Keri: There you go.
Glenn: Hey, folks. Glenn May here at BassResource.com. And today, I wanna talk to you about the five best lures for summertime fishing. Now, before I get in to all of these lures, I want you to understand that during the summertime, the bass, they're aggressive. They feed a lot. Their metabolism is up so they're feeding a lot during the day, so a lot of different lures work. You can catch them on virtually everything. So this is why I'm picking out the five best because these are the ones that, day in and day out, work for me throughout the summertime. And especially if you're beginning bass fishing, you gotta start somewhere, right? There's so many to choose from. So these are the top five that I always have in my boat and I'm always throwing during the summertime, starting with the YUM Dinger.
This bait right here. Day in and day out, this is a killer bait during the summertime. It's a great bait to use. Really, when the fish are shallower than ten feet is when I use it the most. I rig it with this Texas Rig, weightless. Throw it out over submerged weeds. I can weave it in and out between lily pads, stump fields. Skip it in under docks is a really good technique with this or alongside docks, or flooded bushes and timber. Great bait to throw out there when the fish aren't...the bite really isn't super strong. They're a little lethargic. Maybe after a cold front comes through, they're a little bit hesitant to bite. This is a great bait to use during that time.
But don't limit yourself to shallow water. This is why this is really good during the summer because you can put it behind a split-shot rig or in a Carolina rig, for example, or even on a jighead. And then you can fish deeper than 10 feet out there on the offshore structure where a lot of bass hang out during the summertime. Those are points, humps, rock piles, channels, even submerged road beds and old sunken houses, foundations, things like that that are out in some of the reservoirs out and around. So great bait to use during the summertime. That's number one.
Number two on my list. Number two on my list is a crankbait. Now there are basically four different types of crankbaits. You've got your lipless crankbaits. Those work really well in the summertime. I know they're great in the spring. But in the summer, what I like to do with those is actually throw them out in deeper water and jig them off of the bottom. Throw them out, let them...they vibrate when they fall so a lot of times, the bite is in the fall. But then when they hit the bottom, I pop it off of the bottom, let it sink back down. Pop it up off the bottom. Great way to fish those deeper structure that I just mentioned. Great way to fish out in deeper water with lipless crankbaits like the One Knocker, for example.
Another type of crankbait is a shallow diving crankbait. That works, of course, when the fish are really shallow. I love to fish those around boat docks, around stumpy fields. Usually, a squarebill crankbait is the one that I use the most in those situations. Squarebills tend not to get hung up in the weeds as much. That's a great crankbait to use during the summertime fishing around logs, rocks, stumps, things like that. You can deflect it off of that and you should get a reaction bite when you fish it like that.
The third type is a deeper diver crankbait. And really, there's two kinds. One is a wide bill, one's a narrow bill. And I like to use, see, I got basically two different wide bills here. This one dives. This one here dives a little bit deeper than this one here. And they look pretty similar and I really do like these better than the narrow bill in the summertime because a narrow bill's got a real tight wobble to it. In the summertime, these have a nice, wide sashaying action, which, for some reason, that's what the bass tend to key on in the summertime. So I fish these more than the narrow bill. But there's more to it than that.
What I tend to do is I'm fishing in, say, 10 feet of water, I'll go for a deeper diving crankbait like this. One that goes 12 to 15 feet. This one maybe even go to 20 if I'm lucky. I like that because I want it to dig down into the bottom. I want it to dig up the dirt, dig up the silt, make a lot of racket noise that attract the bass to come over and they see that and they pounce on it.
Or if I'm fishing, say, riprap along the face of a dam or around buildings, you know, they've got riprap everywhere, throw it out there, deeper diving crankbait. It goes deeper than the bottom. You hit those rocks. You hit it and deflect off of the rocks. That change of action, all of a sudden, that tends to provoke a strike. So this is why I fish it in deeper water, or deeper crankbaits than the water that I'm in.
Another thing, though, is a lot of times with those deeper-diving crankbaits like the one I just showed you, they float. Here's a little trick for night time fishing because night time fishing during the summertime can be a killer. Take one of those crankbaits, throw it out there and let it float. And you just want to slowly reel it. Slow reel it. Get it just down underneath the surface. I mean, like a foot on the surface. You're just doing this… killer technique. It is killer. Man, I've caught a lot of big fish doing that. Throw it around bridge pilings, around dock pilings, those type of things at night. And sometimes, you just don't even let it go below surface. Just let it go across the surface like this, all right? I'm telling you, you're barely cranking it. This is when you use a slower, slower speed reel. You're using more like a below six if you got it, below 6.1:1 reel. If you got one of those 5.3:1s or maybe even one that's in the four-seven range, that's really good because you just reel nice, slow cranking it during night time fishing with a deep diving crankbait that floats. Killer technique.
Okay. So let's move on. Let's go to the next type of topwater...or topwater bait is the third type. This is topwaters. Specifically, I mean, there's a lot of different topwaters, right? There's Pop R's, there's buzzbaits. There's all kinds of stuff. But there's really three kinds that I…actually, it's two and then the subsets of two. So one is a buzzbait and the other are frogs.
With the buzzbait, we're looking at this guy right here. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, the buzzbaits, since I can't get them unhooked from my rod, the buzzbait is this guy right here, okay? It's got a big blade on it. You throw that out across the water and you bring it...you get it up on top of the water as quick as possible, and it gurgles across the water. That bait creates a lot of commotion, looks like someone's scurrying across the top, and the bass just can't stand them, man. They got to clock it. And this is a really good bait to throw around docks, around stump fields, open lily pads and we throw them between those, along weed edges, those type of things. It works really well.
And one little trick that I like to do is when I'm running along docks, I'll bend that wire, look at it straight on. You bend it this way or bend it this way, not twisting it, right? You bend it and then you can throw it and it'll curve in underneath the docks. You know, bounce off those pilings. And that often creates a vicious strike. So even during the daytime, don't be afraid. A lot of people think, "Hey, only fish buzzbaits and topwaters in the early morning and in the evening." No. I fish them all day long, definitely. When the sun's bright and high like this, you can still catch them on topwaters.
The other kind of topwater I like to throw is, like I said, frogs. I fish two different types of frogs. I love the Booyah Pad Crasher. Here's the original pad crasher right here. That's the one. And the other one, the difference is it's a Poppin' Pad Crasher. See that? It's got a little cupped face to it, okay? So where do I use these? This one I like to throw, the pad crasher, I throw that when the weeds are all matted over. You've got a lot of thick cover and you really can't throw anything in there that...you can get weeds and stuff hang up on it. Like a buzzbait won't work really well over that, so. Unlike with the hydrilla and milfoil top over, throw that pad crasher across the top and let it just scurry across the top. Bass don't know what it is. They just see something trying to, you know, some amphibian trying to go across the water and they'll come up through the water and clock it through the pads, through the mat, and clock it.
The Poppin' Pad Crasher, that one I like to use when it's a little more open, like in stump fields or in open lily pads, or around docks. I like to throw that. Then you let it sit for as long as you can stand it and give it a little twitch, pop, pop, pop, and then let it sit. Give it a little pop, pop. It depends on the weather. If it's windy and there's a lot more chop in the water, then I get more aggressive with the pops. I'm really not, you know, really yanking down on that rod to give it boom, boom, boom. But if it's glass calm like you see behind me, then just real subtle pops is all you need. Try to match that, the weather, the wind, with how aggressive you're going with your pops. But that bait works really well all…again, even when it's sunny out, that's a great time to fish these lures.
Now one thing you've got to remember with topwater baits is you have to wait to set the hook. When a fish blows up on it, he's busting through the surface, you see that explosion and your knee jerk reaction is to set the hook right away. Well, you're reacting on the fish breaking the surface. He still has his mouth open and hasn't clamped the bait...his mouth around the bait. You're literally yanking away from him. You're kinda doing a Lucy with Charlie Brown, pulling the football away from him. So you have to wait. The fish has got to come up, grab it, turn, and go back in the water.
So while you're fishing these baits, just keep...as you're retrieving and thinking, "Don't set the hook. Don't set the hook. Don't set the hook," just keep reminding yourself. That way, when it happens, you don't go, "Oh," and set the hook right away. You're ready for it. Set the hook, the fish hits the bait, it goes underwater. You wait. When you feel the fish pulling...taking off with the bait, that's when you set the hook. So it takes discipline but you're gonna get a lot more hook ups that way.
So let's go on to the next lure. Next one is the jig. The jig, which I have one tied on right here, the jig is great bait to use when the bite isn't as good and not as aggressive. That's what you wanna throw right there. This is when the bass are up buried up in cover, when they're buried up and flooded in bushes, flooded timber, they're up in the thick weeds, that kind of thing. Or even when the bite isn't all that good. When they're...sometimes during the summer, they just aren't as aggressive as they should be. A jig is a perfect bait to go in and dig them out. They get into that cover. When they're buried up in it, you can throw up in there and you can dig them out of that cover.
Now what I'm using, I'm using pretty heavy equipment then. I'm using, you know, at least a 7-foot, seven-and-a-half foot heavy power rod with a moderate to fast action tip, with 50 pounds Seaguar Kanzen Braid. Sometimes I'm using the Smackdown braid as well, it depends... So I'm taking a lot of braid on different reels. So sometimes I use the Kanzen but I'm also using the Smackdown braid as well. But I'm throwing in that cover and digging those fish out.
When the sun is bright and high and the bite isn't as aggressive, the jig is all-time. I know it works all-year round but it works especially well during the summertime. And in a deeper water, those offshore structures, great way to fish the jig then is to toss it out there, let it sink all the way down. I know you got to wait a little bit. Be patient because you're fishing 15 or more feet deep. Let it sit on the bottom for a minute. And sometimes a bass will pick it up when it's sitting there, right? That skirt just starts to flare open like that very slowly and there's maybe a current in the water so it moves it and waves it. Sometimes the fish will pick it up and you didn't even do anything.
But what I like to do is after I let it sit like that, then I reel down like boom. Give it a pop and let it flutter back down. Reel up to it, let it sit for a second. Boom, pop it again. Sometimes, I don't know what it is but that bait just shooting up off the bottom, the fish will…if they're hanging around there, they'll react to it and hit it. Even if they don't wanna eat, even if they're not in the mood to be aggressive, that sudden movement popping up up at the bottom elicits a strike.
One little trick I like to do during the summertime with jigs is, if I'm fishing offshore structure that's rocky, like I said before, rock piles, points, humps, I'll take a three-quarter ounce football head jig. Three-quarter ounce, yes. Throw it out there. Now I'm not using a three-quarter ounce because I gotta get it down deep. What I like to do is get it down those rocks and then lift it and bounce it. Pop it down those rocks. I want it to bang on those rocks, boom, boom, boom, boom. Click and clacking and making all kinds of ruckus down there to attract the bass. It works, okay? Just banging on those rocks with that three-quarter ounce jig bouncing around that and they'll attract bass and they'll come up and smack it. So that's a great trick to use during the summertime.
Final bait I like to fish is a Texas-rigged plastic bait, any kind of creature bait. Structure Bug works really well. There's a variety of YUM baits out there I love to throw. Throw them out there. Just Texas rig them. I like to go as light as I can to get away with, usually a 3/8 ounce weight, quarter ounce weight, but you can throw it anywhere a jig, just like I mentioned, and then fish it. You know, the same way with a jig but with the different types of lures out there, different types of plastic baits, you can control the fall rate a lot better.
A bigger bulk of your bait like a Structure Bug or, you know, maybe a Brush Hog or something like that falls a little bit slower through the water column or you can go to a Ribbontail worm and it can drop faster. Also, it depends on the cover you're fishing. Something with a lot of appendages on it, when it falls through, it can get stuck on the little branches and twigs if you're throwing it in bushes and weeds, and it's kinda hard to work it through. Whereas, a Ribbontail worm will slide right on through all that. So it's great for getting into that cover where the fish are buried during the summertime. You can go in and dig them out. It's really a tool at that point. You just look at the cover that you're fishing, the depth that you're fishing. Is it vegetation? Is it rock? And that will tell you whether or not to fish jig versus a Texas-rigged bait.
I like to mostly fish with Texas rig when it comes to the real thick weeds because a jig tends to grab it all and you kinda, you're pulling back a lot of weeds. But if you're fishing a slender Texas-rigged bait, it'll pull through those weeds better and you won't be picking up as much gunk.
Anyway, those are the top five baits that I use throughout the summertime. Again, there's a lot of other ones out there that are great. Don't get upset if I didn't mention your favorite one. It does work but those are the five I always have in my boat and those are the five I always have tied on somewhere in my rod locker. I can bring them out and I can fish those and I know I'm gonna catch fish no matter what during the summer.
Hope that helps. For more tips and tricks like that, visit BassResource.com.