Here's Where to Start:
Bass fishing in the summer can be some of the easiest fishing you do for the entire year. First, you must understand the beginning and end points of where bass are coming from, and where they are going. Understanding why fish are in these certain areas makes finding and catching them that much easier. Before jumping into where they are going, lets discuss where they are coming from.
Not every bass does the same thing at the exact same time. During the early summer months, bass are still in their spawning phase. Weather it be they are in their pre-spawn, spawning, or post spawn guarding fry, most bass will be around those spawning bays and flats near the backs of creek arms. This is, in my opinion, the best time to be out on the water because there are so many ways and areas you can catch bass (and big ones at that!) I like to start out in the backs of these bays and pockets in search for spawning fish, or fry guarders. If I am unsuccessful, or unable to establish a working pattern there I start working my way out of the creeks checking transition areas along they way. That’s where your post spawn and some pre spawn bass will be. Bass do not simply make their way from the backs of the creeks to the main lake in one day. Just like during the pre-spawn it is a slow and steady process.
By the middle of summer, bass will all be spawned out, and will have settled into their summer haunts. This is where understanding those end points where they are going becomes so crucial. At this point, a good percentage of bass are out in deeper water on the main lake. These fish reside on main lake points, ditches, offshore humps, brush piles, or like on some of the famous TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) lakes (Guntersville, Kentucky Lake, and Pickwick Lake) they can be found on ledges. Although a vast majority of the bass population can be found in this deeper water, do not be discouraged if offshore fishing isn’t you cup of tea. Luckily, there is a percentage of fish that stay shallow this time of year. These fish can be found in bushes, laydowns, creek channel swing banks, and emergent, as well as submergent vegetation beds.
Around the end of summer and beginning of fall is when things really begin to get tricky! You may notice some of the offshore brush piles, or main lake points you were catching them on all summer just aren’t holding that many bass, if any at all anymore. So where did they go? By now you’re probably seeing big bait balls being pushed to the surface, and into pockets getting hammered. This marks the beginning of the early-fall feed. At this time of year, bass are already thinking about beefing up and getting ready for the winter to come. The good news is when this begins to happen, all you must do is find and follow the bait. Bass are chasing those baitfish around, so as the saying goes “find the bait, find the fish.” Also, not all bass will chase bait fish. Some of your bigger bass in the lake would rather set up in ambush spots like under docks, laydowns, and on main lake points waiting for bigger meals such as bluegill and perch, so keep that in mind this time of year.
Breaking down a season into sections helps tremendously. Bass are constantly changing their behaviors; it is up to us as anglers to adept to those changes and fish the conditions we are given on that day in order to be successful. If not, you will have a bad day out on the water. So, this summer adapt, and overcome the challenges these fish throw at you daily and I promise you will land more fish!
Tight Lines! – Greg Marshall – YouTube – Marshall Fishing