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Here in Missouri the dog days of summer get very hot, sticky, and humid. I see fisherman fish the same way at that time that they do in the spring, rapid casting spinnerbaits, and lipless baits to the banks. I don't see them catching much more than a few small fish. A tackle shop owner told me years ago that the main reason some guys can't catch bass at this time is simple. Their fishing too fast. I think this is 100% true. I like plastic worms for much of my bass fishing, and over the years I've tried to train myself to slow down, sometimes way down. It's takes some self discipline and practice to work a plastic worm super slow. If I'm casting into a deep hole, I let the worm sink to bottom, then deadstick it for a bit. I can put my index finger under my line in front of the reel and tug on the line lightly, then give the worm a slow lazy lift, and repeat. Sometimes it may take me several minutes to fish a plastic worm through the cover this way, but I know from my logs that it has helped me hook more fish and some better size ones too. It takes all the patience I have to fish like this. Many trophy hunters who fish for the biggest bass are advocates of a super slow retrieve. Do you fish slowly like this? Has it worked well for you? It's one of my favorite ways to fish. With all the fast paced run and gun fishing styles in bass fishing now days, I wonder how many folks fish with a super slow retrieve? It takes patience, but can work very well.

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I use to  fish worms mostly during the hot months but the last several  years faster lures have been effective  . Crankbaits , spinnerbaits and buzzbaits  have really come on ,  even in the dog days . I have been better  at selecting the correct crankbait for the depth  targeted resulting in a lot of deep  bass caught , as deep as 22 foot  . Then the chara explosion has made worming difficult but spinner and buzzbaits have filled in nicely     . I still have my days with worms and each year conditions change , so  its hard telling how this summer will play out  . 

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Well said @Mobasser  The first question I ask when I hit the water is how deep are they.  The second question is how fast should I fish.  When the fish aren't bitting it's easy to get in the mode of just casting and retrieving without giving much thought to how we're presenting the bait.  When the fishing's tough,  you gotta try different retrieves.  Doing something different from what everyone else is do is usually the key.  Slowing WAY down is something we should always remember to try.

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2 minutes ago, scaleface said:

I use to  fish worms mostly during the hot months but the last several  years faster lures have been effective  . Crankbaits , spinnerbaits and buzzbaits  have really come on ,  even in the dog days . I have been better  at selecting the correct crankbait for the depth  targeted resulting in a lot of deep  bass caught , as deep as 22 foot  . Then the chara explosion has made worming difficult but spinner and buzzbaits have filled in nicely     . I still have my days with worms and each year conditions change , so  its hard telling how this summer will play out  . 

My main lake has a milfoil bloom going on. Stringy weeds that grow up an coil on the surface. I can fish a buzzbait over some areas ok, but crankbaits get hung up quickly. The good old Texas rig is about the only thing that will come through this stuff

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I gotta disagree on some of these premises.   In the summer it is hot, sticky & humid to YOU.  I'm not certain that sticky & humid apply to how Ms. Bass feels.  I will totally concede that there are times when slowing down and carefully covering certain areas is successful.  However, I've parked my boat in 22 or so feet of water and thrown wiggle warts and/or  Timber Tiger DC 16s into 12 to 14 feet of water, bumping into the point and caught 8 or 9 fish in 10 or 12 casts too many times.  That isn't a slow down technique.   That is finding a spot where the thermocline intersects with bottom cover.  Sooner or later action slows down - pack up and leave - come back 40 or 50 minutes later - adjust for the different angle of the sun & wind and do it again.  This is one example where slowing down in the summer is counter productive.   

Another might be .. . consider that in the summer Ms Bass's metabolism is amped - because the water is warm a fish is the same temperature as the water, right.  Lots of time, they're just hanging out - they suspend, waiting for a school of minnows or some other meal opportunity to wander by.  Just because they aren't moving doesn't mean that they aren't alert and won't instantly bite, given the right stimulus.   I fish standing timber a lot.  Nothing is 100% but standing timber has the potential to produce and time during the day.  Consider the notion of shade pockets, during the day, whatever angle the sun is shining, shade pockets are being created somewhere.  It doesn't have to be a major branch, if the fishes eye is shielded from the sun, for all it knows it is in the shade, and shade is an ambush situation.  Drop a 10" worm slightly out of the shade, in front of the fish, and strikes happen.  I use 5/16 or 3/8 tungsten because I want that worm dropping pretty fast in front of the fish - force the fish to make a decision so to speak.   Again, not a real slow down situation.   Identify potential shade pocket - pitch to it - let it drop and maybe bounce it once should it hit bottom, repeat.

 

Again, not saying that I never slow down in the summertime, but I think spring & fall are a better time for the low & slow approach.  Summertime, most fish are active, I'm looking for active fish, seems like the percentage play to me.

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2 minutes ago, Fishes in trees said:

I think spring & fall are a better time for the low & slow approach.  Summertime, most fish are active,

   I agree. The time to really slow down is when the water is cold. The only time to slow down in warm water is when the oxygen level is low. But under that condition, I'll quit fishing and return later in the year.    jj

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14 minutes ago, Fishes in trees said:

I gotta disagree on some of these premises.   In the summer it is hot, sticky & humid to YOU.  I'm not certain that sticky & humid apply to how Ms. Bass feels.  I will totally concede that there are times when slowing down and carefully covering certain areas is successful.  However, I've parked my boat in 22 or so feet of water and thrown wiggle warts and/or  Timber Tiger DC 16s into 12 to 14 feet of water, bumping into the point and caught 8 or 9 fish in 10 or 12 casts too many times.  That isn't a slow down technique.   That is finding a spot where the thermocline intersects with bottom cover.  Sooner or later action slows down - pack up and leave - come back 40 or 50 minutes later - adjust for the different angle of the sun & wind and do it again.  This is one example where slowing down in the summer is counter productive.   

Another might be .. . consider that in the summer Ms Bass's metabolism is amped - because the water is warm a fish is the same temperature as the water, right.  Lots of time, they're just hanging out - they suspend, waiting for a school of minnows or some other meal opportunity to wander by.  Just because they aren't moving doesn't mean that they aren't alert and won't instantly bite, given the right stimulus.   I fish standing timber a lot.  Nothing is 100% but standing timber has the potential to produce and time during the day.  Consider the notion of shade pockets, during the day, whatever angle the sun is shining, shade pockets are being created somewhere.  It doesn't have to be a major branch, if the fishes eye is shielded from the sun, for all it knows it is in the shade, and shade is an ambush situation.  Drop a 10" worm slightly out of the shade, in front of the fish, and strikes happen.  I use 5/16 or 3/8 tungsten because I want that worm dropping pretty fast in front of the fish - force the fish to make a decision so to speak.   Again, not a real slow down situation.   Identify potential shade pocket - pitch to it - let it drop and maybe bounce it once should it hit bottom, repeat.

 

Again, not saying that I never slow down in the summertime, but I think spring & fall are a better time for the low & slow approach.  Summertime, most fish are active, I'm looking for active fish, seems like the percentage play to me.

Fishes in trees I agree on this too. Hot weather is when fish are most active, and feeding the most.This is simply how I have fished, and done well in the heat. I fish standing timber also, and suspended bass, with a 4" plastic worm reeled slowly through the school. 

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My two favorite times to fish is the dog days of summer & the dead of winter.

 

My favorite techniques are Texas Rigs & Jig-n-Craws on offshore structure.

 

1) Make a long cast

2) Strip 3 or 4 arms length of line, this will assure a vertical fall

3) Count the bait down, 15' of water count to 20 to make certain the bait is on the bottom, do it in your head if need be

4) Pause a good 30 seconds after the bait reaches bottom

5) Lower your rod to the 3 o'clock position while reeling slack & feel for anything unusual

6) Move the rod from 3 o'clock to 2 o'clock to 1 o'clock to 12 o'clock in three motions (speed varies)

7) Pause 30 seconds & feel for anything unusual

😎 Repeat 5, 6, & 7 all the way back to the boat

9) If at any time you feel a noticeable tap, tug, line tighten, heaviness, or see line movement.

10) Without hesitation drop the rod, reel the slack, and set the hook!

 

The movements from 3 o'clock to 12 o'clock is done similar to stroking but with shorter hops.

 

The Jig-n-Craw is fished the same way 😉

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3 minutes ago, Catt said:

My two favorite times to fish is the dog days of summer & the dead of winter.

 

My favorite techniques are Texas Rigs & Jig-n-Craws on offshore structure.

 

1) Make a long cast

2) Strip 3 or 4 arms length of line, this will assure a vertical fall

3) Count the bait down, 15' of water count to 20 to make certain the bait is on the bottom, do it in your head if need be

4) Pause a good 30 seconds after the bait reaches bottom

5) Lower your rod to the 3 o'clock position while reeling slack & feel for anything unusual

6) Move the rod from 3 o'clock to 2 o'clock to 1 o'clock to 12 o'clock in three motions (speed varies)

7) Pause 30 seconds & feel for anything unusual

😎 Repeat 5, 6, & 7 all the way back to the boat

9) If at any time you feel a noticeable tap, tug, line tighten, heaviness, or see line movement.

10) Without hesitation drop the rod, reel the slack, and set the hook!

 

The movements from 3 o'clock to 12 o'clock is done similar to stroking but with shorter hops.

 

The Jig-n-Craw is fished the same way 😉

Catt, the reason I made this thread is because I've been reading Bill Murphy's book on giant bass. It's influenced me quite a bit. I can't really stitch a worm like he did. He fished very slowly with this style. My own PB was caught this way years ago, in hot weather, fishing slowly. Maybe I should step up my retrieve in hotter weather, but this has worked well for me. Plus, I'm looking for bigger bass, especially after reading Bill Murphy's book.

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@Mobasser

 

Between each "hop" is a pause long enough for the worm to settle back to the bottom briefly before the next "hop". But after every third "hop" is a 30 second pause.

 

Some times the bass want it bait slower but some times the want it faster but this is the pace I start at and the let the bass tell me what they want.

 

@Fishes in trees During the dog days of summer I'm fishing at night & slinging a lure with treble hooks isn't something I'm to keen on. There are however nights when a spinnerbait or buzzbait is the ticket.

 

 

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Summer here in AZ the surface temps are 100 and the hydrilla is jungle thick. When I first started fishing I would dropshot and pull a mojo rig nice and slow. It produced nice bass but never quantity.

 

Last year I stuck with working reaction bite techniques and really boosted the numbers and still had quality. Much easier covering lots of water finding the small patches where they are congregated. On the massive hydrilla flats it's like finding a needle in a haystack. If they aren't responding to a lipless, vibrating jig, or Texas rig underspin finesse them with a spybait. They work great on grass flats too. 

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If you go back 10 years or so on this site a few old timers were saying look over your shoulder and fish outside water because 95% of bass angers back then were pounding the bank no more then a casting distance length away ignoring off shore structure or long underwater points.

Today a decade later the bank pounders are still a high % but more and more bass anglers have figured it out, covering water fast isn't always productive.

Can't fish off shore structure very fast, got to slow down to catch those bass.

Tom

 

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When it gets hot to the point I'm ready to leave the lake by 11am I'll go completely nocturnal.  Big lures fished slowly whether it's 10xd, Grenade, 12" worm, 6.25" craw, colorado spinnerbait, magnum fluke, topwater, or big swimbait. I'll let the fish dictate the depth I fish but I consistently catch my bigger fish fairly shallow at night. The larger fish seem to feed shallow and then suspend out in deeper water until the next feeding window at night. Summer nights(large & slow) and blistering cold of winter(vertical spoon slow) produce for me.

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If I'm fishing for LMB I am slow and methodical during the summer days. If I'm fishing for SMB it's pedal to the metal baby.

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2 hours ago, Glaucus said:

If I'm fishing for LMB I am slow and methodical during the summer days. If I'm fishing for SMB it's pedal to the metal baby.

I fish ponds a lot but dog days are the time to jump in the creek for smallies. Just wish I was able to do it as well as I used to.

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10 hours ago, Catt said:

& the dead of winter.

Ok I need a couple of guys from Michigan, Minnesota, or upstate NY to hold this guy down while I beat him with Mardi Gras beads... 

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Lots of good advice here.  I don't work for Power Pole or Minn Kota (GPS controlled Terrova) but adding these tools to my boat has allowed me to slow way down and work a laydown or deep structure lots slower and more effectively than I used to.  Last year I poled down in front of a laydown and flipped that tree for 15 minutes before a 6 pounder bit.  I never would have spent that time there if I would have had to mess with holding the boat in the right spot with the breeze blowing into that laydown.

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10 hours ago, Catt said:

My two favorite times to fish is the dog days of summer & the dead of winter.

 

My favorite techniques are Texas Rigs & Jig-n-Craws on offshore structure.

 

1) Make a long cast

2) Strip 3 or 4 arms length of line, this will assure a vertical fall

3) Count the bait down, 15' of water count to 20 to make certain the bait is on the bottom, do it in your head if need be

4) Pause a good 30 seconds after the bait reaches bottom

5) Lower your rod to the 3 o'clock position while reeling slack & feel for anything unusual

6) Move the rod from 3 o'clock to 2 o'clock to 1 o'clock to 12 o'clock in three motions (speed varies)

7) Pause 30 seconds & feel for anything unusual

😎 Repeat 5, 6, & 7 all the way back to the boat

9) If at any time you feel a noticeable tap, tug, line tighten, heaviness, or see line movement.

10) Without hesitation drop the rod, reel the slack, and set the hook!

 

The movements from 3 o'clock to 12 o'clock is done similar to stroking but with shorter hops.

 

The Jig-n-Craw is fished the same way 😉

Great information , after reading your post I realize I fish the T-Rig way to fast.

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Slower is almost always better, no matter what time of year. Big bass are lazy, they aren't going to chase your bait. They sit and wait in ambush.

 

It's very hard to slow down after you've been fishing faster. Counting helps if you're fishing soft plastic. I've found that 3 seconds is a good pause.

 

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I think slowing down, when you need to, is a skillset. Just like casting, tying good knots and everything else in bass fishing.

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Many good observations already.

 

I'd only add whereas fish will only "sometimes" hit fast moving presentations, they will almost "always" hit something slow or dead in the water. So, for example, those energetic schooling teen aged LMBs, chock full of energy and actively chasing a school of shad darting around at high speed trying to survive? The bass are keyed in to react very fast, too, but they will also see and be attracted to what appears to be a wounded or shad in shock just sort of floating in the water. So, they'll bite a fast presentation at those times when they are all wired up, but they'll bite a slow one, too.

 

On worm fishing? For me, if I cast a T-Rig, a weightless worm, a drop shot and so on, if the fish blast it soon after it makes contact with the water, I know they are feeding aggressively higher in the water column, else chasing it down and biting it fast as it makes bottom contact. In these cases, I don't want to soak my worm, I understand the action is focused differently so I want to re-create that action and that means more casts quicker. On other days when I am not getting bites quickly, this is when I really slow down, give fish an opportunity to snoop around, eyeball the worm. You know, when it takes them longer to commit.

 

Brad

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I have been surprised at the times I caught fish on a Texas rig on the rare occasions haha I got a birds nest in my reel and had to pick it out. Just leaving the bait alone has caught fish several times for me. As for fishing fast in hot weather forget it. I fish one lake that has had water temps of 90+ degrees. When it gets that hot you won't get any bites up here. I doesn't matter what you are throwing.

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You ever jump in the water on a hot summer day and feel the difference in temperature under the boat . The shade provides noticeable relief under water . Infra red rays get absorbed quickly . Bass in shallow water apparently feel the difference too .  Seek out the shade in shallow water and sometimes the only effective way to fish it is slowly with a snag resistant lure such as a Texas rig .  Other times though , a faster lure can effectively fish it . In deep water I give both a try . One of my favorites out deep is to "worm' fish a Red Eye Shad . 

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49 minutes ago, Log Catcher said:

I have been surprised at the times I caught fish on a Texas rig on the rare occasions haha I got a birds nest in my reel and had to pick it out. Just leaving the bait alone has caught fish several times for me. As for fishing fast in hot weather forget it. I fish one lake that has had water temps of 90+ degrees. When it gets that hot you won't get any bites up here. I doesn't matter what you are throwing.

I've had this happen to me quite a few times. Not necessarily birdsnests, but whatever malfunction, leaving the line sitting there for over a minute or so, maybe inadvertently jerking on the line a little while trying to fix the malfunction, and then when finally retrieving the line, finding a nice fish on the line.

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How fast I fish a Texas Rig or Jig-n-Craw depends on the Bass's mood.

 

A bass's metabolism is finally tuned to its circulatory system temperature which is the same as the surrounding water temperature.

 

This means how fast the bass digest it's food not necessarily how active they are.

 

In cold water their metabolism slows down, their brain slows down, so the bass slows down.

 

But this doesn't mean the bass stops feeding, it simply means they do not have to feed as often. 

 

The opposite is true in warm water, the bass digests it's food quicker which requires it to feed more often.

 

But we have to keep in mind bass are predators & will strike a lure when an opportunity arises.

 

I've caught bass in the dead of winter when reeling in to make another cast. 

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