The Hunt for a Hot Water Lunker
Most anglers know that as summer wears on and the water temps rise and rise, the fishing can get a little more challenging. This does not mean that you stay at home. The hot water means you might need to adjust your strategy for something that can still be fun and rewarding. A huge bucket mouth, aka largemouth bass, is what am I dreaming about here.
There is one thing that can keep me going all day on the water and that is the thought of hooking into a big bass. Simply fishing like normal and hoping for a big bass is not what I am talking about. Changing your strategy and maybe even your baits is what I am referring to.
Think like a big bass. They are going to use the prominent cover available. They like deep water. They eat big things. Just going down that bank and casting is not the highest percentage way to catch a hot water lunker. Look for the biggest points on the lake. Tie on a bigger bait that goes deeper than most other baits like a SPRO Little John Super DD. This bait gets down to 24 feet deep on a long cast. The deep crank action down at a depth that rarely sees them is a great way to catch a big bass.
Big worms also catch big bass. The Missile Baits Tomahawk 8.75 is even on the small side of what I am talking about here. Texas rigging a big worm is the way to get that long slice of plastic down into the big bass buffet. I would use either a 3/8 or 1/2 ounce weight that is unpegged. Once you get that big worm down into the rocks, brush, or stumps you think are holding that big bass, work that bait ever so slowly. I see lots of anglers work their baits too fast to fool those old lunkers.
Big swim baits and big spoons are some of the newer techniques to target big bass. The big spoon like the Nichol’s 6 or 8 inch Ben Parker models are the way to go. You put them on 20 pound Sunline fluorocarbon and a Cashion flipping stick. Once you cast the spoon out or pitch it into where you want it, you rip it up and follow it on the fall with slack line. This bait will often trigger fish that are not in a feeding mood. Be warned because you will hang them and lose them. The other option is a big swim bait. Something over 6” long is what I am talking about here. Using the same tackle as the big spoon, you can put the big swim bait on a heavy jig head and fish it deep or use a lighter head and fish it shallow. Either way, that big thump and big profile will get the attention of the big girls we are after.
Going for big fish is a high risk, high reward situation. You can do this type fishing any type of year but I think it makes sense to do it now. You may not go out and get a ton of bites when the lakes are at their best this time of year. My suggestion is to go big and shoot for that big bite. If you don’t get bit, it won’t be like you missed a bunch of action. If you do get bit, it will be worth all the effort!