreline and travel their regular route to catch bass. Almost surely at the right time, throwing the right bait you’ll catch a few fish. The key to consistent catches and landing a lunker largemouth is figuring out the predictable, yes predictable, locations of the midyear monsters. In fishing two things I know for sure is that one, bass don’t all do the same thing at the same time and two, avoid using the words never and always.


Finding summer time bass boils down to why they would go to specific spots. The answers, food, oxygen and cover in the form of some objects close to a deep water escape route. The four factors in the life of a largemouth are these; number one on the list of needs is oxygen, no oxygen no breathing, common sense. Number two, food supply. Find the food, find the fish. Anything that will fit in the mouth of a bass is a possible meal. While bass crave crawfish, they ingest more shad or minnows than anything else. The logic, shad and other forage baitfish are more plentiful, more available and don’t seasonally disappear like other food. Next, they like cover largemouth bass are object oriented. Most any object at times will do, it gives them a sense of safety, security, comfort and an ambush point. Sound simple. How about a boat dock? A dock qualifies as an object, has shade, and draws bait fish for a food supply. What about aquatic weeds? Creates oxygen, an ambush, draws in various food sources and put that greenery close to deep water you have everything a bass loves. What about wood? A downed partially submerged tree offers shade, grows algae for the feeding pleasure of minnows, certainly qualifies as cover and is a great example of an object that could be holding multiple fish and a few species. Bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish and musky to name a few all migrate to wood regardless of season. Points are another consideration. Because points can taper from a few feet to twenty and even thirty feet bass will stage on various locations especially in the heat of summer and throws of winter. Finally the safety exit is deep water close by. Bass migrate often, summer is no different. First they follow the baitfish, but more likely is the quick retreat to deeper waters when spooked. Bass are after all a transitional fish. Moving during different seasons and often when “setting up” will move off to the next area, secondary cover, creek channel, further down the point or anything that they encounter between the shallow water or deep depending on the reason for the migration. Even in shallow water or smaller waters the same phenomenon occurs. Find a “honey hole” where all the bass criteria are met and you’ll find an ample supply of fish.


That takes care of where to go, how about what to throw?
Summer time lure list includes, soft plastics, medium running crankbaits, surface plugs as well as buzzbaits and anything you can attach to your “string” that you have confidence in using to catch bass. The category of “feel baits” is wide open. A major advantage to jigs, Texas rigged, wacky rig or Carolina rigged bogus baits is the attachment to single hooks. The single hook provides, in my opinion, a better solid hook set potential. With the rods available now (McCain kayak edition MK843MH jigging and Wormin’ model is my choice www.mccainfishing.com ), braided no stretch line and all the educational material hook sets are more likely to end up with you landing your largemouth bass. When you find yourself ready to retie the Line Cutterz ring is also a good on board companion regardless of the season. Even braid, I prefer 15 pound test needs to be tied again eventually. www.linecutterz.com . Another factor is the wide variety of soft plastic offerings. It’s hard to imagine someone doesn’t make a size, shape or color that you might want to cast from your Jackson kayak. High on my list are the family of Strike King / Rage Tail lures. www.strikeking.com Consider the version that imitate a crawfish, the creature style baits, tubes and traditional plastic worms. On any given day one will out fish another. As far as crankbaits the 1.5 and 2.5 models provide the “deflection bite “for working heavy cover and objects are fun and highly productive. With the deep water bite there are oval bill models that will plunge to 20 foot depths. It seems converse to largemouth logic to crank a bait intentionally into objects but it’s like bass magic when they’re holding tight to especially wood, rock and dock pilings. Early and late you’ll find that buzzbaits draw bass to the surface. Any cover located in two feet to eight feet is fair game for buzzer bass. A key is to cast the bait past the target to give the fish a minimum of time to view the noisy intruder, essentially force the fish to make decision. Spinnerbaits are a lure for all seasons. A willow/Colorado combination is a go to bait. I try to use everything weighted the same way, generally that’s a 3/8ths or 1/2 ounce jig, spinner, buzz or anything else. Doing this develops a casting “feel” for that specific weight and gores a long way to being an accurate caster. Casting accuracy in extreme weather conditions is important because of the downsized strike zone of the fish.


Get off the bank, develop confidence in secondary cover, choose versatile baits and vary your retrieves and your almost assured of catching your limit of summer fun.

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