Hot water has a tendency to make bass lazy, lethargic, and sometimes just plain hard to catch. Regardless, they’ve still got to eat as the hot water increases their digestive and metabolic rates. The last thing the true big ones want to do is swim around picking off a bunch of small meals. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner all at the same time is a lot easier.
A recent trend with bait manufacturers is to make a “magnum” version of some of the most popular soft plastics. Odds are you are going to have a confidence bait that has a magnum version. This is a great place to start since it’s a familiar body shape but just bulked up in size. A lot of times, these baits will be longer and have added bulk. But sometimes they will just be a fatter bulked-up version of the same exact bait. Either way, you will typically have to adjust your rigging methods to accommodate the extra plastic. A bigger hook will often be needed to efficiently penetrate the added plastic. These baits will also fall a little slower, so be sure to take that into account when adding some weight to them.
Another way to add a bunch of bulk is with a skirt. I frequently add a punch skirt to baits I’m tossing into dense vegetation. This adds a bunch of bulk but doesn’t get tangled in thick grass at all. This is a super easy modification to make. A rubber peg, bullet weight, and punch skirt are all that is needed. You can buy premade punch skirts or buy some punch hubs, copper wire, and skirt material for making your own. I find it easier to make my own because I can do a better job at matching colors and tie replacement skirts easier myself.
It’s also easy to bulk-up skirted baits like jigs, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, and bladed jigs. Simply add a bigger trailer, for example, on a jig you can throw a full-size creature bait on the back of it. It’s going to have a much bigger profile than a jig with a standard chunk on it. Just remember that the rate of fall and actions are going to change on these baits as you experiment with different trailers.
One last thing, we’ve often been trained to downsize if we aren’t getting any bites. While that certainly works at times, I’ve often seen that upsizing at this time of year can make all the difference. Both in the number of bites you’ll get and the quality of bites you’ll get. Be sure to give it a shot the next time you hit the water this month.