Fishing tip of the week

Heat of the Summer
Mike Gerry

Hot days of summer are just ahead when water temperatures climb well into the nineties. Here are two questions you are pondering: (a.) Where did all the fish go? And (b.) What does a bass angler have to do to find them? The answers may surprise you!

The answer to both of those questions has a lot to do with the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water.
Bass anglers will tell you to go deep when looking for summer fish, and that’s surprisingly good advice; bass can find cooler water down deep. But temperature and deep water are only parts of the equation. In fact, when the water temperatures and air temperatures peak in summer, there is a higher concentration of dissolved oxygen in shallow water than in the deep. Highly oxygenated water may, in fact, speed up the bass metabolism, resulting in more frequent and aggressive feeding in the shallows than in deep water.

If you doubt this just consider the top fishing techniques for many pro anglers in the heat of the summer: drop shotting. This technique allows you to fish for suspending bass over deep water but shallow, reason being often the mid-range water depths is where the fish move to find more oxygen in late spring and early summer. As the heat increases the bass move to the shallowest places to find higher oxygen levels needed to feed.

Why do bass move to shallow water in the hottest months on some lakes? The difference is cover. On most lakes, shade can be found only on the banks with over hanging trees and boathouses. In the case of Guntersville, grass covers the lake and not only produces shade; it also contributes to high oxygen levels that bass need to be active.

Proof of this is what has been producing the winning stringers in tournaments across the hottest regions of the country. In many of those tournaments, anglers pitching the shallowest water with heavy-weighted baits get the best results. Just look at tournament results from Florida, where the shallowest water is producing the biggest stringers. The reason for this is that the cover, the shade, and the oxygen level up shallow is stimulating feeding activity among bigger fish and producing winning stringers.
Captain Mike

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