There is no doubt that summertime fishing can be a mystery, the bass that were everywhere have suddenly become hard to find. What can you do? Where did the fish go and how can I catch them? Let me first say that there is no fool proof answer but there are some common threads that can help!
Recently I checked the hours on my boat realizing that over 60% of my hours was spent idling meaning I am scanning the bottom a lot looking for groups of fish. The scanning process can be one of the keys to summertime fishing; in this lies the key to summertime fishing. I have spent endless hours in the last month looking for fish on my Lowrance Structure Scan. Scanning the bottom for fish grouping up on the ledges and drops and to me this is the biggest tip I can give.
The bass group up in the heat of the summer and with the water temperatures already reaching eighties allows you to find them together and competing when you fish for them. As they group up, they have some common tendencies and scanning the bottom looking for those common threads can be the key to good days and bad in the heat! Over the years I have developed some inner sense as to what this all looks like on my Lowrance Structure Scan and how to tell the difference in what bass look like on the bottom as compared to other types of fish. I wish I could get into detail on what this all is, but it would take me days to describe every formation I see. I can tell you though that you can also learn this with enough time scanning the bottom.
The biggest key to scanning and determining the fish is formation; each species of fish seems group up in diverse ways. Some are solid and in big balls, others are elongated on the bottom or suspending. Some is loners and then some fish are in small groups directly over structure. What you see does tell you in the most part whether they are bass or not and you can determine them with some dedicated time scanning the ledges in the heat of the summer!
-Captain Mike Gerry