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Red X Angler
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shady coves, places where cool run off may come from adjacent streams, drains, areas that don't hold the heat, under docks near deep water, points , places where you have flow.
 

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I dont do much different in the extreme heat, I still fish the same typical summer patterns (c-rig, deep cranking, schoolers) and target resident shallow fish. Once the water gets in the upper 80s, some of those offshore fish will come back shallow.

Remember to hydrate yourself well. Staying well hydrated doesnt mean just carrying a bottle or two of water to drink while you fish. Start drinking alot of water a few days ahead of time.
 

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Bass are funny varmints, they rarely do what logic says they should. I recall a day several years ago, a friend and I were catching them on floating worms nearly all day in skinny water. It was late July, and temps were in the 90's. Go figure.
 

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In my experience there are always fish to be had shallow even in the heat - and I think it is less a "pattern" game than it is a "cover more water" game. I believe some of them hardly ever leave their cover but they are going to be scattered - so keep moving. Also at different times of the day, the fish that are spending most of the day out deep come cruising near the shallow cover. I am sure that some areas are better than others for that, based on bottom topography, presence of creeks, shade, and cover, but its still a guessing game. You can luck into those if you are persistent. One thing I've noticed though is that the better your pitching/casting precision, the more successful you will be when using plastics/jigs in that shallow cover like around laydowns. I think the heat and sun push them way deep into cover and your casting ability can make the difference. My friend beats me at that all the time. And then of course like Jerry says, you may luck out with a funny varmint pattern, lol

That is about the shallow bass, but of course like everyone is saying, the deep cranking and c-rigging is supposed to be the way to go.
 

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As mentioned, there is always a shallow bite and often, when the water gets the warmest, there is more oxygen in the shallow water and this draws even more fish to the skinny water. The waves help oxygenate it and if there is rain, it brings new water in and the shallows become even more attractive to the bass.

I second, third and fourth the thoughts on hydration and sun protection. When I started bass tournaments, I didn't take time to eat or drink on the water. One really hot summer day, I got so sick from not taking anything in that it changed my outlook on summer fishing for LIFE! Now, I pay extra attention to drinking and eating better so I don't ever have to repeat an episode like that...and that was about 30 years ago! I remember it well...
 

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Yes its amazing how important it is to force yourself to drink fluids out there. It really makes a difference by the end of the day. I know when I was younger and dumber I would neglect that and then would be out of commission for the next day or so. Being dumb you get in a mindset to just go nonstop and it is truly hard to set the rod down and chug some water.

I am starting to become a believer in all the sun protection too, as has been stated in another thread. The combo of hydration and sun protection really makes a huge difference. Food helps too - just don't pack bananas :D
 

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This is the time of the year when I rely on my sonar to find suspended bass in open water. This past weekend I caught fish pretty much all day in a wide open area of a cove where I discovered schools of bass roaming the area. Channel was 10-12' with wide 6-8' flats on each side. I'd cruise the area to find the schools or clumps -- sometimes they looked like mushrooms on the sonar -- and sometimes would catch fish when I would turn around and cast behind me where I just spotted the fish. Otherwise, lots of casts with a Rapala DT6 -- often dozens of casts until I dialed in the group of fish, then would catch several in row. Then lose the school, and repeat the process. In the more shallow water, I switched to a square-bill (e.g., Rapala DT-Fat3) and try to bang it off stumps near the clumped up fish. Normally I rely on my sonar more for water depth and structure, but increasingly use it to find fish this time of year. Marked 90F water at the end of the day, otherwise ca. 85F. FWIW // Joel
 

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wacky rigged senko tossed under the bridges and into any brush cover I can find. Slow worked t rigged worm.
 
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This is the time of the year when I rely on my sonar to find suspended bass in open water. This past weekend I caught fish pretty much all day in a wide open area of a cove where I discovered schools of bass roaming the area. Channel was 10-12' with wide 6-8' flats on each side. I'd cruise the area to find the schools or clumps -- sometimes they looked like mushrooms on the sonar -- and sometimes would catch fish when I would turn around and cast behind me where I just spotted the fish. Otherwise, lots of casts with a Rapala DT6 -- often dozens of casts until I dialed in the group of fish, then would catch several in row. Then lose the school, and repeat the process. In the more shallow water, I switched to a square-bill (e.g., Rapala DT-Fat3) and try to bang it off stumps near the clumped up fish. Normally I rely on my sonar more for water depth and structure, but increasingly use it to find fish this time of year. Marked 90F water at the end of the day, otherwise ca. 85F. FWIW // Joel
Spider Crack, here's a dumb question, but maybe not so dumb. When you are chasing sonar fish with a crankbait (like the DT6), are you swimming that thing above the school or do you do like all the crankbait articles say and pick a bait that digs the bottom? I ask as a T-rigger with close to zero confidence in crankbaits other than a rattletrap or squarebill.
 

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Jay -- On the sonar I saw the fish were typically suspended 4-6ft deep where I was fishing, often with clusters of fish above and below that level. i tried several lures and retrieves, e.g., lipless crank, dropshot, etc., but burning the DT6 in worked most consistently. Eventually there were a couple of other guys near me chasing the fish with different baits, but the DT6 continued to work well for me. Pretty sure the bass would follow it down & pursue it, but often didn't hit unless i deflected it off something. But at one point they were hitting it immediately on descent, and also caught numerous fish at end of retrieve when lure was ascending. Also seemed like a fast retrieve triggered the bite -- i was actually using a 7:1 reel, which I don't normally do with cranks. when i got in shallow water, i'd switched to the square-bill and would do much the same thing, i.e., burn it in and bang it into stumps if i could find them. most of these were nice "schoolie" sized bass ca. 1.5lbs, but occasionally I'd find one ca. 3-3.5lbs, and got one at 4lbs. Water was relatively clear -- prob at least 3ft visibility, if not more. Was also using a more natural pattern over my preferred chartreuse-based patterns -- figured they could see the bait well. You know how it goes -- you can't say this is a "formula" that'll work all the time -- so you just have to vary your presentation and other variables until you figure 'em out. But finding 'em on the sonar was an important step, i.e., I knew the fish were there. Early in the day (8-9am) I had trouble getting them to bite, then at some point midday they just seemed to turn on. One day I didn't find them until 3pm, and they were on fire the moment I started to cast to them. it also seemed at times they were competing for the lure, so they often hit it really hard -- which was a lot of fun. FWIW // joel
 

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Thanks for the info Spidercrack. Sounds like the bait was hit anywhere during the retrieve whether it was at a suspended depth or off bottom features. I wonder if that is a function of the school being in "turned on" mode and therefore the strike zone was a lot bigger.
 

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Remember that bass are hyper active when temps are 78-85 degrees. Summer bass are very active, and don't go as deep as we suppose. Look for structure, and like Sundrop says, any flow is a plus, as it prevents stratification of the water, and adds oxygen.
Water temps on the surface can reach 90 degrees, but will be much cooler just ten feet down, as much as 20 degrees!
My problem is me, not the bass. I can't take the broiling heat like I used to.
That hump I've been talking about is a prime example. At full pool the water on top of the hump is around nine feet deep, with 15-20 feet of water around it.
In summer heat, the bass will haul off around the edges, and go back to the hump to feed early and late.
 
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