Now that the spawn is over, you will find bass just about anywhere, from 30’ or deeper, all the way to 6” of water. A lot of times, largemouth will be feeding up shallow in the mornings, then move out to deeper water during the day. We’d like to share some of our favorite techniques for targeting summer bass.
The first season that comes to mind when someone brings up topwater fishing is summer. There’s just nothing like getting on that early morning topwater bite. You can throw a variety of baits, whether it be a buzzbait, popper, walker, wake bait, or a plethora of other styles. We really like the Bass Craft Crankbaits Pop'N Walk and Bass Craft Crankbaits Pro Walker 5.0. Both baits are made out of balsa wood and have an action that plastic lures simply cannot replicate.
Don’t forget to turn on your Garmin VIRB because you don’t want to miss out on capturing those explosive topwater strikes.
We love throwing big swimaits in the summer. There’s obviously a time and place for them, but if you’re searching for a kicker or just want to catch a big fish, pick up a reasonably priced 6”+ swimbait such as the Spro BBZ-1. For the serious tournament angler, we really like the 22nd Century Triple Trout, Bull Shad, Jackall Gantarel and Deps Slide Swimmer.
If you’re fishing on the Tennessee River, you know that deep cranking ledges is a textbook summertime pattern. You can’t go wrong with a Strike King 10XD, which can reach depths of over 25 feet deep, but make sure you have a deep cranking rod that can handle a 2 oz. bait. The Rapala DT 20 is another great deep diver that can be thrown on a lot more rods than the 10XD, due to it only weighing 7/8 oz.
You can’t go wrong with having a squarebill tied on during the summer months. For a balsa crankbait, we love the Bass Craft Crankbaits SB 1.5 & 2.5. It’s perfect for throwing around brush piles and deflecting off of standing timber due to its buoyancy. If you are fishing rocky banks or riprap, tie on a plastic crankbait such as the 6th Sense Crush 50X.
You can fish a spinnerbait shallow or deep, but most opt to fish them shallow. Spinnerbaits are great for locating fish in the summer. If you can’t pick one off in the morning on a topwater lure, try throwing a spinnerbait before moving to your next spot. Don't forget to put a trailer hook on to increase your hook-up ratio, as bass are known for short-striking a spinnerbait.
One of the most exciting and frustrating ways to catch and subsequently lose fish is by throwing a lipless crankbait. Most lipless cranks come with a smaller rear hook, and a lot of times, this is what the fish gets hooked on. We’ve lost way too many key fish at the boat throwing a lipless crankbait during a tournament but using one is a great way to catch a bunch of fish in the grass. We really like the SPRO Aruku Shad and the 6th Sense Snatch 70 FRS.
There are many different types of jigs, and you can use just about any of them to put fish in the boat year-round. However, in the summer, nothing beats catching a huge largemouth off a deep shell bed. We like to throw a stand-up football jig like the Buckeye Football Mop Jig. It’s super easy to drag across the bottom and the jighead is powder coated to resist chipping. Its heavy living rubber skirt is tied with several strands of silicone skirting to create a profile underwater that is irresistible to big bass.
Outside of our favorite baits, we also love using our fishfinders and combo units to help us locate the fish. There are a variety of products to help beginners, pros and everything in between. You can look at the full line of fishing electronics that Garmin has to offer here.
Do you have a helpful summertime fishing tip? Tag us on social media! You can find us at Garmin Fish & Hunt. Make sure to share your fishing and hunting photos with us using #FishGarmin and #HuntGarmin.