Summertime fishing can get tough. Hot weather can have an impact…yep, we have that. Fish tend to go deep and find cover. Sometimes that gets out of reach of an angler.
Another biological reason that fishing can get tough, especially in larger impoundments, is that all the baitfish have grown as well. Most species of baitfish are at their peak numbers for the year and the fish you are after are eating well. In short, the fish don’t need what you are offering. That’s when fishing really gets tough!
When I start thinking that this is the problem I’m facing, I head to smaller bodies of water. Smaller lakes, ponds and particularly streams are all productive fisheries, but I don’t think they have the “explosion” of food sources that larger lakes and reservoirs in the region experience. That means the fish in these bodies of water are still hungry and more likely to chase after what you are tossing to them.
I recently decided to make a small water assault and I took my Mugs in the Morning radio show co-host, Weldon Umphress, with me. I wanted to introduce him to my jigging pole technique.
Umphress is an accomplished angler, but the majority of his fishing has been for largemouth bass in Texas. The majority of his tackle is geared for this type of fishing, too.
“I’ve heard you talk about your ‘creek fishing’ with your high-tech cane poles, but I have never had a chance to try it before,” Umphress said. “I’m looking forward to this!”
Our initial stop was a smaller stream, maybe 30 yards across. The stream had a bend at the spot I wanted to fish and there was a lot of rip-rap lining the banks. The rip-rap is perfect habitat for many species of fish. I showed Umphress how to rig up one of the jigging poles and he was ready to go. It didn’t take long before he had a fish on.
Our next stop was a similar stream, but a little smaller. Umphress was getting the hang of this style of fishing. Within minutes, he had another fish on. Another 30 minutes went by and he had landed several more by just following his bobber as it drifted in the current a few feet from the bank.
“I can sure see why you like this kind of fishing…its fun!” Umphress said. “They are not big fish, but this is really enjoyable. And all this is close to home.”
Being close to home is a big plus. You probably have several small water spots close to where you live. Even though gas prices have dipped a bit, you don’t want to have to spend your “fishing time” driving. Smaller streams and ponds can offer you some great fishing and you won’t even burn a half of a tank of gas. Start checking out these areas for some good fishing.
Want some professional advice? If you are out there looking for bass in the heat, here’s a tip from professional bass angler and multiple tournament champion, Kelly Jordon.
“Bass go deep in this kind of weather and you have to get down deep to find them,” Jordon said. “I like using big crankbaits this time of the year, especially if I have to fish during the day.”
"Deep cranking, typically in the 10 to 20-foot depth range, is absolutely at its best during the heat of the summer because fish tend to gather in large schools close to baitfish, and a crankbait imitates that baitfish better than any other lure," Jordon continued. ”During the summer and hot periods like now, bass will congregate on the ends of deep points; on top of ridges and other high spots. Submerged roadbeds are a great place to look.”
"The most common way to fish a point is to keep your boat in deeper water and cast shallow so your retrieve brings the crankbait down the slope of the point," Jordon Kelly advised. "You may have to try several different angles until you find one that produces the best. A crankbait will always be more effective if it's digging into the bottom during your retrieve, so that means you're probably going to lose a few on stumps and snags, but you're also going to catch more bass."
There you have it…straight from a professional bass angler. Give this crankbait tip a try the next time you are on the water.