BRIAN JOHNSON ON OUTDOORS: Tips for a great catch this summer

Published 4:31 pm Monday, May 27, 2019

Now that the kids are out of school for the summer, many families will be heading to the lake to enjoy some of their cherished vacation time.

While most people prefer to fish in the spring and fall, bass fishing in the summertime can be very rewarding. Here are a few simple tactics that will help fill your stringer this summer.

The first tip is a simple one. Fish shallow early and late. By early, I mean the first hour and last hour of daylight. These are typically the best two hours of the fishing day. It is imperative to be on the water as soon as you can see, and to stay until you can’t see in the evening. How long of a break you take in between is up to you. As good as the first and last hour are, the first and last 30 minutes are even better, so be sure to be fishing during these times. Have all of your baits tied on the night before so you won’t be fumbling around in the early dawn looking for tackle.

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If given the choice, fish the bank that the wind is blowing into. The reason for this is fairly simple: The waves and wind will blow plankton and other things that small bait fish feed on into the shoreline. As this happens the baitfish will move up to feed. Once the baitfish move up, the early morning and late evening feeding bass are sure to follow. Remember that bass are sensitive to light which is why this shallow feeding usually takes place early, late, during the night, or on cloudy days. When the sun comes out, Mr. Bass either goes deep or he goes into cover for shade.

This brings me to my final tip: Once the sun comes up and starts beating down on your head, either head deeper or head for cover. This is where a fisherman who knows how to use electronics has a great advantage. Scan the main lake and secondary points along with any major drop offs, ledges, or brush piles that you may be aware of. Once you find the fish on your graph, try various techniques until you start getting fish.

During the summer months many bass will hang out in the 15- to 25-foot deep range. If they stay shallow, your success will typically be limited to early and late. If you don’t want to go deep, your other option is to fish heavy cover such as grass or timber. The bass will typically stay tight to this cover so flipping in deep willows where available or punching grass can often do the trick.

One thing is for sure: You can’t catch them sitting on the couch, so load up the boat and head to the lake! May The Lord bless you and I pray that you make memories that last a lifetime!

Brian Johnson, originally of Port Neches, is pastor of First Baptist Church of Winnie, owner of and outdoors writer for The News.


See also: BRIAN JOHNSON ON OUTDOORS: Boat buying guide