When it's hotter than two squirrels sweating in a wool sock, it's time to go bass fishing. In the heat of summer, the metabolism of bass speeds up as the temperature climbs, and that means they're at their most active and they must feed regularly. And when you consider that some of the biggest bass of the year can be caught in the summer, it might be well worth it to take a break from the A/C and head to the lake.
But where and when you fish is key to your success because bass often develop particular habits in hot weather.
Bass summer schools are active and somewhat dispersed, as all are trying to feed on a nearly-continual basis. The most ideal summer structure is a creek or river channel drop, as it meets three primary requirements:
Studies have shown that when the surface temperature of a lake is in the high 80's and low 90's, the water at the 10-12 foot level will be in the low 70's.
The best fishing typically takes place near midnight, after the water has settled down from the day's turmoil of boats on the move. Bass that sit deep in the greenery under the sun move to the outside edges of grassbeds at night and that's where you'll want to focus your attention.
Cloudy days are another good time to go fishing. Overcast skies cause fish to cruise for food more than they would during bright days when they tend to hide and stay close to structure. On overcast, cloudy days, fish are less likely to be at specific structure spots or areas and more likely to be scattered throughout a waterway.
Frogs, mice, bugs, and other tasty treats always get a bass’ attention, so try a popping frog or a plastic plug. Make the lure splash around, creating waves and triggering a bass’ feeding instincts. Always remember to pop your lure a few times, and then let it rest so bass can make a strike.
Jim Porter, "The Summer Dog Days: More Myth Than Truth"