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Summer Bass Fishing: How to Find & Catch Bass in the Heat

There are a lot of anglers who struggle to catch bass during the summer. The good news is once you understand bass behavior and movement during the summer they are extremely predictable and much easier to catch.

Where Bass Go During the Summer

Where bass go during the summer depends on the type of water you are fishing. Below you will find a breakdown for each kind of fishery.

Highland Reservoirs

Bass on highland reservoirs will split off during the summer. Some will stay up shallow, but the vast majority will head out to deeper water.

These deeper bass can be found grouped up in two primary locations:

  • Open water around main lake points
  • Offshore structure such as: humps, ledges, and creek channel bends

If you have electronics, these fish can be fairly easy to find and catch.

Lowland Reservoirs

Lowland reservoirs are similar highland reservoirs when it comes to bass movement during the summer. The majority of bass will leave the backs of coves and head to deeper water. These bass will setup on ledges around the current.

The bass that stay shallow will stay in the backs of coves and will seek out grass and vegetation.

Natural Lakes

On natural lakes and ponds, the water level doesn’t fluctuate nearly as much as reservoirs. This allows grass and other vegetation grow much further out until light doesn’t penetrate deep enough for it to grow. This will create a clear edge of vegetation. The largest bass on natural lakes will be along these clean edges of vegetation.

There will also be a population of bass on natural lakes that stay in the back of coves up super shallow. These will be much smaller but can be fun if you want to catch a large number of fish.

Rivers and Delta Systems

During the summer on rivers, creeks, and delta systems, bass are really predictable. The summer heat will boost a bass metabolism and they will seek out heavy current.

The largest bass will hold on the first piece of cover just out of heavy current. They will be facing the current, waiting for their next meal float by.

These are the general patterns you will see for each body of water. Day-to-day you might see exceptions to these depending on the weather.

How to Find Bass During the Summer

Now that you have an understanding of bass movement during the summer, let’s go over where to find them. In the summer the key thing to look for is shadows. Bass don’t want to be in the direct sun during the summer.

Bass that move into vegetation, will look for the thickest vegetation. If you find a downed tree floating in the middle of vegetation that’s another great place to target. Bass want the darkest shadows they can find. You want to looks for areas that stick out.

If you’re fishing a body of water without grass, it’s still all about shadows. Look for docks or overhanging trees. If there is nowhere for bass to find shade then they will for sure be at the color line.

The color line is the depth where the light stops penetrating down. Bass will sit right on this line and use it as their shade. In this case, bass will sit on the line and look up, watching for a meal. This scenario is when a topwater bait really does well.

Final Thoughts

During the heat of the summer many anglers make the mistake of only fishing in the morning. Those anglers are missing out on catching a lot of fish. During the midday heat, because bass as so shadow driven, they are even more predictable than they are during the morning.