Gone are cold nights and rainy days. The sun creeps across the sky each day, leading to rising water temperatures and sweltering heat. For many individuals summer is when the fun starts, with early morning runs to the lake or river to spend time with family and friends. Many enjoy a day lounging around on a boat, tube or doing various watersports. For an angler, this can be one of the most rewarding times of the year...or the most frustrating. Many factors play into a tough bite in the summer months. In this article I will go over those factors and what you as an angler can do to ensure a successful day on the water

As the days begin to heat up one of the first things that many anglers begin to notice is the rapid rise of water levels and decreased clarity in their local water systems. All of this is caused by melting snowpack from the previous winter dragging all of the loose dirt and debris with it into our beloved reservoirs and river systems. Often, you will find the “bite” that was on fire the previous week is greatly diminished, or even completely shut down.

BREATHE! Sit back, and observe your surroundings!

How much has the water risen since your last trip? If the answer is more than Five feet, start looking at fishing at a different depth. The fish you were catching in Ten feet of water, very well may be in Twenty now, sitting on that same rock pile.

The water is considerably dirtier than your previous trip. Start off by throwing a darker colored bait or ones with bright accents such as a chartreuse tail. Lures that put out a lot of flash or vibration are also a great choice. Doing so will allow the fish to be able to key in on your lure easier. And SLOW DOWN!!! Tying on that 1/2oz texas rig to flip docks may not be your best option. In dirty water the faster the bait falls the harder it is for the fish to see. Try a weightless presentation or something extremely light to allow for a slower fall and a more finesse presentation to give a little more time for the fish to be able to spot your bait.

Are you seeing a lot of baby fish or “fry” around submerged vegetation? This is a sign that the bass or another species of fish has recently spawned. Typically Bass will begin to spawn when water temperatures are in the lower 70's and Shad, Panfish Spawn in the upper 70's to low 80's out here in California. When you start seeing fry it's time to start abandoning the backs of coves and work your way out to secondary, or main lake points as the fish are on the move back to deeper water.

The summer months also bring with them a slew of new vegetation to a waterway. Algae, Moss and other various forms of surface and subsurface plants begin to invade the waterways. These large patches of vegetation provide great structure and cover for many species. Lures of choice are going to vary widely based on the type of vegetation, however you can never go wrong with a hollow body frog or a heavy weighted Texas rig to get through the thick stuff.

During the Summer the “Ledge and Island” bites really pick up as well. Fish will typically seek a quick and effortless route to deep water when the surface temperatures start to rise during the day. Most fish will move into shallower water over the course of the night, attempting to escape a colder water temperature for a warmer one and the complete opposite as the temperature rises throughout the day. Underwater ledges and submerged islands are a perfect area for that quick escape.

Summer fishing is tough but can also be very rewarding. Hopefully the tips I outlined will allow some of you to get back on the bass after a tough day with rapidly changing conditions. For me summer is a time for me to really focus on my finesse techniques and learning to gain confidence in that aspect of my fishing.

Until next time, happy paddling and tight lines!

Written by Kyle Matlock, Feelfree US Pro Staff Team Member
Edited by Bobby Ulrich, Feelfree US Pro Staff Team Member

On the journal

See what's new

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas laoreet, dui ut dapibus lobortis, orci magna facilisis diam.

See what's new

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas laoreet, dui ut dapibus lobortis, orci magna facilisis diam.

See what's new

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas laoreet, dui ut dapibus lobortis, orci magna facilisis diam.

Shop our most-loved collections

Expand your email list

Join our newsletter.