Summertime heat can make it difficult to find and catch bass on Alabama lakes and rivers. Don’t get discouraged, though; you can still be successful catching bass. Here are five things to look for when the water temperature reaches the mid-80s or above:
A good alarm clock
The early bird gets the bass. Some of the best fishing in the heat of the summer will be at daylight. Whether the bass have come out of the deeper water because the shallow water has cooled during the night or because they feel secure from the darkness, bass will be in the shallow water feeding at first light. These are my three favorite baits for that situation:
- Topwater baits like buzzbaits, walking type baits, poppers and plastic minnow imitations. Nothing is more exciting than getting a bass to bite a topwater bait in the summer.
- Small-profile, small-bladed spinnerbaits.
- Small, fast moving crankbaits. I find that all these lures work very fast in getting the attention of any shallow water bass and elicit a reaction strike.
After the early morning topwater action is over, some bass may stay shallow but will seek out the shaded areas. The majority of the bass, however will move to deeper and cooler water. The bass will seek out the shaded areas protected from the sun because the water will be a little cooler and darker.
Cooler water temperatures
Only a couple of degrees can make a big difference. Try to fish in deeper water and freshwater runoffs like the backs of pockets or creeks. Here are some of the best ways to catch fish that have swum to depths of 10-20 feet looking for cooler water:
- Look for main river points like where a creek or pocket meets the main lake or river.
- Look for ledges on the main lake or river or in a large creek. A ledge is where the old original river or creek channel was before the water level was raised. Find areas where the depth changes quickly in a short distance. Baitfish and bass seem to congregate in these areas.
- Look for humps or underwater islands with deep water close by. Humps can be deep or come up to just under the surface.
The shade will always keep the water a little cooler, and it gives the bass a place to hide and ambush any prey that swims by. Fish under boat docks and piers, thick matted vegetation or shaded banks. These are the best lures for shaded areas:
- Fish a jig and trailer combination, plastic worms or lizards rigged Texas style or on a jighead around the boat docks and piers. Remember, the fish will be in the shaded areas under the piers and docks, so accurate casting is important.
- Fish along the outside edge of the shoreline vegetation with weedless lures like a Texas-rigged plastic worm, lizard or creature bait. If the vegetation is matted, you can punch a lure through the matt.
- The underwater fish attracters can be fished with crankbaits that dive to the depth of the structure. Also, the Texas and jighead worm combinations work well, and are for the most part weedless.
Find the bait, find the bass. Bass will almost always be around prey in the summer, so look for food sources like baitfish, shad, bream or any other type of prey.
Your lake’s current conditions.
If power is being generated, current is present. Current might as well be a dinner bell for bass in the summer. Current will activate the bass any time of the day or night and in shallow or deep water.
How do you know if power is being generated and how much current is present? The best way to get up-to-date information about lake levels and generation schedules is either the Shorelines website or the app.The app is free and available for Apple and android devices.
Do you have any summertime catches you’re proud of? Show them off at #APCShorelines.