Surely it’s no coincidence that Father’s Day weekend coincides with some of the best bass fishing of the summer. Father’s Day falls around the time when bass in most reservoirs partition into two distinct groups: those that move to offshore structure to ambush schools of migratory baitfish, and others that remain shallow to enjoy a buffet of bluegills. In recent years, forward-facing sonar and advanced digital mapping have pulled many early summer anglers toward deep water to search for the motherlode of offshore bass. As a result, shallow fish have become a far less pressured population, providing a windfall for those with a dedicated shallow game plan. Pursuing these shallow bass can be the ultimate “power trip” for Father’s Day, saturating the shallows with aggressive presentations to tempt fish in skinny water.
Pop your way to success
Most successful shallow summer patterns include topwaters, especially during early morning’s low light conditions or when heavy clouds provide relief from the hot summer sun. A popper has been the standby for topwater anglers for decades; however, the inherent issues stemming from their lightweight design often limit their effective casting range – but not so with Shimano’s new World Pop 69F FB. The lure crafters at Shimano deftly avoided the “me too” approach to popper design by incorporating their proprietary Jet Boost technology into this bass-catching machine. Jet Boost dramatically enhances casting distance using a spring-loaded weight transfer system that anglers must experience to believe. Shimano also engineered their proprietary Flash Boost technology into the World Pop, which suspends a piece of foil on micro springs within the lure to reflect light and flicker naturally, even when paused. The World Pop can be worked with a rapid cadence across the surface to mimic a rapidly fleeing baitfish, and is also well-balanced to support a walk-the-dog retrieve to draw big fish from shallow cover.
Match the World Pop 69F FB with the new Shimano Curado MGL 150 casting reel and the 6’8” Medium power Shimano Curado casting rod. This perfectly-balanced combo further enhances the long casts needed to cover water efficiently, while the short rod length provides quick-twitch action for the World Pop 69F. Spool up with 30-pound-test PowerPro Super8Slick V2 to maintain a strong connection with the bass while keeping the line on the water’s surface for optimum World Pop performance. Super8Slick V2 is an eight-stand braided line, tightly woven and enhanced with PowerPro’s exclusive EBT coating process for enhanced abrasion resistance.
Crank a squarebill
Summer squarebilling is for that bold class of anglers willing to place a crankbait where most avoid casting: dark tangles of shallow wood cover. The reward for a risky cast and retrieve is a quality bass rushing sideways in 3’ of water, trying to expel a mouth full of treble hooks. Gearing up for full-contact power fishing starts with the crankbait itself.
Tight wobbling, hard kicking action paired with start-stop deflection are key characteristics of a good summertime squarebill crank; the new Shimano Macbeth crankbaits perfectly embody these characteristics. You’ll find all the qualities needed for the rough and tumble world of shallow crankin’ in these lures, including a wide-billed design to deflect hard off of cover and a dynamic swimming action from a highly buoyant plastic body that backs out of the thickest tangles. Several Macbeth sizes are handy for shallow summer squarebilling, including the 1/8 oz Macbeth Tiny, the 5/8 oz Macbeth Original and the supersized 3/4 oz Macbeth Big. Don’t leave the dock without all three onboard.
It’s well established that the slower response time from a glass rod has inherent advantages over the quicker graphite rods when crankin’. Bass can take the hard-charging crank deeper into their mouths with the muted response time from a glass rod, increasing hooking and landing percentages. Present your Macbeth of choice with one of the new Shimano Curado glass cranking rods; choose the 7-foot, Medium power rod for Macbeth Tiny, the 7’2” Medium Heavy power rod for the original Macbeth, and the 7’4” Medium Heavy power rod for Macbeth Big. When paired with the legendary casting performance of the digitally controlled Shimano Curado DC 150 casting reel, summer crankin’ in the hot afternoon sun becomes effortless.
Want to give Dad a Father’s Day he won’t forget? Use this shallow game plan to target early summer bass and build some terrific memories together!
– By Shane Beilue