Fishing for those mid-summer largemouth bass

In the Midwest, the walleye is the favorite fish of many anglers, and for good reason. They are abundant in many waters, they are susceptible to a wide variety of presentations, and they taste great on the table. But as good as the walleye fishing can be in the Midwest, the largemouth bass fishing can be just as good and much of the time even better. I re-learned that fact on a fishing trip last week. I shared a boat with fishing educator Mike Frisch and our quarry was largemouth bass. We employed two different techniques to catch lots of bass under bright skies. Oftentimes bright skies can make fishing difficult, but if you adapt your presentation, you’ll still get bit.

We started out early in the morning fishing shallow water reeds. The bass come into the shallows at night and cruise around looking for something to eat. They will be spread out in the rushes: One here, one there, another over there. They will eat spinnerbaits and swimming jigs. A weedless lure presentation is important.

As the sun got higher in the sky, the bass moved into heavier cover in the reeds. Now, instead of being spread out, they were tucked into the heaviest clumps of reeds. Instead of making random casts, we targeted those heavier clumps of reeds. We flipped three-eighth’s ounce Jungle Jigs tipped with plastic. A plastic with lots of bulk is good. An Impulse Brush Beaver would be a good example. Whenever we came to the heavier clumps of reeds we would flip the jig to the outside edges of it, then right into the middle. That often resulted in a strike.

Later in the day we moved to deeper flats where there were isolated beds of coontail and cabbage. We could see these beds and again pitched jigs and plastic to them. Now though, we used five- eighth’s ounce jigs. We needed a heavier jig to penetrate through the heavier cover and get to the bottom where the bass were.

We didn’t make long casts, maybe twenty feet at the most. We wanted the jig to be presented vertically, as that was most effective in the heavy cover.

Again, we got bit frequently, and we caught some nice bass.

Both of these presentations call for strong, tough line. Twenty pound test fluorocarbon is as light as you would want to go, and fifty pound test braid does a good job if you prefer braid. If you’re making longer casts, go with the braid for better hooksets and getting control of the fish. Fluorocarbon worked better on the flat fish as we were making shorter casts. The fluoro has a little stretch, the braid has none. When you’re hooking fish close to the boat, a little stretch in your line is good.

These techniques will produce throughout the summer. They’re fun techniques, they’re productive, and they appeal to larger fish.

Sometime in the next couple of months, take a break from the walleyes and give largemouth bass a try. If you try them once and experience some success, I’ll bet you try them again.

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