By Jim Root -
Since I began writing this blog I’ve started to get emails from people asking me what I would do in certain climates or weather conditions, and asking if there are presentations other than the ones I’ve suggested that are also an option to someone who might not feel that what I’ve suggested is something that they’re really comfortable doing. So with that in mind, this week I’m going to address a question that I received last week, and I’m going to have several of my friends offer their opinions as well.
To begin with, the hottest days of the year can be brutal for fishing. Sometimes it feels like there are two suns in the sky when you’re faced with glaring reflections off the water. For many people, largemouth and smallmouth both can seem to just disappear this time of year, leaving you feeling burned by the sun and the fish. As I’ve said before, I don’t like fishing docks. So I’m going to focus on other transitional areas and what I use to target them.
Whenever I’m fishing lakes with good vegetation like Champlain, Oneida, Cayuga, I look for medium-sized patches of lily pads that are in 5-7 feet of water, but are close to dropoffs to deeper water. When the water temps move above 80 degrees, largemouth will move out of the shallows to their deeper summer homes, but will seek shallow waters to feed. Rather than move from one group of pads to another, stay put. The reason being that bass are predatory creatures and move frequently throughout the day. You’ll find that the fish will replenish all day, and you can remain in stealth mode rather than running your trolling motor like a salad shooter and spooking bigger fish. Also, as the temperatures warm, bigger fish tend to focus on eating just one big meal per day. So while your instincts might be to switch to finesse baits, bigger fish will be caught on big punch rigs or topwater baits. My choices are either a LiveTarget frog, or a punch rig that consists of 60 pound braided line, an Elite Pro Tungsten 1 1/4 ounce flipping weight, pegged with a 6th Sense Peg-X stopper, Trokar Hook, black and blue punch skirt, and a Bass Attacker attack bug in black and blue, dipped in JJ’s magic.
But don’t just take my word for it. Here are some tips from friends of mine about what they do!
Hillary Hughes, MIssouri
I love the early morning and late evening topwater bite in the summer. I will usually throw a River2Sea Whopper Plopper 130 or a Rover. Both of these baits work great for the summer topwater bite! I like to work both of the baits along the edge of a grass line. I’ve found that the bass move up shallow to feed early in the morning and late in the evening. I’m not the type that will be found fishing for ledge fish if I don’t have to!
Casey Martin, Alabama
I like a 10 inch Net Bait CMAC Worm with 1/2 ounce weight, Texas Rigged. I want the big bites from the big fish!
Tyler Mohr, Minnesota
In the heat of the day, when the sun is blazing it’s no secret that fish can become hard to locate and even harder to catch. For me as a preferred power fisherman this is the perfect time to pick up my Denali Rosewood 7’6 Flippin’ Rod and go to work. Depending on the body of water I’m fishing I tend to go shallow first searching for any kind of cover that will provide the fish shade and relief from the blistering heat. This cover can be in the form of anything from lay downs to docks to lily pads and beyond. I prefer those shaded areas to be near deep water so that the fish have somewhere to drop off to if they feel necessary but depending on the water your fishing you can’t be too picky. I dissect the cover with a 3/8oz or 1/2 oz jig making to sure the front, back and both sides of the area (this is crucial when fishing docks) If my fish aren’t shallow I will drop off to deeper water looking for weed edges, points, or other forms of off shore structure fish can relate to and cool off in using the same presentation.
Destin DeMarion, Pennsylvania
My favorite summer presentation would be a frog. Contrary to what most people think when they hear that, I use a frog to imitate a bluegill. When the bluegills are on their spawning beds during summer months bass are normally close by. These bluegills are easily ambushed by bass when they’re feeding on bugs that are on the surface. Often times these “bluegill eaters” are the kind you need to win tournaments!
About Jim Root
From successfully competing in club competition, to making it to the Bassmaster Weekend Series National Championship in his rookie season, to fishing the Bassmaster Opens and the FLW Everstart Series. Jim is looking to breakout in 2014. He is also a freelance writer covering the freshwater fishing industry and author of Reel Weather at Weather Underground and be sure to check out Jim’s informative blog www.JimRootFishing.com
Be sure to follow Jim on Twitter at @JJ7712 and on Facebook
Images courtesy of Jim Root at JimRootFishing.com