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Hot sun, where do the bass go?

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I know that the bass hide in shady cover but do they swim shallow or deep? I have a pond I cant get a boat into or even get near shady shore lines and cant manage to catch anything when the sun is hot hot. The pond is big and I can only cast from the shore into the open and the sun beats down all day. Any suggestions on bait also?

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DEEP!

Sunlight hurts their eyes. :o

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Every year I frequently come across bass who cruise around in the bright sunshine in the middle of a hot day.  They are usually difficult to catch though.  Bass do not mind the sun at all, heat is what they avoid.  Still, most bass will seek cooler water for better comfort and being in the shadows helps a bass ambush its prey.

What type of water are you fishing?  Any grass beds in it?  Lily pads?  Underwater stumps, laydowns, etc?  A small group of pads provides enough shade to hold a bass.  A grassbed will provide shade as well, either down in it or along one of the edges.  A stump or laydown under the water will provide shade just like a stump or laydown on shore.

There are some other things that will help you on a bright day.  Wind will cause some ripples on the water and will cut down on the direct sunlight that reaches the bottom as the waves break up and diffuse the light waves.  If the wind is blowing on the bank you are fishing, it will also blow in food for the smaller fish and the bigger fish usually follow the small fish.  If you happen to get a windy day to fish, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and topwaters may do the trick.

The killer days are the flat calm summer days with glass water.  On these days you are gonna have to slow down.  Small worms fished slow may be the best bet.  Also, if you have the room to cast, a small Crig or drop shot tossed deep and worked back may work well.

Hope this helps!

Brad

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Brad,I have read numerous articles that have stated that since bass dont have eyelids,the sun really irritates them.That's why they seek shade and deeper water where the sunlight penetration is minimal.

I know others here have heard that....

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alot of studies show that bass are irritated by direct sunlight, but i just happen to know this because i did a science project on it for my biology class that he is right, the ripples on top of the water no matter how mintue they seem are enough to break up the rays enough to have some bass cruising, but overall i fish a pond like this up at my farm and me and my friends have figured out a pretty solid pattern which seems obvious and probably is but it took us awhile to figure it out, the corners, if it has any corners in the pond that are like mini coves sortof, i have caught alot of fish on lipless cranks and plastic worms and jigs casted  from one bank of the corner acrossed to the other and worked back, i dunno why it works but i do it during the heat of the day in july and i get results, so maybe it'll work for you

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Brad,I have read numerous articles that have stated that since bass dont have eyelids,the sun really irritates them.That's why they seek shade and deeper water where the sunlight penetration is minimal.

I know others here have heard that....

Nothing against you or your ideas, Fivebass.  I've read about it and heard it too, but my experiences with the fish leave me to have doubts.  Is scent necessary?  Salt?  Will human odor or gas actually repel a fish?  Is color really important?  Does RW keep a Fat Ika under his pillow for the bass fairy?  ;D  There's lots written on each subject by some very knowledgable people.  I have had enough on the water experience or can find lots of information from others to support either a yes or no on any one of them.  Until the fish learn to talk, we are going to continue to guess and debate about the bass.

I have a pond across the street that I frequent almost daily - either fishing or just watching.  It is my test lab so to speak.  It is very interesting to watch fish go through part of the daily life.  I have sat and watched bass swim or stay put right in the open in the sun and they did not have a pair of sunglasses on.   Same for bluegills and other fish in the pond.  The light had little affect on those fish.

In my fishing, I have experienced the same thing.  I have caught a lot of shallow clear water bass and panfish in the middle of a bright day out of lakes, ponds and rivers.   If the sun affected them that much, they simply would have not been there.

Yes, bass lack eyelids like we have and it is easy to assume that they are affected by the sun the same way we are, but the bass' is designed to live in the underwater world and who knows exactly how sun affects their vision in their world.  Water also diffuses light differently than air.  That is easy to see in how colors appear one way above water and another way in the water.   So, the light may not be near as bright in the water to a bass as it seems to us.

Brad

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Sunlight doesn't hurt their eyes.  I've seen plenty of underwater footage of bass roaming about in clear water under sunny skies.  In fact, biologists scoff at the notion.  However, these bass usually aren't feeding.

Bass seek darkness because it helps conceal them so they can ambush prey when they're in a feeding mode.  Ergo, flipping & pitching, skipping under docks, etc. prevail under sunny skies - because the bass that are primed to ambush your lures are positioned in areas where these techniques reach them.

Don't take my word for it, listen to what the pros say over and over again.  They like sunny days because it positions the bass close to cover, making them easy to find and target.

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I've read many statements by scientists that say the sunlight hurting their eyes thing is a myth.

I shore fish a lot and it's not unusual to catch my best fish from that pond under bluebird skies in mid-afternoon in July or August.

Perhaps that's more common here than in the south because our water rarely gets as warm as the low 80s.

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I watched 3 bass in bright sun, mid afternoon in shallow, clear to lightly stained water, and temp. 85 to 87deg. over sandy bottoms and no useabe cover. They were slowly swimming along much like they were on a walk in the park. Like Glenn said they were not feeding or at least not takeing anything we would throw. I threw about 3 different lures at least twice, before they went out of my sight. You could tell that they detected the baits, but showed little interest. They showed no sign of discomfort and would pause, change directions come back, never did spook and I am bombarding them with baits at least in the beginning. Others traveled thru the same areas with basicly the same reaction. I think there were 7 or 8 in all. Most of these fish were probably around 3-4lbs.  It made for an interesting lunch break.   The only fish we put in the boat that day was about 30 minutes before seeing those.  

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I would support Glenn in this opinion.  Bass are from the sunfish family.  Sun in no way bothers bass.  Example, how about when they are spawning?  Bass beds are in direct sunlight aren't they?

They are several reasons why bass are found (in bright sunny days) around structure.  In weed beds, during hot days it is for the oxygen produced.  Under docks, fallen timber, ect.  it is for security or water temp's.

I have witnessed bass hovering, swimming, & feeding in open water during the hottest part of the day & i didn't see any of them wearing polarized sunglasses.

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Like Marty, all my biggest largemouth bass have been caught on the brightest, hottest days of summer, between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. These fish were all caught relating to structure, not cover.

As Glenn noted, cover provides shade which may be more important as an ambush strategy rather than avoiding sunlight. Grass, lilly pads and docks are often productive during the heat of the day.

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Just to throw a reply here too, saturday was HOT and humid, and the bun beating down.

I caught a 6 pound bass under lilly pads. I also wasn't using a smaller bait either....green peppered 5 inc. senko.

I also have seen really big bass in the shallows with the sun beating down, but can usually never get them to strike.

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I was in maybe 4 ft. of water too, forgot to add that and to lazy to go fix lol

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IMO the biggest problem on "blue bird" days is the oxygen in the water.  When water heats up it looses oxygen and the fish will travel to other parts of the lake/pond/etc. for this reason.  The fish that are cruising are looking for a comfort zone and are not necessarily looking to feed. As the water cools down (in the shade) it absorbs more oxygen and also provides a point of ambush.

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I fish mainly from shore and in the early mornings when it turns from dark to light its my best time to fish. The bass have the baitfish near the shore ambushing them. My bigger bass have been caught in the early am from shore but less in numbers. The bass's eyes adjust first to the changing light before the baitfishes eyes do so they are easy prey.

As it gets lighter as the sun comes up the bass head to deeper water cover to hide.  Its the midway point between shallow and deep is where they are during the day.

Now at 10 to 12 midday the plants in the water give off plankton in the hotter sun which the baitfish come out from hiding to feed on thus the bass will come out of cover to ambush them again. This is why and how the midday fishing works.

I fish in the evenings too but the bass are more in numbers for me but smaller in size. But catching the light conditions changing is the same thing.

Night fishing "no light" is another thing the bass just like the animal world they own the night. Anyone that has fished at night knows the woods comes to life too in the dark. Everything puts the feed bag on the bass too. BB

I like fishing the early mornings and the late evenings too. In the mornings I can hear the coyotes howling and wild turkey's gobbling as the sun comes up. In the evenings Its the coyotes howling or a bobcat will pay a visit as i'm fishing. I have seen in the mornings as it became lighter the freshwater otters splashing the two baby fawns with water as they tried to get a drink with the doe nearby watching them. My point is look around at nature while your fishing too its awesome too!!!! I always see the otters at first light too everywhere i fish.

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Okay then,since we dont know exactly which is the real reason the bass head for shade,can we all agree that in the hot summer sun whether their eyes are hurtin' or not.......they end up in the shade or deep water?

Two different arguments.....same result. ;)

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Where do bluegills and shad hang out and I bet you will find the bass there also. Deep or shallow bass follow food and with higher water temps that the only thing thats on their mind. If a bass is in the shade its because food is there the same as deep. If the area does not provide food a bass is not going to stay there to long. Every shade patch and dock does not hold bass but the ones that have populations of food will. Same for the deeper stuff more than likly they are keying in on shad schools that swim by that area like clockwork. Without the shad bass would not be there. ;)

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ok, let's all play it safe.  When the sun is high, or not, and the water is warm, or not, the bass like to stay in the pond.  Where and why?  Gonna have to ask a bass that one personally! lol

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when its sunny and warm in the spring, i never fish deep, because i think that the bass will be up in the warmer water getting ready to spawn, they dont want to be in the deep cold water they were in all winter.

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