During the Summer Dog Days Pitching for Bass is my preferred technique in the heat of the day. Depending on the type of water you are fishing. Bass are going to either go deep or relate to structure and shade in shallow areas. When I first started cutting my teeth on fishing bass tournaments. Pitching quickly became one of my favorite ways to catch largemouth bass.
When looking for the best places to find summertime bass on lakes in the heat. There are three key factors to consider are shade, deep water and flowing water. Here is a look at the three best places to find summertime bass based on those factors.
Summer Dog Days Pitching
The approach to pitching a boat dock is crucial. I approach a dock and dissect it prior to my very first pitch.
- First: be sure your shadow doesn’t cast to where you think the bass might be holding.
- Second: analyze where your targets are going to be and pitch to the closet ones to you first
- Third: after you have pitched around the outer edge of the dock. It is now time to hit the hardest and most shaded targets around you..
“In a Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament I fished on Table Rock Lake. The Summer Dog Days Pitching had me loaded with a reliable shakey head finesse worm. Then I headed for a couple of docks I knew held fish. While pitching into the shady wells of a dock, I immediately caught a 3-pound Largemouth Bass. This pattern of targeting shady areas of docks on sweltering summer afternoons has produced bass for me throughout my years of competing as a pro anger on the Bassmasters and FLW Tours”
“Everyone knows I am a river fanatic. I grew up bass fishing on the CT river and built my tournament career winning tournaments and guiding. The rivers and streams feeding into a lake offer plenty of water flow and oxygenated water. This keep bass active even in the midsummer heat. Run up these creeks or rivers as far as you can to find the strongest flowing water. The most productive spots to try in the tributaries are the pockets near the river bends. This is where wind and current push baitfish towards the bank. I started fishing major tournaments in 1983, and turned full time in 1996. What a ride that was. It was some of the best years of my life. Since I am retired now in Florida I no longer compete. However I fish 3 to 4 days a week. What a great life this is!”
Tips for pitching summertime bass
- Use heavy hooks, smaller hooks can bend out and cause you to lose fish when muscling them out of heavy cover.
- Pick your targets out and try to establish a pattern. Are you catching fish on one side or the other (Shady side or sunny side, up current side or down side) At the bottom, in the middle, or near the surface as you are pulling out?
- When you pitch to your target be ready for a bite at any moment, let your bait fall to the bottom, twitch a few times, pull the bait out and repeat. Depending on the how the fish are reacting you may need to try soaking a bait a little longer with more twitches, try dead sticking for a bit, or shake and bump the bait against cover at the surface.
- Look for shallow structure/vegetation areas that are close to deep water, big fish like to sit in shallow haunts near deep water for an easy retreat.
- Practice controlling the entry of the bait to make as little water disturbance as possible upon entry.
- Ease the bait out of the cover so your weed guard or weedless Texas rigged bait doesn’t expose the hook and snag up on the structure.
- Lock your drag down so that the fish can’t take any line. Then you will get good hook penetration and be able to clear the fish from cover as quickly as possible.
- Only lighten the drag in areas where clearing the fish fast off the cover is not as crucial like soft grass or vertical poles. Loosen the drag some, while using your thumb to lock down the spool for the initial hook set.
- using a high speed reel, this allows you to take up any slack line faster to set the hook, catch up to a fish running at you quicker, and also get your bait back to the boat faster for the next pitch.
“Last but not least, A lot of guys just don’t practice their pitching enough to be able to get it into that target zone. If they’ll practice their pitching and then really concentrate on where should that fish be, the darkest, baddest, hardest to get to area, then they’ll start catching a lot more fish.”