The spawn is over, the weather is warming up, and bass are looking to replenish their fat storage after the hard spring. Summer is a fantastic time to fish for bass as long as you know how to do it efficiently.
On paper, summer is not the best season to fish for bass in most places. The weather could be too hot, bass can be too lethargic, and many other factors are at play. However, summer can be quite fruitful with the proper guidance.
Today, we will be breaking down some of the best bait for bass in the summer. Firstly, for this blog, the terms bait and lure will be used interchangeably. Usually, bait refers to organic matter and nothing man-made, but bass anglers usually don’t distinguish. Here are some of the best baits for summer bass fishing!
Jigs are excellent lures for so many situations throughout the year. Specifically for summer fishing, jigs can get the job done a lot of the time.
Generally, summer weather slows down bass and gets them deep because of how warm the water can get. Jigs are weighted baits that are excellent near structure. That weight allows you to get deep into the water column and target the bass that are sitting in those deep holes.
Jigs come in several styles, and the type you use depends on your situation. If there is a lot of structure, consider a football or flipping jig. If you want to cover a lot of water, go with a swim jig.
Although jig fishing is popular year-round, summer is a great time to throw them because of their ability to be subtle and access deeper parts of the waterway. This is where bass love to chill during the dog days of summer.
2. Creature Baits
Oftentimes, creature baits are paired with jigs, but they are also perfect on their own. Plastic creature baits are craws, lizards, beaver baits, and more. These are great for flipping structure and dropping into those deep holes.
The best way to present these baits is with a Texas rig. This allows for a weedless presentation that moves through the water very well. This allows you to target structure and flip for those big bass in the shade.
Especially in the early morning and late afternoon, use creature baits to really take advantage of those small feeding windows.
Crankbaits are fantastic lures, especially in the summer. However, please proceed with caution because they could miss the mark on those hot summer days. So, using crankbaits in the summer has some stipulations.
Firstly, look at deep-diving crankbaits. These lures have differing depths according to their bill size. When the water is warmer, the deeper the better. Bass love the cool water down below, so pick a deep-diving crankbait.
The other stipulation is the temperature. When it is hot out, bass are more lethargic. So, you can counteract this by fishing in the coolest parts of the day when the bass are more likely to move. This means dusk and dawn are the best times to throw a crankbait.
One of the more unique lures to make this list is the tube. In fact, tube fishing is super underrated amongst the bass fishing community. I love using Tubes in a Texas or Carolina rig, which always never fails to catch the big bass.
Like we have already stated, bass love to find holes and go deep in the summer. Tubes are perfect for dragging along the bottom and finding these holes. They make tube hooks that have weighted aspects to the rig. So, the presentation looks natural and works seamlessly.
Now, tubes are most known for smallmouth bass fishing, so if that is a species worth targeting for you, keep tubes in mind. Also, they are great for river fishing because the bottoms are very detailed and have a lot of good features for bass to live near.
Tubes are soft plastic baits that are fairly cheap and very underrated. So, it won’t break the bank to go through a bag of them.
Spinnerbaits are similar to crankbaits because they are moving baits that should be modified in the summer. For all of the same reasons, spinnerbaits should be fished low and slow in the summer. This is known as slow rolling.
Slow rolling is a strategy that presents the spinnerbait so that it is not too intimidating for the bass. When the weather is hot, they do not want to exert a lot of energy. Keeping the pace slow allows the bass to take a bite without working too much.
To add even more enticing action, add a trailer to the hook. One of the best trailers is a plastic swimbait that adds a perfect layer of depth to the presentation.
Swimbaits are super versatile in the summer, mostly because there are two different variations, and each brings the good perks that work well in the summer.
The first type of swimbait is soft. The body of a soft plastic swimbait is pliable and moves freely for the most part. The most popular type of soft swimbait is the paddle tail. These have great action and can be added to a swimbait hook or texas rig. These are used to imitate baitfish swimming along in the water column.
The other type is the hard-body swimbait. These are usually of the glide or joint variety. These embody full-on bait fish in immense detail. These are stand-alone lures that can be super fruitful in the summer.
Hard swimbaits can be anywhere from $10 to over $300, depending on the materials, detail, and where it was made. For example, the high-end Japanese market swimbaits can fetch hundreds of dollars just for one.
Both types of swimbaits are good in the summer because you can slow them down and speed them up at will, without ruining the action. So, be sure to look into using swimbaits this summer.
Topwater poppers are perfect for those cool summer mornings when the fish are feeding. As the day warms up, you should stay away from topwater lures. Both those morning and evening hours are perfect for making a racquet on top.
Poppers specifically do really well in the summer because of their impact on the water’s surface. Many topwater lures do a great job, but the popper’s design and motion really fires up feeding bass in the summer.
Poppers float on the surface and have a cupped mouth to make an impact on the water. As you twitch your rod back, the cup collects the water and shoots it forward. This causes the bass to think that a potential meal is struggling on the surface.
Topwater fishing is super fun, no matter what lure you use. Watching a bass jump out of the water and demolish a lure is exhilarating. Keep the popper in mind for those early summer mornings.
Throughout the year, bass eat a whole assortment of things. This list I made from experience and what is the most successful for me in the summer. When the days are hot, and the bass aren’t wanting to move a whole lot, you need to mix it up. These lures allow you to do that. Remember to take advantage of the cool mornings and sunsets when bass are more likely to feed. This allows the lures to really put in work and deliver results. Good luck, and happy summer bass fishing!