It’s hot outside, and the fish are also feeling the heat. Thus, I want to think about the body of water I’m going to fish and look at its character. Is it a lake, river or tidal, and is it in the south or the north? The toughest place to fish is a lake with no moving current, as the bass get real sluggish in the hot weather.
Now first off, if I have a choice, I’m heading north to smallmouth waters, and believe me, these waters also offer some great largemouth fishing. The water is cooler in your northern lakes, and there are a lot more bass in these waters. Some great places to fish are the Thousand Islands, Lake Champlain, Lake Erie and St. Clair. Tons of smallmouth inhabit these waters, and it makes for a great trip to visit these lakes. Fishing is unbelievable in the hot months. When you are able to catch big smallmouth all day long, it just doesn’t get any better.
If you visit these lakes, all you need are some Bass Pro Shop’s Slim Dogs for top water action.
Now you are in business to load your NITRO boat with smallmouth.
If you want to fish for largemouth, try a Zoom Horny toad, a jig and pig, and a top water bait. One other killer bait for smallies or largemouth is to take a Zoom Fish Doctor and fish it wacky style. Look for outside grass lines, and if that's not working, get over in the grass and try frogs or punching, and you can't go wrong.
One thing to remember if you're draggin a tube or drop shot; you need to fish slow. It seems like to me, very seldom does a smallmouth want a fast-moving plastic bait. You can go along and watch you Raymarine unit and actually see the smallies on the bottom. Just drop dwon to them, and they will take the bait almost every time. If you see any kind of structure, especially a rock, drop to it and fish will usually be there.
Fluorocarbon line is a must when smallmouth fishing, and I usually go with Bass Pro Shops fluorocarbon in 8-lbs. test but if you can get by with heavier, use it. A Bass Pro Shops' medium action 6' 8" Carbon lite rod works just perfect.
Now, if we are in rivers, we are looking for current and hopefully you have it. Two places to look for bass first are creek mouths and river bends with ledges.
A deep-diving Bass Pro Nitro crankbait or a Zoom Old Monster worm fished on a Carolina rig are my favorite techniques to try. Sometimes the bass don't want a big owrm, and I will go to the Zoom Centipede and get strikes. This is a slow process, but if you find the right ledge, it can be on fire.
Tidal fishing to me is always good in the summer months because you have moving water almost all day, and the bass feed shallow all the time. There is plenty of oxygen in shallow water, and this keeps the bass moving and feeding. Some places in the tidal waters there will be more current than others, and I like the faster-moving water the best. Move with the tides all day, and you can stay in productive waters.
August can be tough, but iwht the right moves and the right body of water, you can have some great trips. Again, if you have a vacation in mind, try to hit one of the northern lakes and give the smallmouth a chance. I promise, you will go back.
Please thank all the military personally when you pass them for their service to our country and for defending our freedom.