Updated: Sep 1, 2019
By: Justin Boyer, Matt Barbeau, and Blake Tollefson
Largemouth bass are one of the top targeted species across North America throughout the open water season. They can be found in every corner of the United States, as well as Canada and Mexico. Knowing how to find them and how to catch them is key to having a successful day on the water.
During the heat of the summer, a wide variety of locations will hold largemouth bass. Structure is one of the leading factors for locating and targeting largemouth. These fish rely on structure to reside in and to ambush their prey. Weeds and weed edges are the most common area to start your search for largemouth bass. Anything from lily pads to cabbage to milfoil are all fair game. Overhanging cover, such as docks, boat lifts, and trees; and submerged cover, such as rock piles, cribs, and sunken trees are other optimal locations for finding largemouth bass. While most fishermen focus on shallow structure, larger bass will often move towards deeper structure in the summer months.
Fish will relate to cover heavily during the day. It’s not uncommon to find largemouth burying themselves in thick weeds, in deep water near cover, or near submerged wood. At dawn and dusk, it’s more common to find them roaming, along weedlines for example, in search of a meal.
Analyze the structure you are fishing and use a methodical approach to adequately cover the area you are fishing. Start on the outside of the structure and work your way in to avoid spooking or startling fish. Avoid fishing structure too quickly, or focusing too much time on a given location. Often times the smallest amount of structure can hold fish. Bass fishermen, in general, are very visual fisherman. Don’t overlook areas simply because you don’t see any visible structure (i.e. weed lines, docks, etc.). Rely on your electronics, and specifically side imaging to pick out areas with the highest probability of productivity. Focus on differences in the structure. For example, patches and holes in big patches of cabbage.
Make sure to mark spots of high productivity throughout a season, and take note of what is holding fish in a given location. It’s great intel to locate fish in other areas or on new bodies of water. Also, take note of where weed density is at its highest. Doing this during the late summer months is prime because weed growth it typically at its peak. This information will help find new weed growth in the upcoming seasons.
Choices, Choices, Choices
There are arguably more lures available on the market for bass fishing than for any other type of fishing. Choosing the right bait is vital to success. Color choice can definitely play a role in your success on the water. Largemouth typically prefer natural color schemes: black, blue, purple, green, brown, and orange. These colors are designed to imitate crayfish and baitfish.
Eurotackle’s Tungsten Flipping Jig is a top option for targeting largemouth during the open water season. The large profile imitates everything from a juicy crayfish to a bite a size bluegill. The jig is offered in six different colors and two different sizes. The sleek design and weedless head makes the jig perfect for fishing in and around heavy cover. Using a trailer with the Flipping Jig completes the profile making it irresistible to hungry bass. Eurotackle’s Metacraw, which is offered in two different sizes and five different colors, makes a great trailer. The lure’s ability to move water and it’s ultra soft composition helps it act as a perfect trailer. The combination is perfect for working weed edges or punching into thick cover. Bump the structure, shake it, skip it, flip it. This set up can also be slow crawled near the bottom in deep water or along sparse low lying weeds earlier in the season. These jigs are diverse and they are proven fish catchers all throughout the year. Most fish in the shallows are willing to eat, so put the jig in the strike zone and hang on. It’s important to remember that largemouth are often tight to cover, so it may take a few different approaches before hooking up.
If a finesses approach proves necessary, the drop shot is arguably one of the best ways to present a bait as such. The key to drop shotting is maintaining bottom contact and ensuring your plastic stays horizontal. Downsizing and using a more finesse approach is often required when fishing in the summer, especially in the depths. Eurotackle’s Swagger plastic is perfect bait for this type of fishing. It’s ribbed design and soft composition move a lot of water with minimal effort, making it a top choice. The Swagger is offered in five different color choices. When paired up with the proper terminal tackle, this bait can be fished in a wide variety of situations and scenarios.
Eurotackle’s line of Profiler paddletails are also great choice for bass. The plastics can be fished via weighted or unweighted setups, drop shots, jigs, and more. The ribbed design and large swinging paddle create a lot of commotion. Six different color options, as well as two different sizes.
Aside from jigs and plastic lures, Eurotackle has a lineup of terminal tackle to cover most of your bass fishing needs. The pencil drop shot weight was designed with efficiency and finesse in mind. It’s tungsten composition makes it more compact and dense than its lead competition. The weight also features a quick connection to adjust weight or depth in a hurry.