Summer Bass Still Love Plastic
Summer is a time of plenty in the fishing world. Food is more available to predator fish in July and August than any other time of the year. Even with the abundant prey options, summer bass are still suckers for well-presented plastic.
When it comes to utilizing plastic for my summer bassing efforts, my selection is quite simple. I have three key components in my arsenal and stick with what works for me.
My first choice in summer plastics is always a jigworm. This simple combination has been incredibly productive for many years.
I typically use a 1/8 or 3/16 ounce jighead with a five or six inch plastic worm. Although I like the open hook, there are times when I need to tie on a weedless jighead. If the head of the jig has an eye forward design, the exposed hook will pull through a great deal of weed debris without fouling.
On most lakes, I am targeting the deep weedline when using this presentation. Summer bass thrive on the deep weedline. I like to refer to the deep weedline as the interstate of the underwater world.
The key in utilizing the jigworm is to not fish it too fast. It must be presented on the bottom to be effective.
In a typical setting, I will position the boat well outside the deep edge of the weeds and then throw the jig shallow and work it down the drop. I like to visualize what this looks like as it hops, crawls and swims across the bottom. Popping through a few weeds once in a while is not all bad as this commotion seems to get the attention of the largemouth.
Once fish are located, it is important to work the area thoroughly as they are often schooled up in this deep environment. Sometimes, throwing a visual buoy is still the best option available for marking a spot.
There are situations when my jigworm will continually hang up in flimsy weeds or sand grass. When this happens, I switch to a Texas rigged seven inch worm. This presentation is a bit more weedless than the jigworm and can also offer a bigger profile which is needed at times.
I fish this lure the same as a jigworm making sure I am on bottom.
My third option for summer plastic is the wacky worm. This is usually more of a spring presentation for me, but I find there are situations when the wacky rig is very effective in the summer.
Not all bass are deep fish. Some love to hang around pads or bulrushes throughout the summer. Working the edges with a wacky will tempt any fish that are present.
Docks are also bass magnets in the summer. Wacky worms that are skipped underneath or dropped close to the cover of the dock will get wacked!
I do occasionally work wacky rigs in deeper water. By adding a little weight or using a jighead, wacky rigs will sink deeper quicker. I have also used wackies with a drop shot presentation with fair success.
A few times, I have been very successful floating wacky worms over deeper cabbage by using a slip bobber. By pulling back on the rod, the worm lifts and then gently falls back to the depths.
Plastic bait is hard to beat in the summer. Even though food is abundant, largemouth are still very interested in the slithering appeal of plastic. It is a mistake to not make these three presentations part of your summer arsenal.