Bump a Stump for Summer Bass
Dr. John Woods 07.26.15
Fishing is tough when it is 100 degrees with a humidity to match. Most anglers with any sense are probably at the house hugging the recliner in the cool air and watching golf or NASCAR. If summer fishing is in the blood though, some good bass can still be snagged early in the morning and late in the afternoon before or after the blaring sun pitches high in the sky.
Fish will be seeking cooler spots, too. They either dive for deep waters where the temperatures moderate 10 or more degrees from the surface boil. Other good places for bass to hide out in summer is under surface cover like lily pads, overhanging tree branches, up under exposed roots along the banks, and down on the bottom around tree stumps.
“When it really heats up here in Mississippi, I only like to fish late in the day or at daylight on weekends. Even then I only give it a couple hours before I burn out, literally,” says Ben Harper of Vicksburg, Mississippi. “I’ll walk the banks of a farm pond or scull around in a small john boat hitting prime cover. My favorite spots in the summer are casting next to and across the pattern of submerged or exposed tree stumps.”
“The big largemouths will hide out right at the bottom of the lake around a tree stump. There the water is deeper, darker, and cooler. They just hang virtually motionless using as little energy as possible. Sometime in clear water you can spot them just holding tight, fins and tail waving to maintain their balance in position waiting for a bait food to float by.”
These bass may seem fairly lethargic, and they may be, but they can be coaxed out away from these stumps with a variety of lures and tactics. Noise making lures are best bets for getting the attention of a stump hugging bass. These are bladed spinnerbaits that churn through the water splashing up water for a visual impact as well as making noise being reeled in.
The trick is to pass these lures by several sides and angles to the stump. And one or two casts won’t get the job done either. Work all sides and some back two or three times. If you bump enough stumps now, you’ll be frying bass filets.