Summer Is Fire

By Scott Norton

Warm water brings hungry bass to action. When water is warm to hot, bass have to feed. Their metabolism demands calories period. Small to big bass are competing for food sources and competition is in full swing. This time of year, bass like to go down deep to find suitable water temperatures and to set up ambush points.

You’ll notice that, all of a sudden, the bite tapers off on the banks and you think that the bass have stopped biting. The answer to that is no, they have just moved to a deeper location. Ledges are the key. I have also noticed their choice of food has changed as well. I have personally witnessed bass seven pounds plus breaching the surface for yellow perch. Over the last few weeks, I have seen bass go from feeding on white lures to yellow lures, and it started with me losing the only white spinner bait I had during a catch. I tied on a yellow spinnerbait and “Boom!”, large bass from the first cast were murdering that bait. It wasn’t until a week later that I figured out what they were keying in on. I bought another white spinnerbait and a perch followed it all the way to the surface only to become the meal for a giant bass in pursuit. I thought I was seeing carp blowing up the surface but no, these were bass.

I got a clue from a local tackle shop called Dream Catcher Fishing Supply. I was there when a huge box of perch swim baits came in and had I known before, I would have been prepared for what I saw afterwards. The light finally went off in my head. I was in the middle of a feeding frenzy with lures they wanted nothing to do with. Makes me rethink the variety of bait I brought with me. I will now have something that mimics all sources of forage from now on. What I am trying to say is, don’t get stuck in a rut with one bait you have always had luck on. You have to change gears sometimes and branch out a little if you’re going to get the most out of your trip.

I did find some bass on the banks in the evenings eating top water. Larger bass were eating small bass and bluegill. The blow-ups were incredible. I was ready for this bite and I had something they could not resist. I went with a top water popper with a bass pattern that is made by Megabass. The first cast lands across the top of a big laydown. I gave it a few twitches and “Boom!”, a huge blow up followed by a beautiful display that a largemouth is known for. That pattern would last until sundown and the trip was a success but, I did learn something that I will be prepared for next time. The bass chasing the perch were unusually large and were schooling to run these fish down.

Scott Norton is a native of Western North Carolina. Born in Asheville, NC, he is a long time avid hunter, angler, and weekend warrior. He is a member of Southern Raft Supply’s prostaff team representing them in his Jackson Kayak Coosa FD.