As we approach the heat and dry weather of the summer, we move into a deep bite phase of bass fishing. Although every lake is different, the conditions have a lot to say about how deep you must fish to find active bass. The truth of the matter is that some lakes require you to fish in the 20 plus ft. of water and other push you up the depth chain in 8 to 16 ft. of water; all this is dependent on oxygen levels of the lake and that talks to the many different considerations that only you can access on the lake you’re fishing.
The factors to consider are many, bait movement, time of day, rain or lack of it, grass thickness, thermocline status, current or lack of it, CO2 levels all these plus more affect where the fish move too in the summer. There is no one thing to look for to determine the level of these concerns you just must adapt to what you are seeing while fishing.
Some of these concerns are easily identified, it is easy to observe bait action for example, where the bait goes so do the bass. Believe it or not nasty brown disgusting grass produces oxygen and observing some of this brown gross grass is easy and because it produces oxygen the fish may be shallow and feeding in the icky brown grass. It is also easy to see the thermocline in the heat of the summer if you have your electronics set up properly as it looks like a deep grass line along the bottom in deep lakes where the oxygen is gone from the bottom. This will tell you the fish are generally above the thermocline and suspending forcing you to finesse fish the suspending fish.
No one issue defines the areas to fish but a combination of these can lead you to the correct area to find active fish. You must work at it to learn to quickly observe these concerns, your lake may be different that someone else’s but eventually it becomes common place to look for the determining factors and moves you by design to the bass and allows you to fish where the fish area.
-Captain Mike Gerry