Summertime weather and the bite
by Mike Gerry
As we move on into the summer season, everything we thought we understood about the effect of the weather, changes. The bass fishing changes, and weather patterns change. During the winter we dealt with many cold fronts with cold rain, followed by sunny days with water temperatures, generally, on the rise. In the summer, many things change. We have warm rain, bright, sunny, hot days along with thunder and lightning storms. All this changes from winter to summer and so do the patterns.
To me, the most notable change is the effect of the thunderstorms. Believe it or not, the loud thunderclaps and sizzles of lightning change what the fish are doing before the storms set in. You may have been out on the water, catching fish, in eight feet of water and run in to hide from a storm for 30 minutes. When you go right back out to the same spot as the storm passes – lo and behold – no bites. What changed was the storm.
The lightning drove the fish off the pattern they were feeding on and into deeper water to protect themselves from the noise and the lightning strikes. The bait moved, the bass moved, and you must start all over again to find a pattern. There are a couple of choices for you when this occurs. Often, if the weather stabilizes, after about an hour, the bait and the bass will move back to their respective feeding spots when you were catching before the storm. If the weather stays unsettled, and you are not getting bit, you best move deeper and look for where those fish you were catching moved to.
The winter sun is well known for grouping up the bass, so they compete for food during the mid-part of the day. Unfortunately, in the summer’s midday heat and sun my experience tells me the bright, sunny part of the day, moves them apart and they suspend and become lethargic. The sun depletes the oxygen levels, and they move to areas away from the thermocline and look for pockets of increased oxygen levels. If you are skilled with your electronics you can find the thermocline and find bass in the oxygen levels below it. Understand the weather and you will catch more fish!