Summer Fishing Tips
Learn how to catch bass during the hottest part of the summer in this video!
This might be a decent fish, least he thinks he is. That's not bad. Stay down. There's one behind him.
Hi, guys. This is Gene Jensen with BassResource.com. I'm out on Clark's Hill this morning, in Georgia. It's mid-July and it's summertime. Goodness, gracious. What a tough two days it's been of fishing. That's what I'm going to talk about today. This video's going to be all about finding fish in the summertime. I'm going to try to get it done today. I tried yesterday and failed miserably, but that's the way summer is. It's not my favorite time of the year to fish, but I've gotten a lot of requests on my channel on BassResource on how to find fish in the summertime, and let's see how it goes.
That may be the only fish I catch for the day, so I'm going to sit down and go over some details and things that I do to prepare for a day on the lake during any time of the year.
First thing I do is I get a map, and I pick out an area on the lake that I want to focus on. Clark's Hill is 71,000 acres, so I'm not going to cover that whole lake in a day. So I want to pick a small area that I can break down and I can look for things that are deep because summertime bass go deep, or they go into the grass. Well, Clark's Hill usually has a whole lot of grass, but the last couple of years it hasn't. My focus today is going to be deep.
I picked an area that has got a lot of long points that go out into the creek channel. It's a huge creek that goes back. It's a major creek, goes back up on the south end of the lake. It's got a lot of humps and things like that, like I said, long points.
Sometimes, I'll go on Google Earth, or go on the Internet and do some research, look for fish reports that have had the same conditions and things like that, but Clark's Hill doesn't have a whole lot of those online. Google Earth's a great tool, if you don't have a map.
Let's see. What else do I do? I look online and I check the weather the night before, and what I'm looking for is I want to know the wind. I want to know whether it's going to be raining, and I have two things in mind, first and foremost is safety. How heavy are the winds going to be? I fish out of an 18 foot aluminum boat. It can be pretty rough once these waves get to be white caps, and it starts to get a little choppy. Anything bigger than that, it gets pretty dangerous. I pay really close attention to the wind and the direction the wind's going. I want to know temperature, things like that. So I can be prepared for certain conditions.
Another thing to take into consideration, the biggest thing to take into consideration is seasonal patterns. What is going on right now? Is it spawn? Is it post-spawn? Is it summer? Is it winter? Is it fall? What are they doing during that period of time? That's something you can learn by going on BassResource, reading the articles and things like that. It's just a matter of research. Put the knowledge in your brain and then go out and try it out on the lake.
Right now, we have summertime. What are the seasonal patterns? The bass are going to be finding oxygen. As water temperature rises, it loses its ability to hold oxygen that is enough to be sustainable for the bass. The bass, without wind, or without rain, or things like that, are going to go deep. They've got to have oxygen. Basically, with an 85 degree water temperature in the morning, which is what it is right now, I'm going to be looking deep.
Any time of the year, any time I go out on the water, the first thing I'm going to look at on the water is going to be the water color. Water color's going to tell me a lot. It's going to tell me what color lure I'm using. What action I might want because I might need some vibration if it's muddy, things like that. Water color determines a lot. I'm going to judge that. I've gotten to the point where I'm pretty good at doing it without a lure, but if you're new at it, a rule of thumb is get yourself a white lure, like a fluke, or something like that. Let it sink down in the water. If it disappears between zero and one foot, it's muddy. If it disappears between one and three feet, it's stained. If it disappears between three and six feet, I like to say it's murky. Anything deeper, it's clear. Some people say four to six feet is clear, but it all depends on where you're from.
With lure selection for this time of the year, like I said, I'm looking deep, but the first thing in the morning, I'm looking shallow. Those bass come up, move up those points, move up those humps, and they sit on the top of those humps, and they catch bait fish as they're migrating in and out of the creeks. The bait fish, their migration is, at night they're in the backs of the creeks and they're feeding, and in the mornings, they slowly move out towards deep water, for safety reasons. The bass will set up on points and humps and things like that and ambush the bait fish.
My lure selection for the morning's going to be a buzzbait, a top water walking bait, a shallow crankbait, anything like that. A fluke, a weightless fluke. I'm going to go hit those shallow spots. A buzzbait, I'm going to throw it all the way up on the bank. I threw one up on the bank this morning. I had one fish miss it and that was it. Then I went out towards these humps and started throwing this little mustard colored crankbait and ended up catching that one and I missed one and I broke off on about a 15 pound gar.
That's how I attack the morning. Then as the sun comes out, this fog and this light cloud cover's going to go away here in a little bit. The bass will go a little bit deeper. My deep water lures are going to be pretty simple. Going to be a Carolina rig with some type of a dark colored worm on there because I'm going to be fishing anywhere from 15 to 30 feet. A deep diving crankbait that will go down to about 20 feet and a drop shot that I can fish directly underneath me. If I see something on my depth finder, I can drop it down and fish it. I can cast it out a long ways and drag it through, drag it deep and I've got a half an ounce weight on it, so it gets down to the bottom pretty quick. I might want to lighten that up a little bit. That might be something I consider.
Those are my three deep water presentations. If I start seeing them stacking up pretty hard, I might go in, dig in my tackle box and see if I brought a spoon, a jigging spoon. Other than that, it's just a matter of going around and trying to find these fish. That's what I'm going to do for the next few hours. Hopefully, I can find something. Hopefully, it'll turn out better than yesterday. Yesterday I was on a different part of the lake, and it was pretty tough. Hang tight. Let's see what happens.
Of course, I sit down, come up on a hump and I throw a deep diving crankbait. Guys, I've got a big fish on and I'm not set up with a camera. Wouldn't you know it? I threw this 6XD out along a point and I've got about a six pounder on. I'm going to let him play out a little bit. Dang it. Man, I love a 6XD. I finished filming that last little segment. He's not six, but he's got a big ole freaking head. Look at that fish. Holy cow! I love summertime. Not. Look at that. He just swing at it. Look at that fish. Look how long he is. Holy cow! He whaled on that 6 XD. What can I say?
I just stopped at this point. I ended that last segment, looked and I was in 18 feet of water, and I'm on a long point that comes way out, like I said. I just grabbed that deep diving crankbait and threw it out and was just bringing it back in and he whaled on it. Not a bad little fish. Golly, that's awesome. Let me get him back in the water. Thanks, bud.
You never know. You never know. What can I say? That's summertime fishing. I'm going to keep fishing. I'm going to go try to show you guys how to find a rocky hump and things like that, but for right now, I'm going to turn the video camera on and fish this point, and see if there's any more fish like that on there.
Guys, I'm going to show you something real quick. I'm going to show you how to set up your depth finder so you can find rock easier, and I'll show you how I'll also identify some grass on this depth finder. What you're going to do is go to your menu on your fish finder and you're going to bring your range. Here it says, "Auto” my range", and my lower range is automatic, so it's going to automatically open up. I want it to zoom in, and I want my lower range to be double what my depth is going to be. Say, I'm looking for a hump that's in 60 feet of water, I'm going to run it to 120 feet. Right now, I'm just going to run over a shallow hump. I wish I could get one deeper.
I'm going to show you what grass and what rocks is. I'd go deeper, but I've got a thunderstorm coming in, and I want to get the heck out of Dodge before it hits. I'm going to be in about 20 feet of water, well 16 feet of water, but I'm going to zoom into… Let's go to 50, just so I can show you guys. I'm going to show you what I'm looking for.
I'm turning my motor on. I may edit this out because it may take me a second to get to this hump. Right now, we're in 29 feet of water. We're coming up to this point. Actually, it's a hump on the end of a point. You see this double echo right down here? See how it's red? See these little humps? These little bumps right here? That means it's a really hard bottom, and that's your rock, right there. Those two little spots right there, and if they're bigger, they'll be big and red. Let's move up a little bit shallower. See if I can show you some grass. That's actually a little bit of grass right there. Notice again the double echo, and you've got a hard bottom because you see the red's in there.
Watch what happens when I change it to gray scale. That's what a normal gray depth finder will see. There's a fish right there. There's a stump. Normal gray scale. The darker the line, the harder the bottom. You notice you see blacks in here, and if it's a muddy bottom, you won't see any blacks, you'll just see gray. See, this is the shallow hump we're coming up on. I'm going to go across, see if I can pick up some grass. I got to go back down to auto, in order for it to do this. I'm going to edit this part out. I'm going to spin back around.
Actually, we're almost, should hit some grass here in just a second. That's a little bit of grass right there. You notice it's not red. It's not hard. It's another little bit of grass. There's not a whole lot of grass on this point. It's coming way up, six feet of water. There's a rock. See how hard that is? That's actually my boat wash. You see how this is bushy on top? Greens and yellows? You go to gray scale. It's a little bit of white on top. That's shallow grass. We're not worried about the second, the double echo, but it just lets me know it's a hard bottom. Shallow grass right there. You get the idea? Hopefully. Hope I explained it right.
I was hoping to catch one more fish and end this video, but as you can see behind me, I got a thunderstorm coming, so I'm going to get the heck out of Dodge. Like I said, summer's tough. It can be fun, sometimes. To be honest with you, it's my least favorite season to fish, but like I've always said, you can't catch a fish from the couch. You got to keep your line wet. I was glad I was able to come out here and, at least, catch a couple of fish this morning. Show you how to find things deep. I hope I did a good job of explaining it. If not, I can always make another video. It is what it is. I hope you guys enjoyed it and, like I always say, visit BassResource.com for the answer to all your questions about bass fishing. Have a great day.