Largemouth bass feed on just about whatever they can fit in their big mouths during the hot days of summer. This is the time I break out those floating crankbaits. Floating crankbaits have proven to be very effective in the shallow areas and around docks during those summer months for those searching for bass.
In both small ponds and those large lakes you will find schools of baitfish swimming along the shore close to the shallows. Large schools of shad, shiners, and juvenile bass and pan fish are swimming the banks of the shallow water, avoiding the big bad deep waters, where they don’t come back from.
Baitfish hang out in the grasses and reeds of the banks in the shallow waters. In early mornings and late evenings Bass will cruise up and down the shallows like a Lion stalking its prey, waiting for the opportunity to scoop up some bait fish for breakfast or dinner. This is the time for the Bass Fishermen to dig out the floating crankbaits.
Floating crankbaits are a small crankbait and are an excellent bait of choice when the Bass are feeding in these shallow waters. There are times the Bass move into shallow waters simply to chase dragonflies, which are breeding at the time. This action catches the Bass’s attention and it starts to tease them. Mother Nature hits the dinner bell and the feeding frenzy is on.
This is the time a Bass Fisherman needs to change tactics and go to a surface lure. The floating crankbait imitates a wounded Shad, struggling for his life. To a Bass it represents an easy meal struggling on the surface of the water. A stick type Floating lure is an excellent crankbait to use when fishing near the shore and imitating the wounded shad will most certainly get the attention of bass feeding in the shallow waters. Dance that floating crank bait on top of the water, pause and dance it some more.
I have found floating crankbaits fished in the shallows to be very productive in the summer months. But to be productive, they must be fished in the most opportune areas. Fish that are spooky along with thick, dense grass are going to produce unsatisfactory results for you. But floating crankbaits fished in shallow waters along the edges of weed mates, or clean water where the bass are slamming minnows or leaping for insects, will be a great opportunity to fill that frying pan.
Largemouth bass will also take Frogs or Buzz baits if they are presented in the shallows properly. If you are fishing with a Weedless Frog you can hit areas that a lot of lures with hanging hooks can’t go. If you find shallow grass edges or inlets with openings, hit them hard and often with the Weedless Frog. Run the Buzz Bait along the deep edges of the grass in the shallows; repeat several casts in these areas before moving on.
Fishing along those shallow areas (less than three to four feet in depth) with Weedless Frogs, Buzz Baits, or those Floating Crank baits will turn out to be beneficial in early mornings and late evenings. You could also try finesse worms and flukes, and work then slowly with rod twitches, like you would if you were Crappie fishing, and changing your reel speeds. Cast out into deep water if possible, and bring the baits back slowly across the shallows along the weed mats and grass. Those summer largemouth bass often hang on drop offs, taking lures along the edges of the shallows. If you find a point that jets out into the water, fish both sides of that point. This technique will also work for any fish that are cruising the shallows looking for baitfish and any other easy meal.
Remember, a hungry Bass will strike when remotely aggressive, so be on your toes. Fishing with floating crankbaits is an easy way to catch bass when the water is warm, and the weather will cooperate.
As a boy experiencing the hot summers in Western Oklahoma, I would often ask my Granddad if we could go fishing and his response always was "the fish aren’t biting, it’s too hot". Now as a man and an avid outdoorsman, I can tell you fish do bite in the hot summer months, they eat like you and I. You, the fisherman, must think like a fish and go find them, good luck!