When fishing slows on your local lake because of hot weather, here’s some options.
Head to the local smallmouth river with a bunch of hellgrammites. The live hellgrammites are ugly and mean enough to bite you–but smallmouths love them. Run a size 4 or 6 hook under their collar then add one or two split shots. Drift them in and around current breaks where smallmouths hold.
If you live in trout country, you can catch stream trout with salted minnows, crayfish and leeches, but nothing works better than a worm. Thread a whole garden worm or half a nightcrawler onto a size 8 or 10 hook; cover the shank and leave the rest to dangle.
When you see panfish along shallow shoreline cover, thread a small garden worm onto a size 8 or 10 light-wire hook, letting just the very ends dangle. Now tie on a small bobber to keep the bait 1 to 2 feet beneath the surface. Add a split shot and cast it to edges and pockets of weedbeds, and around timber.
Then just have fun!
Bill Dance is host of "Bill Dance Fishing"