Finding Summer Bass: Where Have The Bass Gone?

Hank Parker's Fishing Tips

Hank Parker explains when and where to find elusive summer bass. It's not what you think!



Glenn: Hey folks, Glenn May with, and I'm here with another edition with Hank Parker's Fishing Tips. Hank, this week's question, it comes from Mike Burdett from Covington, Washington. And he says,"Last summer, my son and I fished a small lake with deep diving crankbaits and 10-inch worms in 20 to 30 feet of water, and I never got a strike. But my buddy, who's on the same lake, he caught several in three feet of water. I thought bass were supposed to be deep during the summer. What's going on?"

Hank: You know, that's the biggest misnomer in fishing. The vast majority, especially people in the southern part of America where it's 100 degrees in July and August, feel like those fish are gonna be as deep as they can possibly go trying to find that darker, cooler water. And the truth of the matter is, the vast majority of water 10 feet down and deeper have no oxygen left. All that hot weather has sucked the life out of the water and the good oxygenated water rises to the surface. The dead water that has no oxygen in it, falls to the bottom.

And so all that, if you look on your...I use Humminbird Electronics, if you look on your electronics, you'll see a distinct line, and we call it the thermocline, and everything below that line has no oxygenation in it. And so all the fish are above the thermocline. Occasionally they may go down there and get a yellow perch or something that's holding out to the last minute and get a little food, but most marine life cannot live below that thermocline because there's no oxygen.

And that's all these private lakes, small ponds are subject to the exact same condition. The heavier water has no oxygen in it, no air. It sinks. The water that is fertile, that has oxygen and air, it rises to the top. So the top layer of water are where the fish live. So the fish are gonna be in three and four and five and six feet of water even though it's very intense, hot, bright sun, they're gonna be relating in some shady structure if it's there, but they're gonna be shallow because there's not enough fertile water below, 10, 12 feet deep to support marine life, thermocline. So that's why you didn't catch 'em 30 feet deep and your buddy's caught 'em 3 and 4 feet. 

Glenn: That's a great answer, Hank. And Mike, I hope that answer's your question. And for more tips and tricks like this, head on over to and check out all the information on there. There's tips, articles, videos, and a whole bunch more. And if you wanna get notified for the next time we post one of these videos, just subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Thanks for watching and have a great day.