My Top 8 Summer Bass Fishing Patterns By Rick Lawrence
Bass fishing in the summer is one of the best times to catch fish. The bass are incredibly active right now and can be caught in a variety of ways. The warmer water speeds up their metabolism, so they are constantly on the prowl. The key to catching bass in the summer is to look for cool water with low light conditions. Bass want to stay cool and out of the sun, for the most part, so that they can find an easy meal during the hot summer months.
I find bass in the summer are most active in the morning and evening. Sometimes, I can even catch them in the middle of the night. Fish like to be where the water is cooler, so at mid-day I will be fishing deeper than at the end of the day or early morning. If you’re in the shallows, look for shade. The key is to mix it up and not give up. With that said, here is a top 8 list of the best summertime bass fishing lures I have found. In this list, you will find the advantages and disadvantages to each of these techniques. The key to success is recognizing what the conditions call for and picking the presentations that will work best for the situation.
1 – Ned Rig
The Ned rig is one of the best summer bass fishing patterns because you can fish it at any depth. Plus, the bass eat it really well. I find the “Turd worm”, (AKA Ned rig) will help you explore any depth bass could be with confidence. This pattern works well in all types of structures, from grass to rock.
The Ned rig works best in more open water situations, such as when you are exploring and trying to find bass. The key to fishing this bait is to make sure you let it fall all the way to the bottom. Once the bait is on the bottom, twitch your rod tip to make it dance along. I find the key for the most bites is to maintain contact with the bottom, but sometimes the lift and drop method can be deadly for smallmouth.
2 – Weightless Salted worm
The weightless, heavily salted stickbait fished Tex-posed on a EWG worm hook is one of the best baits I have found for triggering lots of bites from big summertime bass. I use my signature bait, the Sink-N-Fool, but Senkos and Senko clones work well also. This type of bait is a mouthful for a bass, which is especially useful when they want to eat bigger meals to keep up with their summer diet needs.
A weightless, heavily salted bait is a great pattern to use when the bass are sitting in thick, shallow grass or other type of rough structure in the summer. It will slide through anything. The soft stick bait has a really natural fall, so it won’t spook the fish like other bigger baits will. Just cast it into a spot you think a bass will be in, let the bait fall all the way to the bottom, and let it sit there for a second or two. Around 90% of the bass will hit this bait while it is falling or just after it hits the bottom.
3 – Drop Shot
I like to use a drop shot in the summertime to get down to those deeper bass. The natural presentation of a drop shot and the speed for getting a finesse bait down deep makes this rig one of the best summer-time set ups for bass fishing.
A drop shot works best down deep or when you need to keep your bait above the thick vegetation. A 3/16oz. drop weight is a great all-around size to work in a variety of situations. I like to use a small, nose rigged swimbait, or small worm rigged wacky style.
4 – Topwater Frog
I love to use topwater buzz frogs in the summertime around thick grass and vegetation. This presentation works best when you have cover that creates a shade canopy for the bass. They will lay under those canopies and wait for creatures to come by. A frog worked over the top of those canopies can produce some amazing strikes.
In the summer, a topwater frog tends to work best in low light conditions such early morning or late evening, but if the cover is good enough, you can still catch them in the middle of the day. Work your frog over those scum mats that form in the summer. Use braided line and a heavy rod to be able to hook the bass well and haul them out of the slop.
5 – Spook/Popper
Fishing a topwater walk the dog or popper style bait in the summer is one of the most exciting ways to catch bass. I love the walk the dog and popper type bait for several reasons. Mainly, it draws strikes from bass that might be deeper. The other reason is that your hook-ups are much higher with all those treble hooks on the lure.
Here are a couple keys to fishing a spook or popper to produce the best results: walk them parallel to the bank. The further you cast it, the better. Use them in open water situations, on flats, and especially in clear water.
6 – Swimbait
A good swimbait works wonders for catching bass in the summer. I like to use a swimbait as a search lure to find where the fish are. You can cover a lot of shore line and get it swimming down deep to find those summer bass. Bass love to eat baitfish in the summer, so this makes a swimbait a perfect choice to catch them in the mid-summer months. I like to fish these on some type of weedless hook for the most success. A keel weighted, screw lock EWG hook, sized correctly for the bait, is all you need to catch fish on a swimbait.
7 – Crankbait
Bass fishing with a crankbait will produce good results in the summer. I’ve found that you need to look for bass to catch on crankbaits during the mid-summer months. Crankbaits work best when you bump them off of cover or bounce them along a rocky bottom. Try a crankbait in windy conditions or low light situations to be able to cover water and get them to bite. In the summer, the bigger the wobble the bait has, the better the results. You can catch some really big fish throwing large, deep-diving crankbaits.
8 – Bladed JigYou can use a chatter bait (AKA bladed jig) all summer to catch bass. I like to run some kind of trailer on all my bladed jigs. You will get a lot more bites with a trailer and it makes for a more realistic presentation. I fish them the most with a small paddle tail swimbait for a trailer. I just swim the bait along or let it bounce along the bottom. I let the jig sink to the bottom, then pull it sharply up to give it a quick, hard vibration before letting it sink again.