How To Catch Shallow Summer Bass

Summer is in full swing, and with it, comes the heat. Daytime temperatures can get close to 100 degrees, and water temperatures may get close to or exceed 90. Though many bass head to deeper water in the summer, there are plenty of bass that stay shallow through the heat of summer, and you can catch them from a boat, kayak, or even from shore. Here are some tips I’ve picked up that should help you catch more fish.

Tip #1: The Early Bird Catches the Worm…

We all know that fish bite well in the morning, and there is no time of the year where this is more true than the summer months. I do the best in shallow water between 5:30 and 7:30 a.m., fishing topwater baits such as buzz baits, poppers and crawlers around scattered vegetation in 1 to 5 feet of water.

I look for shallow grass, sticks, docks—anything that could hold a fish—and try to hit as many targets as I can before the sun gets up. Here, nothing covers water like a buzz bait, and if you miss a fish, a quick follow-up with the popper can turn missed strikes into extra fish. I throw a chartreuse-and-white buzz bait and a shad colored popper. If I’m fishing a place with big fish—like the Chickahominy River—I tend to throw the crawler. This bite is usually over when the sun rises, but can last all day if it’s raining out. I like 40 lb. braid for a popper and 50lb. braid for buzz baits and crawlers. Braid has no stretch and gives you much better hooksets on top-water baits.

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