Summer Worm Fishing Tips for Bass Fishing (These Work!)
How to catch summer bass with a worm. The best summer fishing tips and techniques that show the right way to fish worms for MONSTER summer bass!
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Keri: Is he still on?
Glenn: Yeah, he's got me wrapped. There we go. Come here, you. That worm right there. Had a little bit of a backlash, I was picking it out and he grabbed it. There we go. That'll work. Let's let you go, buddy. Come on. Have a nice day.
Hey, folks. Glenn May here with BassResource.com. Today I want to talk to you about fishing plastic worms during the summer. I'm talking 6-inch, 7-inch ribbon tail worms just like this one here. That's what we're talking about. The plastic worm has been around since the '70s and it catches fish year round, but it's especially productive during the summertime. One of the reasons is that you can fish it in 6-inches or 60-feet deep, anywhere in between and it fishes in pretty much anything you can find in any body of water. Weeds, rocks, docks, pilings, roadbeds, you can fish offshore structure like points, humps, sledges, rock piles, all kinds of stuff out there, you know, even shallow water, dense cover, dense weeds, lily pads. I can go on and on and on, but that's one of the reasons why this little thing is so productive.
You can fish it in everything, plus it doesn't give off any unnatural movement to the bass. It looks natural. It looks like a normal, you know... It doesn't have any telltale signs it's artificial and because it's made out of a soft plastic, when the fish bite it, it feels normal to them, when they get it in their mouth, so it catches a lot of fish. One of the things about summertime is that bass can be both shallow and deep. I know the common thought is that, you know, in the springtime the fish are all up shallow, they're up there spawning, and then in the summertime, they all abandon the shallows and go deep. That's not true. Yes, it's true that there's not as many bass up shallow as they were in the springtime, but not all bass abandoned the shallows.
Now, it's also true that bass are deep during the summertime and those are hot spots during the summertime. I'd definitely go fish them. I just want you to understand that they are also shallow. A lot of times people say, "Oh, you know when the water temp gets above 80-degrees, it starts to lose its ability to hold dissolved oxygen and the warmer the water is, the less oxygen's in the water. That means, hey, bass abandoned it and they're not going to be there." Don't get hung up on one piece of information and think that that's going to dictate where the bass are going to be. It's not true. A lot of people make that mistake. For example, if you've got a lot of weeds, hydrilla, milfoil, lily pads, that kind of stuff, those produce oxygen in the summer and you can have oxygen-rich, shallow water as a result.
Or you have those weeds will get a big canopy over the top of them and when that happens, it creates shade underneath, which does several things. One of them is that it can cool the water underneath it 5 degrees or more. So, even though the temperature gauge on your boat says one thing, it's a lot cooler underneath the canopy of that vegetation and it's holding more oxygen. In addition with that shade, the fish are going to...it gives them more ambush points for bass to feed on prey. Also, that type of weeds, that attracts invertebrate, insects, which in turn attract baitfish and wherever the baitfish are, that's where the bass are. So, that's really the key thing during the summertime, is finding the baitfish. Bass will follow them all over the lake in different depths during the summertime.
So, keep that in mind when you're trying to find them. This is why the worm is such a good lure during this time of year because you can fish in both shallow and deep, wherever the bass are and you're going to be successful. So, what I'm going to do today is I'm going to talk to you about the different ways you can fish it during the summertime and I'll start off with two different types of gear. I'm thinking, you know, your rigs that you want to use, your equipment. This here is, if you don't have a lot of money, you're just starting out fishing, this here is the one you want to have. What I have right here.
This is a 7 foot, medium heavy power fast-action rod. This is your all-terrain vehicle of rods, but it's especially good for throwing worms. Rigged with it, I've got the reel here. It's not a super high-speed reel, you don't need that for this type of fishing, so anything from a six one to a seven three to one ratio works just fine. What you're looking for is a good drag. Anything over say 13, 14 pounds of drag because what I like to do is I have wrench it down tight and I set the hook. Once I got that fish hooked and then I back off on the drag and I let the drag do its job.
But to me, the drag doesn't come into play until after you have the fish hooked, and you've got to get a good strong hook set. So, I lock it down pretty tight. That's why I like to have a good strong drag. I don't want it to slip on the hook set. I'm using 15-pound Seaguar InvizX line. It's abrasion resistance. It's pretty transparent in the water. It's super, super sensitive and it's universal. You can throw it in anything. You guys might think braid is the answer to everything and actually, it's not. Rocks, for example, is braid's Kryptonite. Rocks will fray up braid and will ruin it quickly. You can break off a lot of fish and rock using braid, not so much when you're using InvizX. InvizX is universal, you can throw it in anything.
So, that's what I use when I'm fishing, especially in the summertime,. You don't know what you're going to come up against. You need a line that you can throw it in anything and not worry about it getting nicked and frayed. Tied with it, I've got the 6-inch worm and I'm using a 2/0 extra wide gap hook and the weight here, this is just a little tungsten. This is a 1/8-ounce tungsten weight with a bobber stopper to hold it in place. Now, let me talk about that a little bit. I'm using 1/8 ounce. That is really, really light. Now, why is that? Look at the body in this thing. It's just slender body, there's just a ribbon tail on the bottom, and that's it. If you're used to throwing creature baits, those are thicker bodies, they have appendages on them and that slows down the fall.
You need a heavier weight to bring that down. If you're used to throwing those, lighten up because this slender profile, it falls through the water column a lot faster. So, a lighter weight is necessary and use as light as weight as you possibly can get away with. The reason being is in the summertime, a lot of the bites come on the fall. So the longer that bait is falling, the more it's in the strike zone, the more chances are you going to get bit. If you have a heavier weight on there, it'll just go right through, the water column hits the bottom and you've lost your chances of getting bit. So, start off with 1/8 ounce weight, the tungsten weight that I'm using here and heavy up as you need to. If you throw in heavier matted cover heavy vegetation, you might have to go to a 3/8 ounce, ¼ ounce, something like that.
But the lightest you can get away with the better. And that's the reason why I put a bobber stopper on this because I don't want the weight to separate from the bait. The weight is a tool to put the bait where I want it to. If you're throwing it in some light cover or some bushes, you see some submerged bushes that I have here. If you throw it in that the weight's going to go down through and it's going to leave the worm up at the top here and it's not going to get down to where the fish are. So, you've got to get that weight so it sticks with the worms. So, a bobber stopper works fine. It doesn't pinch the line. That's why I don't use toothpicks or anything like that. You don't want to damage the line. Bobber stoppers are meant for this type of application. Use them.
Keri: There you go. It might not work. You're in 10 feet.
Glenn: [inaudible 00:09:13]
Keri: Well, you might as well put them down. It'll catch sooner or later. Nice.
Glenn: He's got a big head. There we go. All right. I'll put him down here.
So, that's how I fish most of the time. Now, if I were throwing in some really heavy cover like matted vegetation and thick lily pads, hydrilla, for example, milfoil, or I was throwing around a lot of thick bushes, then I'd heavy up a bit. Now, I'm going to go to something like a 7.5-foot rod, heavy power, probably a fast-action rod and I'll be using braid on that one because that's not rocks. So, I'll be using braid, probably 50-pound Seaguar Smackdown Braid on it with a strong reel, again, at least 15-pound drag if not stronger. Setup's basically the same but I might go a little bit heavier now because I'm throwing a heavier cover.
So, there I'm going to be using maybe a 3/8 ounce weight, maybe even up to 1/2 ounce to get it into those weeds, get in the pockets. That's what you're looking for. Get it in those pockets and let it fall down in there. So, a little bit heavier weight is probably necessary in those cases. All right, so that's the setup. That's how I rig it. And now, I want to tell you how to fish it.
Keri: That's a bigger fish. It's over here.
Glenn: There you go. There you go. That's a good one. You want me to grab him or you got him?
Keri: I think I got him pretty good.
Glenn: Oh, yeah, you do.
Keri: Yeah. Nice fish, better than the ones I've caught all day. He wants to just swim to the camera.
Glenn: Reel him in.
Keri: My reel came undone. Come here, dude. Come here. That was just a happenstance cast. Yeah, you weren't going nowhere. And I had you weirdly hooked, but I had you hooked.
Glenn: Oh, good.
All right. So, let's get into the different types of ways I fish with this worm during the summertime. Now, these techniques work whether I'm fishing deep or fishing shallow, just so you know. So I'm not going to be too specific on what depth I'm fishing at. It's more about the technique. So, the first way to fish a worm and it catches a lot of bass is you just want it to fall straight down, through the cover, near the cover, next to a dock, whatever. You want it to fall really slow because that's when the bass are going to hit it, is during that fall. So, all you're going to do is cast it out, let that lure fall on slack line until it hits the bottom. Notice right away I cock the reel, even though it's kind of a slack line. I want to be ready to set the hook.
Let it fall all the way down. Now, when it's falling, you're not going to feel the bite. And that's the hardest part about fishing plastic worms is detecting the bite because that straight down fall and slack line, what you have to do, you have to watch the line. That's the only way you're going to detect a bite. So, you're looking for that line to jump, pop, twitch... Sometimes, it'll just accelerate all of a sudden out of nowhere for no apparent reason or it will start swimming off to one side. That is one of the key things during the summertime. It just starts swimming away one direction or another. You won't even feel the bite. You got to watch your line, pay attention for that sort of thing. And it always happens on the fall when that happens. So throw it out on slack line, cock that reel handle and then watch that line to see if anything happens.
There we go. Strong fish. That's a real strong fish. Here we go. Give me your face. He's been eating.
Keri: Oh. He has been eating.
Glenn: Man, hooked him right at the roof of the mouth, too. You think he wanted that? He been eating. Took that worm. Here we go. Just saw it swimming off. Never felt the bite. All right dude. Let's not fall over. All right. I'll let you go.
Once it hits the bottom, just reel up, and you want to lift up on it and let it fall back down again. And this time, I'm following it down with the rod and I'm reeling up the line, so I'm keeping a little bit of tension on the line. Not much. I still want it to fall straight down, but at least here I can feel the bite a little bit better. But, again, you have to watch the line. That's the key to it. So, do that until you're away from cover, just keep lifting the rod tip up and dropping the lure back down, reel up your slack, rinse, lather, repeat until you get back to the boat. Unless you pull away from a cover, once you're away from cover, then just reel it back straight into the boat.
That's the first way to fish it. Now, another way to fish it is very similar. This works really well in the summertime. Now, throw it out, let it fall like I just showed you. But remember when I just showed you, I lifted it up slowly and let it fall back down slowly. In the summertime, this technique works really well and once it hits the bottom, you want to rip it up off the bottom and let it fall. Let it fall all the way down and then give it another pop and then let it fall all the way down, and then another pop, and let it fall all the way back down. What you're doing here is you want to rip it up off the bottom. It often produces violent strikes from bass in the summertime. They'll be following the bait all the way down and all of a sudden it "Boom!" takes off and it looks like it's trying to get away from them and they'll just, reaction strike. They'll nail it really hard. So, when you're fishing it that way, hold on tight because you can get some real violence strikes. But that's an excellent way to fish it during the summertime.
Now, let's go the opposite. Let's say a big front's come through, dog days of summer and fish are kind of lethargic, they don't want to bite. What do you do then? Well, throw it out there again. You can flip or pitch it same, different thing. There're same, you know, different ways of casting it. Cast it out, let it hit the bottom. Now, reel up to it. And you want to feel a little bit of tension. You want that line to be tight between you and the bait and just let it sit. Don't move it. That's right. Don't move it. You gotta be patient with this one.
What you're doing here is the bait may seem dead to you, like it's not moving at all. But really what's happening because you have tight line, you've got wind action and wave action that's lapping away at the line and causing that bait to move just a little bit. You might have a little bit of current on the water. It's causing that bait to twitch and move a little bit. And if you're holding it with your hands, especially out away from your body, try doing this. Hold your hand steady. Just like this, you know, for two minutes. And try not to move it at all. Okay? You're not gonna be able to do it. So, you'll have a little bit of movements.
And all of those little bit of movements combine to make that bait just move, quiver, kind of slowly move across the bottom of the lake. And a lot of times when the fish are real finicky, just that little subtle movement is all they need to suck it up off the bottom and swim off with it. So, you have to be a real line watcher when you're doing that. They're not going to thump it. Usually, the line just picks up and starts walking away. Kind of seems like a lazy way to fish it, but it really isn't. It requires a lot of concentration. You're not sitting there and slack line, so you constantly have to pay attention that you've got a tight line between you and the lure, and you just have to be on alert for that subtle, subtle pickup and you'll catch a lot of fish that way in the summertime.
Now, another way to fish this is you want it to look like a little creature bait going on the bottom of the lake. Let it sit on the bottom. Here, you want to hold your rod tip out a little bit to the side and you just want to drag it to about 90 degrees in front of you and then reel up the slack and then drag it again with the rod tip. Okay. The reason why you're doing this, a couple of things. First of all, with the rod tip out to the side, you're going to feel the bite. You're going to feel that pickup. Sometimes it's a real subtle pickup and that's the hard part in the summertime. They just sometimes are very, very subtle, so having it out to the side makes it easier to detect that bite. But also moving it with the rod tip helps you control the speed of it crawling along the bottom.
You can do it fast, you can do it slow, just barely crawl along the bottom or move along really fast. But the rod now, you're looking at it, you can see how fast you're moving it. If you do it with your reel, it's real difficult for you to visualize how fast that bait is moving on the bottom. You've got different gear ratios and if you have a lot of line down here versus a little bit of line that changes the speed, just don't do it that way. Move it with your rod and you'll have a lot more control over it, plus you'd be ready to set the hook when you feel the bite.
Finally, another way to fish it is... This is great when you have lots of weeds, submergent weeds such as milfoil, hydrilla. What I'll do is I'll throw it out there and let's say its 2 feet under the water. I'll just let it sink a little bit, bring my rod tip up and I'll just slowly reel it back, just slowly, reel it over the top. If I see a pocket, a little hole in those weeds and I'll drop it right down in it. Let it fall right in. A lot of times you'll get a bite when it falls right in those holes. Bring it back up through the hole and just bring it over the top. What you're doing is the fish are buried down in those weeds and they're looking up and they see something go by them. It's not like a crankbait or super violent or high profile bait. It's real subtle and a lot of times they'll just dive right out of that cover and inhale that bait.
Look at that. Oh, swim in the worm. Swimming in it.
Keri: He wanted to chase it.
Glenn: There we go. There we go. Swimming the worm. That's how we do. Swimming it. Keep it right there.
So, those are the primary ways that I fish plastic worms during the summertime. I hope it works for you. For more tips and tricks like this, visit BassResource.com.