by Mike Gerry
The heat of the hot summer and the effect of 90+ water temperatures are taking most anglers out to the deep water looking for the fish that have gone to the cooler water temperatures.
When you get on your deep spot and wonder why those fish were there one day and appear to be gone the next, you need to examine the elements and ask the questions.
Is there current moving or not? Is the thermocline developed at the bottom and moved the fish? In the current, bass tend to position themselves so they can take advantage of the current and feed easily, so an ambush spot is the key to finding those fish. The job you have is to determine where they will be positioned on deep structure. So angles become a particularly important part of deep structure fishing.
Work the structure from several angles until you get a bite. Take mental note of the position of your boat, and it will tell you how the bass are situated and lead to the correct position on the structure as well as other structures you will fish while the current is moving. Boat position is the key. I cannot tell you the number of times I tell clients to work at an angle while I am guiding. Don’t just fish an edge or drop from one position. Work all the angles until you figure it out.
The thermocline is also a big issue as we approach these 90+ degree water temperatures. The surface temperature is much warmer than the water down at 20+ feet. What happens is the colder, deeper water is much heavier than the warm water; it settles on the bottom, and the weight of the water above it squeezes the oxygen out of the deep water, moving the fish to areas where there is more oxygen.
This phenomenon is a result of the hot weather temperatures we get in the summer. Adjusting your fishing areas, tactics and depth will be the key to being successful in these hot summer days. Current and structure create oxygen in the water, so any combination of this can help you find areas that will allow you to be successful on your lake. Deep water is not always the key, but it is a summer pattern to be examined.