Tips For Summertime Bass

by Capt. Jake Davis

With the summertime months rolling in, here are some tactics which I use to help clients catch summertime bass. Locating fish during the summer can be a task. I start my search around points, grass lines, off-shore structure and ledges. The primary line-up is hard body topwater baits, spinnerbaits, 8 to 12 inch worms, football head jigs and crankbaits.

Is there anything more exciting than the explosion of a giant fish on a Rapala PopR or a Heddon Spook early in the morning or late evening? I think not! Working topwater lures along grass lines or rock points can produce good numbers of fish and good quality fish as well. At night, be sure to pause the lure every few feet allowing the fish to locate and target the lure.

During the day, my primary search baits are crankbaits around deep grass lines and ledges. My favorite crank for covering deep water is a Rapala DT 16 (12-16 feet) and DT 20 that dives to 16-20 feet. Color selection depends upon water clarity and sunlight penetration. With stained water or with heavy cloud cover, I’ll opt for more chartreuse in my crankbaits. At night I’ll use a black or blue crankbait.

When employing deep diving crankbaits, it is imperative to have the proper rod and reel set up. I use Duckett White Ice Cranking Rod; 7′ 11″ medium heavy action armed with a 5.4-1 LEW’s reel, with 8 to 12 pound test Vicious Ultimate or Pro Elite fluorocarbon.

Largemouths often go feeding right after dark in summer, especially on the full moon nights and will react vigorously to a 1/2 to 1-ounce heavy vibration, big profile of dark colored spinnerbaits such as black/red or black/blue with a single #6 Colorado or Indiana blade. Cast the spinnerbait along the edges of grass beds and over rocky points, humps and ledges. Let the bait helicopter to the bottom on a tight line with the rod tip held high. When the spinnerbait touches down, drop the rod tip and take up the slack. Most simply “slow roll” the bait, but you should also try to rip the bait up 3 to 6 feet, and let it helicopter back to the bottom.

When the fish are stuck to the bottom day or night, a football head jig is the go-to set up. I prefer a ½ or 3/4-ounce Tightline football head matched to a Missile Baits Twin Turbo Tail or D-Bomb when they want a bulked up profile. Make some changes to your jig; first trim the weed guard down to 2-4 strands. When picking a trailer, use a contrasting color. I have found a slow retrieve with a shake or twitch of the rod tip on the bottom to be best.

Another excellent go-to tactic is a Texas rigged plastic such as an 8.75 inch Tomahawk Worm or creature bait like the D-Bomb. Both of these plastics will move lots of water during a slow presentation. My Texas rig is made up of a 3/8 to 3/4 ounce tungsten weight followed by a bead and 4/0 hook. I recommend a 7′ to 7’6″ heavy action Micro Magic or White Ice rod from Duckett Fishing paired with a LEW’s 7:1 reel with either Vicious Ultimate or Pro Elite fluorocarbon in 15 to 17 pound test. You want a rod that provides the longest cast with the sensitivity to feel the lightest of strikes along with the power and leverage to set the hook!

Capt Jake Davis is a USCG Licensed professional fishing guide on Lake Guntersville, Tim’s Ford Lake, Normandy and Nickajack Lakes; to reserve your “Day on the Lake” visit or call/email 615-613-2382,