Few things are more exciting for bass anglers than spring fishing when bass are aggressive and territorial as they spawn. On these days, you could throw a piece of wadded-up chewing gum into some cover and come back with a monster bass on the line.
After the spawn, many anglers become frustrated each time they hit the lake or pond in the early summer. The fishing might not be as easy, but there is still plenty of monster bass to catch, provided you adjust your game plan.
Today, we’ll share some can’t-miss tips about early summer bass fishing you’ll want to try out the next time you hit the water.
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Tips for Post Spawn Bass Fishing
Many anglers are creatures of habit, and we make the mistake of going “back to the well” repeatedly for techniques and tricks that have worked in the past. While there’s something to be said about being consistent, fishing bass in the early summer is all about stepping outside your comfort zone and experimenting with new methods and strategies.
PRO TIP: Use the wind to your advantage when bass fishing in early summer!
Three of the most crucial things you can do to improve your catch during the summer are switching up the baits you’re using, hunting the shallows for bigger fish, and using the wind to your advantage. Read on as we show you how to ditch those summer blows and put more fish onto the deck.
Try Soft Plastics in Early Summer
During the summer, many anglers reach for deep diving crankbaits to target fish deeper in the water column and spooks for targeting top water. While these baits belong in your summer bass tackle box, there’s one bait, in particular, that too many bass anglers overlook, and that’s the soft plastic.
Soft plastics come in a seemingly endless array of shapes and colors, and some of the most popular styles include:
- Soft stickbaits
- Drop shot baits
- Soft jerk baits
- Shad tails
There’s a place for each of these soft baits in your tackle box, but when you’re looking to target big bass in the early summer, there’s nothing that works quite as well as a large, fat worm.
As an angler, you have numerous options to fish a worm, including Texas rigging, wacky rigging, Carolina rigging, nose hooking, and many more. There’s no shortage of resources for learning the finer points of rigging a worm for bass fishing.
Wacky or Texas rigging a giant worm is a surefire tactic when fishing deeper waters for post-spawn bass. In many lakes throughout the country, the early summer corresponds with deep-water leech hatches on which the bass key in. Large worms imitate these leeches, which are a favorite meal for big bass.
Fishing a giant worm or any sizable soft plastic is also an excellent way to weed your way through the school. Only the biggest bass around will take a shot at an 8-10” worm, so fishing with these baits is an effective way to trophy hunt for the largest fish in the lake.
Check Shallow Water when Bass Fishing
Many anglers pigeonhole themselves into only fishing deeper waters for bass in the summer. The logic is that, like humans, bass are all about finding comfort in the summer months. Deeper, cooler waters are more hospitable to summer bass than the shallows are. However, not all shallow areas of a lake or pond are created equally.
Areas in the shallows that are well shaded by trees and brush tend to be more hospitable to bass than shallow areas in direct sunlight. It’s not uncommon to find some impressive specimens hanging out in shallow water under the shade.
The best spots to target include vegetation around turns and points in the lake or pond, along with any structure that intersects the weed line. For example, large rocks or stumps along the weed line are a hotspot for big bass. Bluff walls are also a favorite hiding spot for fish, making them an early summer bass fishing hot spot.
A western-facing bluff is always best, as the shade it provides offers bass a comfortable respite from the summer sun beating on the water.
Windy Early Summer Days Can Help You Catch More Bass
Windy days present unique challenges to anglers, and fishing in the wind can be incredibly frustrating. Savvy anglers know that with wind comes opportunity, and in this case, opportunity comes in the form of monster bass.
When it’s windy, there are a ton of factors that go into motion beneath the surface. Wind on the surface translates to a stronger current and more wave activity. This action drives phytoplankton (creatures generally too small to be seen by the naked eye) to move closer to the surface as they require photosynthesis for energy.
In response, another kind of plankton, the zooplankton, typically appears to feed on them. As the zooplankton becomes more abundant, baitfish start to feed on the zooplankton. Bass invariably aren’t far behind, but it is this sequence of events that makes the latter easier to catch.
Bass will position themselves opposite the current to ambush oncoming baitfish, and for reasons beyond our understanding, they appear to feed more aggressively on windy days.
With the wind and current stirring up sediment and clouding the water, bass become less discerning about the things they strike at. From an angler’s perspective, that means these fish are more likely to snap up whatever you’re offering.
The Last Cast
Bass fishing after the salad days of spawning season doesn’t have to be an exercise in futility. In fact, there’s plenty of monster bass out there for you to pursue, provided you know what to look for and how to vary your game plan.
As long as you’re armed with the right mindset and the proper equipment, you’re ready to enjoy an excellent day on the water. Incorporate the tips above into your early summer bass fishing arsenal, and you may be surprised at how well your next trip to the lake treats you.