Summertime patterns are in full effect throughout most of the nation. Most bass have recovered from the spawn, the water is hot, and that heat is causing their metabolism to be rolling in full force. Find a place where they can be comfortable and pick off an easy meal, and you’ll often find a bunch of them.
One of the first things that come to mind is drop-offs that lead into deep water. Most of the pressure on these places is entirely focused on that actual drop. But sometimes if you look a little further off the break, that’s where the concentration of fish will actually be.
Having a fishfinder with mapping can be really important for finding these locations. The best ones are often a drop off with a deeper flat just off of it. The flat is often the area where bass and baitfish will relate too. In most of the typical inland lakes in Michigan, where I’m from, this means 15-25 feet.
On clear lakes, you’ll often find vegetation growing down there as well. Something like short sand grass clumps on the bottom is all it takes to hold them. Idling over these areas with your electronics will help you find the grass, it will look like a “fuzzy” bottom. If you start marking fish or large schools of bluegill/baitfish a quick SondeCAM drop will confirm if bass are present.
There are a bunch of different baits that will catch them in this situation, but I’m going to narrow it down to 3 that I have the most confidence in. My ultimate confidence bait is going to a dropshot rig. Typically with an 18-inch leader and if I’m largemouth fishing, at least a 6-inch worm. I have always caught more and bigger fish when using a bigger worm in this situation. I’m also always going to have an old reliable skirted jig tied on especially if I’m looking for a big bite. Lastly a deep-diving crankbait like a Strike King Series 6XD or Norman DD22. Burning a big crankbait over their heads can sometimes activate an otherwise lethargic school of fish.
Don’t hesitate to look a little further out on your next summertime outing. You might be surprised at what’s living out just a little further off the break.