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When the dog days of summer set in, and relief from summer’s swelter is hard to come by, boating bass with consistency can take on a whole new degree of difficulty. Bass stagger at varying depths, the midday bite tends to slow significantly, and many anglers find themselves covering substantial amounts of water in search of fish that are actively seeking their next meal.
When it comes to catching bass during periods of stifling heat, opinions differ in regards to the method with which the greatest success is likely to be experienced. Both, the types of lures being used, and the depth at which they are fished, tend to be variable and depend heavily upon a particular angler’s favored style of fishing.
Like anyone else, 2020 Bassmaster Classic Champion, Hank Cherry, has his go-to methods for boating bass when the summer heat turns unbearable.
Where To Find Summertime Bass
During the hot summer months of July, August, and September, many anglers instinctually target deeper waters. This is done in an attempt to capitalize upon fish that have taken advantage of the cooler temperatures that can be found at these depths. However, Hank Cherry opts to take the opposite approach, seeking out bass in the shallows, often in water no deeper than 5-foot.
“During that time of the year, I’m going back so shallow, that most of the time the boat is dragging the bottom,” said Cherry. “Shallow water, with nothing, and some shade, is where I catch a lot of big fishing during the dog days of summer.”
What To Throw For Summertime Bass
When Cherry is fishing the summertime shallows, he definitely favors one particular bait over all others. “No matter where I’m at, I’m taking a frog, and throwing it as shallow back in the shade as I can possibly find,” said Cherry. “Most of the time, I can put that frog in my hand and catch a lot of fish that people aren’t fishing for.”
When asked whether he prefers one frog over another, Cherry expressed a neutrality between brands. “You hear a lot of people say that one frog works better than another, but the truth is, it’s a frog. If you can make it move and walk, they are going to eat it.” Cherry stated.
The Back-up Plan
In the event that this shallow water frog action fails to pay dividends, Cherry has yet another ace in the hole that he pulls from time to time when the going gets tough. Though not as heavily relied upon as his shallow water frogging, Hank Cherry opts for a finesse approach, drop-shotting structure when necessary.
“Occasionally, I’ll get out and drop shot brush piles,” said Cherry. It doesn’t do anything for my personality, but since I’ve been taught and learned a bunch, I like finding them on the electronics and going out to play with them.”
Bassin’ In a Heat Wave
Few can dispute the difficulties that summertime bass fishing often presents. As relentless heat seems to radiate from every direction, many anglers pack it in, call it a day, and lay in wait for more hospitable weather. However, in doing so, these anglers unknowingly miss out on what can often be excellent fishing, if only one knows where to look.
By taking advantage of well-shaded areas within shallow pockets, bass can be found in good numbers, without ever venturing far from the bank. Though often overlooked, Hank Cherry finds these areas to be well worth every cast that is thrown.