FLW Fishing Report: Extreme Heat Demands Different Strategies
There’s probably as many or more bass being caught at night now as there are in the daytime because it’s been so ‘dadblamed’ hot. A lot of folks are waiting for the temperature to cool down into the low 80s or high 70s in the evening before they head out on the water. The lake level is holding at around 359 feet — if only because of the afternoon thunderstorms they’ve been having in Tennessee and north Alabama — and they’re not pulling much water at the dam.
Surprisingly, bass fishing is pretty good if you can stand the daytime heat. Fishing ledges with deep-diving crankbaits, jigs, carolina rigs and big texas-rigged worms is still the most reliable way to catch fish. If you can’t stand the heat and want to wait until dark, try spinnerbaits slow-rolled over humps, bars and points. Jigs and trailers, or topwater lures like prop baits or jitterbugs, are also producing, especially in the backends of coves where there’s some deep water close by.
“Fishing the jumps” is something you hear about this time of year, but it hasn’t really materialized yet, and I blame that on the heat, too. A lot of white bass are being caught, but mainly they’re coming off the ledges where the black bass are also hanging out. Shad fingerlings and adults are staying deep, presumably because that’s where the best concentrations of the plankton they feed on are. Anyway, bass aren’t really starting to chase shad up to the surface so much right now, so creek ledges and those in the main lake are where the action is. Vertical jigging with spoons is productive, as is fishing with lipless crankbaits or, on the rare occasions when school bass activity warrants it, in-line spinners.
If you do wind up fishing a deep ledge, you might want to try a tailspinner such as a little george. Cast it out, let it go all the way to the bottom, then suddenly sweep it up or turn the reel handle for three or four revolutions. Then let the bait settle back down on a fairly tight line. This is a great way to get reaction bites from both white and black bass.
There’s not much else to report now. The weather seems to be about a month ahead of itself this year. Have you noticed that goldenrods are blooming here and there? That’s weird. There used to be an old saying that the goldenrods bloom a month before the first frost. By my reckoning, then, that first frost is going to be around the end of august. Sure, buddy.
Stay cool, drink lots of water and get your fishing tackle in order for the great fall fishing to come. This is Scott Ellison, signing off for FLW. …Hey, before I go, I wanted to tell you about what I saw yesterday. A dog was chasing a rabbit down Sycamore Street, but it was so hot, they were both walking.
Ok, I’m gone.