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20 May

How to Catch Bass in Summer: Top 8 Strategies for Hot Weather Fishing

Bass Fishing Tips , How To

Summer is often one of the most fished seasons, but unfortunately, it’s also one of the more difficult times to fish for multiple reasons. So much so that many anglers think they shouldn’t even bother on the hottest days. 

Well, we want to help you get through that rough spot with 8 strategies for catching bass in summer.

Let’s get started!

Are Bass Active in the Summer? 

Yes, bass are active in the summer. Indeed, They’re active year-round. What you need to look at when thinking about how to catch bass in summer is the water temperature to determine how good of a fishing trip you’ll have.

Bass tend to be the most active in temps between 39 and 80 degrees with the far ends of that range showing a slowdown in activity. However, they will keep biting up to 98 degrees. It just gets a lot harder to provoke them into a strike. 

Should You Fish on Very Hot Days? Is it Worth it?

You probably already knew that bass bite in the summer seeing it’s the most popular time for casual anglers to hit the water, but is it worth it for someone who takes bass fishing seriously? Is it worth it to fish on the hottest, most uncomfortable days? 


It’s kind of like bass fishing in winter. Most anglers stow their rods away throughout the winter, and they think bass aren’t going to bite, or the fishing will be so slow it isn’t worth it. Well, the top bass tournament takes place in the winter.

A man fishing for bass in summer.

Summer isn’t quite as extreme, and even on the hottest days, you can catch bass if you put your mind to it. 

This is a must-have experience for serious bass anglers. We don’t blame the average casual angler just trying to have fun with his kids if he doesn’t do it, but serious anglers need the hardship.

It’s a new experience that pushes your skills to the limit and forces you to adopt new techniques. 

However, and this is a huge recommendation, we think you should do it safely. If you’re fishing in high temperatures, make sure you’re wearing skin protectant or proper clothing, bring plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, and of course, make sure you have a way to call for help in an emergency.

This is true when you do any type of outdoor activity in extreme temperatures. Fishing is no different.

How to Catch Bass in Summer: The Tips

Now that we’ve gotten some basic info out of the way, it’s time to cover the strategies to help you catch bass in summer. 

Here are 8 things you can do during your summer bass fishing trips to land more bass and have a fun time regardless of how hot it is. 

1: Fish the Current

When you’re hot at home, what do you do? You turn on the air conditioner. That’s essentially what bass does, too. 

When it’s approaching the peak temperature for bass activity, they don’t just sit there and bake. They hop in whatever current they can find and let it cool them down. 

This makes it extremely easy to find bass in hotter temps

The trick is to work your lure in a way that mimics that action. For example, if you’re using a swimbait, buzz it with the current. Don’t rip it across or fight the current. You want to present your lure as if it’s a bait fish doing the same thing the bass are

The issue with this strategy is twofold, though. First, ponds don’t have currents. So, you’re out of luck with that. 

Even if you’re fishing a lake or river, you have to focus on your presentation more. With the water moving, it can be difficult to adjust your presentation properly. Especially if you’re used to using a particular fishing lure in calm water.

2: Fish in the Shade

If the water is extremely hot, the bass isn’t floating around in the middle of the lake looking for a tan. They’re trying to cool down just like we do. If they’re not in a current, they’re in the shade.

A man fishing in the shade to catch bass in summer.

The best place to look is underneath any trees along the bank. If they cast a long shadow over the water, the bass are probably enjoying themselves. The water temperature can be several degrees lower. 

If there aren’t any suitable spots, you can also look for other sources of shade.

The side of stilt buildings and piers facing away from the sun, thick vegetation along the bank, and similar spots are all likely to have bass in them when it’s extremely hot. Especially in ponds where there aren’t currents to take advantage of. 

You can fish these spots just like you would under optimal conditions. At most, you might want to slow your retrieval down to annoy the bass as much as possible.

3: Adopt a Fast Retrieval Method

This sounds counterintuitive if you’ve fished in the extreme cold. During the harshest part of winter, you usually want to slow down to catch a bass. However, even in temps when bass starts to slow their activities during the summer, you want to rip your lure through the water

In the heat, bass are irritable. They’re not trying to conserve energy, but they are angry. When you rip a buzz bait or spinner in front of them, it’s like the last straw breaking the camel’s back, and they go on the attack. 

This doesn’t mean to just use a straight retrieval and turn your reel’s crank as fast as you can. You can add twitches and pauses just like any other time. However, you don’t want to take forever on every cast.

Keep the lure moving and move it several feet at a time. You want to maximize how annoying your lure is in the water.

4: Use a Reaction Bait

This goes along with our previous tip very well. Don’t just buzz any lure across the water column. Use a lure designed to annoy bass

When you use this tip with the previous one, you end up with a combo that is practically guaranteed to make a bass bite

Great options for this are crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, spinner baits, buzz baits, and similar baits that make a lot of noise and vibration. 

Swim jigs and football jigs can be useful if you tip them with appropriate soft plastics such as paddle tail swimbaits and crawfish soft plastics, but if you’re just starting this method, stick to the first group we suggested.

Those are extremely easy to use, and they generate a ton of action on their own.

5: Fish Deeper in the Water Column

In the summer, the deeper portion of the lake is going to be cooler than the shallows. Bass might retreat there for a bit of relief. However, bait fish also retreat to the depths. So, there’s a second reason for you to check there. 

You can use the reaction baits we listed to do this, but you have to let them sink. This typically requires you to cast it out and let it sit for a while. If you try the shallows and don’t get any bites, a better idea might be to switch to a football jig with a very detailed creature bait.

The more antennae and legs the lure has, the better. Get something with tons of action that can sink deep and roll around.

6: Stop and Drop

This tip has to do with your retrieval method. Going fast is important, but keep in mind that the lure keeps moving even after you stop reeling

A good strategy to use is to “stop and drop”. Reel your lure in, stop, and wait a couple of seconds for it to drop a couple of feet. This will give the fish time to think about striking, but it will keep the lure moving

It’s best to do this with very passive lures. Spinner baits, buzz baits, and similar baits do well because when you let them drop a bit, the lure will erratically change its action and keep making tons of vibration and noise

This won’t always work, but it should be the first method you use.

7: Fish at Night

You have not fully embraced bass fishing until you have gone out late at night and seen how energetic the bass are. A perfect spring morning with tons of top water action has nothing on a summer night after scorching heat. 

If you get out on the lake under the moonlight, especially after a very hot day, you’re practically guaranteed to see bass leaping from the water to snatch dragonflies, mosquitoes, and tons of other things right out of the air. 

Of course, this means that topwater lures are a great option

Get a popper that makes a big splash, cast it out under the more lit-up parts of the lake, and you will likely get one of the most aggressive bites you’ve ever gotten. 

Of course, there are disadvantages to this. Mosquitoes and other bugs will be out, and you’ll want to make sure you have some sort of protection. Otherwise, your exciting bass fishing trip might end quickly. 

8: Wait for the Feeding Frenzy

During the dog days of summer, look ahead for those 1 to 2 small magical windows of opportunity that usually open up in July and August

When it has been hot for several weeks in a row and the fish are lethargic, any weather event that cools the water a few degrees will often create a 1 to 2 day feeding frenzy.  This could be thicker than normal cloud cover, a cool front, and cooler than normal rain. 

If you don’t want to miss these rare productive windows of opportunity during the dog days of summer, our bass fishing app will deliver mobile notifications to you up to 10 days ahead of time.  This is usually enough to juggle your schedule, knock out your “Honey Do List”, or whatever it is you need to do to not miss those few magical summer hot weather breaks that get the bass feeding. 

What’s the Best Way to Fish in the Summer? 

The best way to fish in the summer is at nighttime and from a boat. Not only are the fish far more active due to the temperature drop, but if you have a boat, you can reach spots that other anglers can’t.

A man finding the best way to catch bass in summer.

Not to mention, it’s a great experience to float around under the moonlight, and it’s something every angler should experience

If you’re on the bank, try to look for bugs. A lot of the nighttime action happens on the surface because of all the mosquitoes and similar insects. If you can spot the bugs flying around the surface of the water, you’ll know exactly where to cast. 

Of course, night fishing only helps on the hottest days. If you’re fishing on a summer day around 70 degrees, you can take your standard approach during the day and be perfectly fine.

Are There Other Times to Plan Summer Bass Fishing Trips? 

Nighttime isn’t the only time bass go wild. Another thing you should consider when trying to catch bass in the summer is overcast conditions.

If there’s a particularly cloudy day, get out on the water and try to catch some bass. The overcast dramatically lowers the water temperature, and the bass will jump into action.

Final Thoughts

We hope that these strategies will help you catch bass in summer, but you can take it a step further with BassForecast.

Our bass fishing app provides you with tips and tricks you won’t get anywhere else, real-time weather updates, a spot-on solunar, and more.

Check it out today.