Dog Day Options

By Scott Norton

When I think about summertime fishing, I think of hot-slow fishing. I want to discuss the options we have to be successful this season. First, I want to talk about the baits. When I think about summertime baits, I think of top water baits and plastics. Things that you can fish slow or weedless. Before you make a decision of what bait to use, you must first decide what kind of bass you are going for.

If you’re hunting those early morning bass, I would go for those topwater lures. This will also work well fishing at night if you choose to get away from the heat of the day. If you have stained to dirty water you may want to fish with a slower action, such as a popper type of lure, to keep you in the strike zone longer. More than likely they will be close to solid objects, such as wood or rock. A Popping frog is a great way to catch bass trying to burrow deep under those overhangs on steep banks or under docks.

Once the sun gets higher in the sky, bass will do one of two things. That is, go for shade or go deep. This is a great time to pitch and flip with your favorite weedless plastic lures if you want to fish shallow. I think of those magnum worms when I think of going deep. Bass will congregate on those ledges and drop-offs on long tapering points. If you want a quality bite, go with a dark color such as, blue or your plum colors. If you want more bites, use a natural color like watermelon, pumpkin seed, or brown. Just keep it simple and slow. You can also rig them different ways to fit the situation.

Fishing grass will produce big bass looking to ambush prey in an oxygen rich environment. You will want to use a lure that can swim across the top of the grass, depending on the depth the grass has grown. If you are looking at grass in the deep, you can go with jerk baits, chatter baits, swim jigs, and lipless crank baits. Just know that the shallower the grass grows, you will either loose some of these baits or adapt them. If you are getting grass just inches below the surface, top water lures come back into play. In some places, the grass will mat up on the surface and those frogs are great for that situation.

Night fishing is one of my favorite times to fish. Top water lures that cover lots of water are the most fun way to catch them. If they will not bite top water, you will want to use a chatter bait or a spinnerbait. These baits either put off a vibration or water displacement that may play into their mood. If this does not work, use a jig or worm. They will usually bite one or the other, so if you get a bite off one of them put the other oneaway. Enjoy this season and discover what kind of fisherman you are.

There are lots of ways to get around the dog days of summer; just know you have options. There is something for everyone, so you just have to figure out what kind of summer fisherman you are. So have fun this season and I hope this helps.

Scott Norton is a Western North Carolina native. Born in Asheville, N.C., he is a long-time hunter, angler and weekend warrior.

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