Next week summer begins officially, reminding us that hot weather requires special fresh-water fishing techniques. We have take a new look at bass, trout, crappie and bluegill to understand how they respond to rising temperatures and how fishermen can beat the heat and keep putting fish on the stringer. We'll deal with bass first and the others in weeks to come.
Most bass qui spawning by early June. They leave their beds in the shallows to seek deeper and cooler water during the days. Only from dusk to dawn, when surface water cools, is fishing productive along the shorelines.
A good depth-finder is the bass fisherman's most important summer tool. A topographical map showing water depths can also be valuable.
Many of the best bass lakes in the Washington area are man-made, so you should look for submerged deep water structures that attract bass. Successful spots are ledges, dropoffs, underwater islands, roadbeds, old foundations and submerged bridges, stumps and trees.
The most productive structure is usually at 15 to 20 feet with easy access to water 40 to 60 feet deep. Distint and wooded ledges which were once stream banks are ideal.
In the Washington area, Loch Raven, Liberty, Pretty Boy, Triadelphia, Rocky Gorge, Occoquan reservoirs and Lakes Anna, Burke and Manassas are artificial impoundments where such conditions prevail.
Six or eight-inch plastic worms, rigged weedless, are summer productive winners. There are many types and colors, all about equally effective. A rule of thimb is to sue darker colors when the water is murky and lighter colors when it's clear.
Generally, a slow retreive inching the lure across the bottom is best. Gently lifting of the rod up to momentarily swim the lure a few inches off the bottom will add a killing effect. Let the lure bump, drag, and bounce slowly.