July brings the summer’s hottest days. Thankfully June rains brought our lake levels back up to give the fish better access to the heavy cover they love to get in during the summer months. The late day rains also produce running water – find some current and usually the bait and bass are close by. July is not only a hot month in temperature, but in bass fishing as well. When the water gets summertime hot, the oxygen becomes low in the deeper parts of the lakes, forcing the fish to move into shallower water with dense vegetation where the oxygen is rich.
Grab your flipping sticks! Pitching small profile crawfish baits, like the Zoom U Vibe Speed Craw or the Gambler BB Cricket, at the base of reeds or in pad pockets will surely entice a bite any time of day. The low light conditions of early morning or late evening are highly productive around the dense cover using a frog type bait or a swimming jig with a trailer. Try slowly walking a Booyah Pad Crasher over top the pads, pausing regularly to help increase your chances at a strike. Later in the day deep water grass edges and the old river channels in both Lake Harris and Little Lake Harris are good. Find the eel grass or offshore hydrilla near hard bottom in Lake Dora or Lake Beauclair and throw large deep running crank baits, soft plastic swim baits or Carolina rig to produce bites from bigger fish. Find the bait and you will find the bass.
Bluegill, shellcracker and red ear stumpknockers are on the last of their spawning cycles and are still productive. Target with grass shrimp, red wigglers, or crickets under docks or close to the lily pads in the shallows. Watch out for the afternoon storms and be safe, take a kid fishing for these tasty eaters and make a memory that will last a lifetime.