In my recent blog a few weeks ago, summer was just getting into full swing, bass throughout the southern half of the U.S. were in postspawn, and I told you that finding the river or primary creek channel was the key starting spot to find big schools of “post spawners.”
Well, now it’s time to slide up. You can begin your search for midsummer bass by looking around those creek channel marker buoys, but you need to slide up shallower from there in your hunt for some of the biggest bass in the lake right now.
In early summer I’m looking for channel drops in 15 to 30 feet of water, but now I’m using my sonar and GPS to find and mark waypoints on rock piles, stumps, anything unique, that will hold big bass in the 8 to 16 feet deep zone.
Unlike May and June, where schools of bass are much more obvious, by late July those "mega schools" start to break up, and you need to be studying your sonar for two, four, maybe six fish, on each of those key pieces of habitat. But here’s the good news, while there may not be as many, the ones you find on spots like these are often among the biggest bass on the lake.
Once I find these slightly shallower mid-summer bass hangouts, one of my absolute favorite ways to fish for them is with a 1/2-ounce green pumpkin/blue football jig with a Chigger Craw trailer. I tie it to 20-pound Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon, and always use a 7-foot, 3-inch heavy action rod. The beauty of a football jig is it allows you to maintain constant bottom contact while intersecting a brushpile, stump, or rock pile.
While days on the water can be uncomfortably hot right now, just remember, the biggest bass in the lake are starting to slide back shallow, so make sure you take advantage of this transition period and slide up with them.