Smallmouth Bass in the Summertime
in the middle of summer offer some of the best action in the heat of
the day. While most species we tend to target morning and evening the
smallies can be coerced to ‘play
all day. Not that this is the easiest time to catch these agreeable
fish; it is the easiest fish to catch during the day this time of year.
And the techniques employed can be used anytime.
It might be counter-intuitive, but even in the heat of the day top water
techniques will often catch the largest fish of the day. Most likely
though it will require some perseverance and precision; to entice
strikes. These hot day smallies will be hunkered down and a tad on the
stubborn or even lazy side. They will be seeking out shelter from
helpful undercuts, snags, low lying shade trees or structure. It can be
shocking the shallowness these fish are comfortable in. The precision
though; required to get them to leave their comfort can be maddening. A
cast just a few inches too short will like not tantalize them. To compound the problem a well placed to water
offering often is ignored for what may seem like eternity. A great
cast is most often followed by no action whatsoever. And then comes the
mental debate of whether to let popper or diver sit, strip, or pick up
entirely and try somewhere else. It is not uncommon to decide to pick
up your bug, just to have it by a lurking bass.
The bass can be scattered and many a bassy
looking spots can be simply void of fish for whatever reason. Returning
later in the day, to water previously void of fish can prove
productive. Whether it is sunlight, underwater activity, or bass logic,
bass will re-locate and set back down. If after exhausting all top water locations and options
and well placed clouser minnow
drifted through deep seams or swung through a tail out especially those
that offer nearby cover can be productive; the same parameters apply
though proximity is crucial.
When a strike does occur let the bass help
you in the hook set. Many a fish are lost on pre-mature sets by the
angler. Allow the fish to turn before setting the hook, like their
pre-strike movement their strike is bound to be less energetic and a too
quick or vicious set will just rip the fly away. As with all things
this time of year patience and perseverance are key.