The deeper bass of summer. These are the bass that spend their time — both during the day and at night – either resting, or foraging for food in and around the lake’s deeper waters.
Big bass of summer have various hang-outs they prefer. To the summertime angler on a quest for these “big bass of summer” he / she can usually begin their search along deep creek channels or along old river channel drop-offs.
Make no second guesses. There is an abundance of summertime bass to be discovered while simply fishing in or near deep water…all summer long.
Applying yourself and learning what it takes to fool these bass into accepting your tempting offerings (with good results), is what separates the deep water angler from the shallow water angler. There are certain lures and techniques that appeal to these big bass.
Often, there are schools of Big bass that will remain tightly bunched, holding right on the depth change from shallow to deep water or they may be suspended very near these deep water drop-offs.
Summertime bass, those relating to these depth changes, are always near the security of deeper water nearby. Most of these bass are here for the next few months. They will remain here until conditions change in the fall.
These changes — such as cooling water — will take place from the late summer period on into the early fall period. This is when the lake’s major feeder creeks, the main lake’s water temperatures and the lake’s headwaters (usually situated below some upstream dam) will slowly begin to cool. Then these bass move shallow.
Traditionally, as fall progresses, the bass will follow the shad schools into the shallows. They will continue to feed and fatten up, storing built up fat reserves for the upcoming winter months ahead, until the very cold water of winter slows their metabolism and they begin to eat far less food each day.
* Some bass of summer are attracted to main lake flats. Places that are shallow, providing a comfort zone that features a sudden drop-off into deeper water nearby. Here, they can search for food and retreat to deep water fast, if they need to.
The numerous types of baitfish that come their way on a daily basis and meals such as crayfish often found scrounging the lakes bottom, gives these bass of summer no reason to leave the security of their deep water sanctuary.
Places to Begin Your Search
These big bass, summertime hang outs, can be found along old river channel drop-offs (some are often far from the lake’s shoreline), or they can be easily marked on a depth finder when found on the mid-to-lower lake, where clear water is more evident and summer time bass traditionally gather in select locations.
There are many hidden places for targeting deep, summertime bass. They exist on all of Alabama’s lakes…places many anglers fail to discover;
Like submerged islands, rock piles, hidden underwater humps and ridges, around mid-to- lower lake high spots and other irregular bottom features.
Some bass may even be buried in deep holes or found in deep depressions (such as old ponds, ditches, inundated creeks and streams). At times these are Big bass!
• A good map of the lake will help remedy any doubts about what’s down there.
• Maps are great tools for aiding anglers in deciphering a particular deep water situation. They are a must when angling deep water for these summertime bass. So are marker buoys and GPS units.
These bass — those that prefer the security and comfort of deeper water nearby– are not always limited to spending their summer’s far from the lake’s shoreline. Neither should the anglers that pursue them.
Main lake points and deep creek points, around islands, along rocky bluff-type banks or secondary ledges in deeper water. Even obvious looking banks, like those featuring scattered rocks or boulders, or man made rip-rap rocks lining the shoreline, can be excellent haunts for finding these deeper bass this summer.
These can be good spots all summer long, places other anglers often overlook. Where discovering some hidden schools of big bass, all your own, may be possible!
Bridge pilings, standing timber and even along man made piers and boat houses. These are just a few of the places lining the lake’s shoreline to begin your search for targeting some great summertime, big bass hang-outs.
* Like any fishing trip preparation is the key to success!
KEEPING YOUR COOL
By the late summer month of August and even on into the month of September, its as hot as it gets. These are about sixty of the year’s hottest days and this almost unbearable hot, summer weather…can actually kill.
* Anglers attempting to target these late summer bass must be prepared for the worst.
Midday heat in the upper nineties is common in Alabama during the late summer / early fall period. Then there are those sweltering hot summer days exceeding one hundred degrees, when anglers should take extra precautions.
These are very necessary precautions and they are absolutely imperative for anglers to avoid summer heat stroke and to even hope for any degree of success, when your fishing deep water this summer season. You can’t fish if your sick from the hot, summer sun!
* Prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays can cause skin cancer or help create
permanent skin damage. Even stroke or heart attacks are possible in extreme heat.
Sunscreen is a must. So is replenishing your sweated out body with plenty of water. Caffeine or sugar-related drinks should be avoided.
Eating plenty of fruit will help supply your body with some quick relief from the summer heat. Often this nourishment can provide an extra amount of fluids.
Avoid consuming alcohol and taking prescription drugs while in the sun. Some drugs can even increase your chances of getting sunburned…even when sunscreen has been applied beforehand!
Take plenty of breaks, perhaps in a shaded area not far from where you are fishing. This does wonders at midday, in helping you cool down. Or you can fish early mornings and late evenings avoiding the midday heat. Any other ways to help cool you down?
How about a jump into the lake! Immersing yourself in the lake several times during the day, can help cool you down tremendously. Always wear shorts or have a change of clothes handy.
* Always remember to re-apply sunscreen after a dip in the lake! Towels help too!
Having two small hand towels on board, (means a set for each angler) can help too! Cool down these small hand towels by placing them on ice in the cooler, having one around your neck (or on your head under your hat) at all times. Then you can alternate between the two cool towels every 15-30 minutes!
Wearing thin, light colored clothing helps cool you down a lot and it helps you avoid getting sunburned this summer season. Hats and polarized sunglasses are a must.
LURES, TECHNIQUES and EQUIPMENT FOR DEEP, SUMMER BASS
There are many ways for anglers to fool these bass hidden in the lake’s deep, dark depths this summer season. Many lures to choose from too!
Not only does it take many different types of lures and various techniques to hope to even have a chance at successfully fooling one of these often, “non-feeding bass” into attacking your lures, but it takes the right equipment as well.
Having several rod and reel combos armed with various strengths of fishing line (and all kinds of lures ready to be fished from top to bottom), requires plenty of preparation beforehand.
Lures are Tools
When you have a job to do you can’t get it done without the use of the right tools. Think of each lure you plan to use as a tool and then attach that lure, to the right line, rigged on the right rod. Then learn to use each outfit properly.
Fishing deep water on a daily basis will require the use of a least a half dozen rods. Anglers need to acquire several rods that will range in lengths of 6 feet up to lengths of 7 ½ feet…or even longer.
Each of these rods can be rigged with lures such as big, 10-12 inch long Texas-rigged worms, lizards or oversized jig combos, mid-to-deep diving crankbaits, small to large size lipless crankbaits or swim baits in various lengths. Plenty of heavy, ½ ounce to 2 ounce single, Colorado blade spinnerbaits will be needed as well. Even a few topwaters!
Not only can your lures be described as tools, but rod and reel combos and fishing line are some very needed tools as well! Tools, when combined properly, that will always help you get the job done. Which is catching fish!
Techniques are as Individual as Each Angler
How you fish each and every lure is up to you. Some anglers are content with just one technique or two for catching these deep water bass during the summer. Other more avid anglers will experiment.
What if two avid anglers are fishing 6 inch worms along a shallow main lake flat and successfully catching bass in the 1-3 pound range. A boat nearby is slowly drifting along fishing right by the same spot as the first boat. But they are fishing along the drop-off.
The anglers on board the second boat are probing their much bigger 12 inch worms further out on the deep water drop-off nearby, setting the hook on 5 pound bass almost every cast.
Which boat would you rather be in?
Your Equipment Should Match Each Fishing Situation
Throwing big, deep diving crankbaits all day on a wimpy, six foot rod will usually result in lost bass and plenty of fatigue, from not properly matching up your lures to the right rod and reel outfits.
You need good, strong rods with plenty of good, hook-setting backbone built right in. Coupled with dependable wide-spooled reels, strong line and sharp hooks. This combo makes everything more in your favor for landing these bass, once you fool them into biting your lures.
Its hard to get a good hook set, achieve maximum distance when casting your lures and get the hooked bass in the boat when using the wrong rod and reel outfit. Anglers usually miss the opportunity of even landing these big bass, with anything less.
Experiment – Be Versatile
No matter how many deep water spots you have located, marked on a map, or saved on your GPS unit, it’s a sure fire bet that every time you fish each spot you will have to adjust accordingly.
This means experimenting with various lure sizes, all kinds of lure colors, different lure weights, lure actions (both built in action and those actions you impart) lure retrieves and lure depths. Setting up your boat to achieve the right cast to your intended target is important too.
Even experimenting with various types of fishing line such as monofilament line, fluorocarbon line or braided line is suggested. You should always include consideration for each specific pound test of each line you use. There is a specific situation for every lure you choose to use.
Here are a few examples;
Lures Fished on Bottom – Lures that sink to the bottom of the lake can be many choices. Big Texas-rigged or Carolina-rigged worms or lizards on heavy tackle outfits, or small worms, Senkos or shad imitations fished on light tackle outfits.
You may need small jig combos or big, oversized, more gaudy type jig combos. Both small and large sized crayfish imitations, small and large tube baits, small or large sized creature baits, small single tailed grubs or oversized twin tailed grubs. Both sizes of these types of lures can be rigged Texas style or on a jig head.
Crankbaits or Lipless Lures – Crankbaits either float or suspend. Lipless lures sink. Crankbaits come in all shapes, sizes and colors. They can be huge, meaning more casting distance due to their size and weight. Big deep diving crankbaits are very wind resistant and they dive very deep upon retrieve. Especially when utilizing the use of long rods, light line and very long casts.
* Always keep in mind, big deep diving crankbaits will go deeper with the use of
lighter line and a slow steady retrieve will allow crankbaits to go their deepest.
Lipless lures come in all sizes, from very small 1/8 ounce light tackle models to 2 ounce heavier sizes. They too, are very wind resistant. Lipless lures can be allowed to sink to the lakes bottom, retrieved in the mid water column or burned real fast just beneath the surface of the water. So can spinnerbaits.
Spinnerbaits – These flashing, vibrating oddities should always be included in your deep water arsenal. Especially having plenty of heavy 1-2 ounce versions, with a single Colorado blade, Willowleaf blade or a combination of both.
Colors can vary on spinnerbaits, its all according to water clarity. But keep in mind, deep water bass see darker colors like black or purple better.
* Due to line stretch and getting a good hook set, heavy line and long rods are suggested when fishing deep water with heavy, oversized spinnerbaits.
When fishing these deep water, big bass hangouts this summer and early fall season always consider your boat position on each spot you fish. Where your boat should be sitting, and where you should be making your casts, determines if you successfully catch any fish.
Remember to bring plenty of lures for they do hang up on the lake’s bottom. Include plenty of various lure weights, all sizes of jig heads and hooks in various sizes. A plug knocker (used to retrieve hung lures) is a very necessary item, considering the cost of today’s lures.
Oh, and always bring your camera. Your gonna need it for taking pictures of all those bass you catch…when going deep for big bass this summer!