Summer Hot Spots

By Kurt Dove

Many anglers launch their boats wondering where to start in these hot summer months. Here are a few suggestions and techniques to try this season.

Fish The Dam

The deep water that is typically accompanied by the dam area of the lake is very good for summer fishing due to the cooler water that is found in the deeper water column. The currents that are found in the dam area of the lake tend to be swifter and can help oxygen levels so the fish remain more aggressive in this section of the lake. I like to use topwaters like the iMA Skimmer along the dam rip-rap first thing in the morning. As the sun rises higher I will target fish relating to the rip-rap with finesse techniques such as wacky rigged worms with Zappu Ichy-Wacky tungsten weights. This set up allows me to fish the lures in deeper water faster. Often shallow or mid-depth crankbaits are effective as well along the rocky shoreline. The iMA Pin Jack is one of my favorites. A final structure you should search out while fishing dam areas are humps and ledges. These will hold fish when current becomes a major factor and a big Texas Rigged or Carolina Rigged worm is hard to beat in the summer heat.

Fish Docks

A dock provides a very important feature the fish love in the heat of summer ... shade! Shade provides a place to ambush prey and, even more importantly, a place with cooler water temperatures. One vital aspect to success when fishing docks in the summer is casting into the darkest shade of the dock. Most fish will relate way back under these pieces of cover and your lure presentation must be accurate because most fish will not move far to feed in this environment. I like to use very slow moving baits such as light weight shaky heads with El Grande Hatch-Match sticks. I will also skip small finesse jigs under the docks. Probably the easiest lure to skip under a dock is a weightless Senko and it is very effective.

Fish Bridges

Bridges are often overlooked. I always see lots of cat fisherman or crappie fisherman utilizing this structure but bass fisherman typically pass them by. A bridge provides excellent shade, deepwater, current and cover to attract fish during the summer months. I like to fish the pillars that typically enter the water as supports for the structure. I will drop-shot the pillars themselves and concentrate on the shade lines around them. My go-to baits are the Optimum Wacky Shad and 4 inch Robo Worm. The rip-rap banks that are generally associated with the roads leading to/from the bridge itself would set up identical to techniques described above when fishing a dam. Bridges are often choke points or narrow passages that will funnel water and create current, making for outstanding ambush points for bass. Look for the current moving around the bridge and concentrate on those moving water areas for active fish with small swimbaits like the Optimum Optishad.