In the earliest part of the summer, the bass in a lake will feed heavily to make up for going without eating regularly during their spawning period. At this time, bass will readily go after many different types of baitfish, from shad to sunfish. Unlike bass, these fish spawn later and are preoccupied with reproduction. The water temperature is not yet at a point where it drives bass into the deepest parts of lakes, so bass will cruise in the shallows. Sunfish build spawning beds quite similar to those of bass, looking for a hard bottom where lily pads, waterweeds or some sort of timber is nearby. The bass angler should identify these spawning areas and then try to present lures that imitate sunfish, choosing lures with colors such as orange and purple. Weighted jigs, wobbling crankbaits and topwater baits with bright colors all work well in this setting. Large bass will chase a soft or hard-bodied swimbait, with bigger being better in this situation.
Bass will head to deeper parts of the lake once the water temperatures rise into the 80-degree range. However, in shallow lakes the bass do not have this option. To beat the heat bass must take cover from the sun wherever there is sufficient shade. The angler on a shallow lake in July and August should concentrate on areas choked with weeds. The weeds give off oxygen and help to rejuvenate the water around them, which will appeal to bass. The weeds also will shield both bass and the smaller fish they eat from the rays of the sun. To get a lure into such a tangled mess of plants, the bass angler must have a great deal of patience. Many will Texas rig a plastic worm or lizard so that the hook will not snag and drop it into weedy spots. The key to this type of fishing is watching the fishing line for even the slightest hint of a bite and then setting the hook. Shallow lake bass will not stray far from cover during the summer. Many will take refuge under and around docks. Flipping plastic worms and grubs under, around and even onto docks and letting them fall off will take its share of bass.
In the hottest days of summer, often the best bass fishing occurs at night. The heat lessens and the bass will come from deeper water to find food in the shallower water. You can catch bass from the shore during these times or go out in a boat. Anyone venturing out on a lake at night must take the proper steps in terms of safety. Working running lights are necessary, as are flotation devices, flashlights, a compass and an anchor. The most exciting lure by far that anglers employ in the dark are topwater plugs. Black is the best color since it will show up better to a bass looking up in the dark. Target bass in the weed beds that exist near shallower points near to shore. Plastic frogs and mice are also lures with a proven record of catching bass at night. These lures are fished exceedingly slowly, with the angler twitching them less than once every half a minute and waiting for a bass to come up and grab it.