Catch Big Summer Bass In Shallow Water | Summer Bass Fishing Tips & Luresnt
By: Dylan Hayward
It’s fair to assume that during the summer months when the water temperatures are rising dramatically, that bass are spending most of their time in the deep waters. While there is definitely truth to this, don’t overlook the shallow waters, as this is still a great place to target monster largemouth.
Why Are Bass In Shallow Water During The Summer?
You might think that nothing will move bass from their deeper beds into shallow water, but there are a few factors at play that could potentially move them closer to the surface. Understanding water columns is a great way to find Summer bass.
Oxygen Levels- During the summer, oxygen levels aren’t very high, and bass recognize this. One major thing that helps provide more oxygen is heavy vegetation. If you can find a shallow pocket with thick grass and lilypads, it’s likely that you’ll find bass lurking around.
Water Clarity- One of the reasons that bass love to hang out in deep waters during the summer is to stay hidden. Whether that be hiding from predators or hiding in order to ambush their prey, they prefer darker environments. Thus, if the water is murky, there’s a good chance bass will move up closer to the surface to feed, and this is when you can take advantage.
Late Shad Spawn- A late spawn for shad in the early summer months can send largemouth on a feeding frenzy in the shallow waters looking for this favorite meal. Groups of shad are pretty easy to spot, and casting a nice soft jerkbait in these areas will more than likely give you some success.
Rain- I have always found that after a heavy rain, the bass tend to slowly move up to the shallower pockets of water. Research shows that this is because bass move with rising water levels. Monitor your weather and make sure that you are out on the water following a heavy shower.
Best Lures to Use in Shallow Waters to Catch Summer Bass
Soft Jerkbait- As I mentioned above, a big reason that bass will move into the shallow waters is to feed on shad. A shad style soft jerkbait makes a great presentation. They make an erratic tail motion that will get the attention of every bass and they’re essentially snagless when rigged right, making it a great lure for moderate cover.
Buzzbait- There aren’t many lures out there that will gain the attention of every bass like the buzzbait. They create a large amount of irresistible noise and retrieve relatively slowly allowing for lethargic bass to have time to strike. This is another lure that can be pulled over cover very easily without causing a snag, and it’s one of my go-to’s for summer bass in shallow waters.
Texas-Rigged Worm- The soft plastic worm with a texas rig is one of the most popular set ups for bass anglers, as it allows a lot of versatility and has proven success. The weight on the end will help get the worm to the bottom pretty quickly and with the texas rig it can be skipped along the bottom with ease and is great for attracting massive largemouth.
For a look at some general Summer bass lure options be sure to read the article: "GoWild's Bass Fishing Lures Guide | Lures, Rigging Types & Retrieving"
Why Shallow Water Can Be Better Than Deep Water At Times
Shallow water bass fishing during the Summer is often overlooked when it comes to bass fishing, but it shouldn’t be. A lot of times this is still a great spot to land monster largemouth, and should fit into your summer strategy. Here are a few reasons why fishing in the shallows can be even more productive than fishing deep.
As I stated above, a late shad spawn can make the shallow waters produce nonstop action. Bass can’t get enough of these things and will be more than willing to creep up near the top water column to feast. If you can locate a big group of shad, the bass will be there. Pick your lures accordingly.
When the water is murky, or after a heavy rain shower, more than likely the bass are going to swim up to shallow waters and target areas with vegetation that provide more oxygen. In my opinion, this can produce more activity than in the deep waters in the middle of July. Base your strategy off what the conditions are, and you’ll find that shallow waters can produce some amazing summer fishing.
When Should You Fish Shallow Waters For Bass
One of my favorite times to target shallow waters for bass is early in the morning just as the sun is starting to rise. The cooler temps entices the bass to move out of their deep spots and pursue the top water column.
This is also the time that the bass start feeding heavily and will be targeting bait fish that congregate in the shallow pockets. This is the perfect opportunity to cast out a shad style crank bait and retrieve slower as you approach the bank.
How To Find Bass in Shallow Water
The absolute best way to locate bass in shallow water is to find heavy vegetation and thick cover. This could look like thick grass and lilypads, or a fallen tree or debris. These are going to be areas where the bass feel safe from predators and where they know they can ambush prey, such as frogs, shad or other bait fish.
Some anglers seem to have a hard time fishing heavily covered areas, whether it be because they don’t know the right lures to use, or they are concentrated on the covered area as a whole rather than targeting specific spots that look best for bass.
Not all areas are created equal. I prefer to search for abnormalities within the covered areas, such as where two pieces of cover and vegetation meet, or maybe a fallen tree extends out 10ft off the water. I'm putting my focus on those places.
Weedless lures are my preferred method for fishing areas with heavy cover. This allows me to spend less time worrying about my hook getting snagged, and depending on what type of lure I am using, I can generally bounce them off the debris, which will create movement and noise that will only further entice a lunker. Topwater frogs, soft plastics with a texas-rig and lipless crankbaits are all ideal choices. If you find a heavily covered area and are using the right lure, this can be some of the most productive fishing of the year.