• 57°

BRIAN JOHNSON — Bass find heavy cover in hot weather

August in southeast Texas means one thing — HOT weather.

In fact, it is not uncommon to see the mercury rise into the triple digits for several hours a day and heat indexes of 115 degrees are not unheard of either.

While many outdoorsmen choose to spend their off time on the couch watching fishing videos in the air conditioning, there are still a few die-hard anglers who are willing to brave the heat in search of giant bass. Sometimes, I am a die-hard angler and find myself on the lake wondering if I have lost my sanity when the weather is so brutal and the sun threatens to melt my fishing gear. I ask my self why I feel the need to torture myself.

Bass fisherman Taylor Bertrand caught a nice bass on Lake Sam Rayburn. (Courtesy photo)

The truth is simply that I love fishing year-round, regardless of the weather.

Once the water temperature goes into the upper 80s and above, you can almost guarantee that bass will be in one of two places.  They will either be deep or they will be in heavy cover.

The deep bass will likely be situated off of points near creeks or rivers, on deep brush piles, or near ledges and steep drop offs. It is common for the bass to group up in these areas so that when you find one, you find several. The fishermen who have the most success fishing deep are typically well-versed at using sonar and chart plotters.

Common tactics for this type of fishing are Carolina rigs, deep diving crank baits, and drop shot fishing.

The bass that aren’t deep can typically be found in heavy cover such as lily pads, hydrilla, and other types of grass. The two most common ways to catch these bass will be with a frog or by punching the grass.

Grass punching is a technique in which the angler uses a 1-ounce or heavier jig or creature bait to punch through the top of the grass and fish the open water that lies beneath the surface. Both frogs and jigs in heavy cover are known to produce lunker bass, so there is always the chance of catching your personal best in heavy cover. Hang on to your rod!

As a side note, when fishing heavy cover, it is always best to fish the heavy cover that is close to deep water because often times bass will travel back and forth from the cover to the depths.

Although this information isn’t guaranteed to put you directly on a pile of lunkers, it should at least get you headed in the right direction. If you go fishing in the heat, be sure to stay hydrated and wear plenty of protection from the sun and remember, any time that you get to fish is a blessing from God!

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