Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday Tips: 5 Keys to Mid-Summer Bass Success

It almost seems odd giving mid-summer tips this year because serious summer has been nearly non-existent in North Georgia. Today is August 22, and I don't even need a fan running in my house right now. I know, though, that everyone hasn't enjoyed such mild weather. It has been sizzling in Louisiana, where I was last week, and news reports have suggested that they've had some very hot weather in the north this year. Even around here, I'll bet it has been warm enough that the bass are feeling fairly toasty and that summer tips apply. So with that in mind, here are five:

Go Early - Obvious as that sounds, this is a critical point and one that too often gets missed. Plan to be launched and in your area BEFORE first light, and don't forget to allow for unexpected delays. The 1/2-hour you miss by tarrying around the coffee pot or getting backed up at the boat ramp might be the best fishing you would have enjoyed. Late in the summer, bass tend to bite even better at daybreak than close to dark because the water hasn't been baking all day.

Head Way Up a Creek - Often you'll find slightly cooler water in the extreme upper ends of a reservoir's creek and river arms, and cooler, more oxygenated water commonly translates into more active fish. Go as far as a boat will allow you to go and look for moving water and overhanging cover.

Keep Topwater Handy - Even if most fish are suspended or on the bottom and you're fishing primarily with a spoon or drop-shot rig, keep a Zara Spook or a popper handy all the time. Bass sometimes push shad to the surface very unexpectedly this time of year. When they do, if you have a topwater rod within easy reach your likely to be rewarded. Poppers also work great tight to banks for fish that are feeding on bluegills.

Tap the Night Bite - An alternative to fishing early is to head for the lake just before it turns dark and to fish on into the night. Beyond the fact that bass often feed well at night during mid-summer, you'll find far less competition from pleasure boaters, and it tends to be much more comfortable. Use jigs, big ribbontail worms and single Colorado blade spinnerbaits, all in dark colors.

Wade a Stream - My personal favorite way to fish for bass during mid-summer is to abandon big reservoirs completely and hit streams that I can wade. Light spinning tackle. Small topwater lures. huge fun!

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