The next few months are some of the best times to catch bass.
There will always be bass in the shallows but finding an offshore area bass use on a daily basis is like a gold mine. Of course keeping this honey hole a secret is hard to do but finding a key spot can pay long term dividends. The next few weeks will have many bass heading to their summer homes. The spawning and post spawn activities are complete and the bass are moving into their summer patterns.
Not all bass do the same thing at the same time but for the most part the fish will not be roaming the banks all day as in the spring season. Offshore does not necessarily mean super deep water but the large schools of summer bass will likely be in 8 feet and deeper range. The single most important factors is bait. If sufficient bait are present the bass will be nearby. Main lake points are an excellent place to start the search.
Creek or river channels are also important as bass use them to travel. Basically any bottom contour change is likely to hold fish. Shad form large schools and migrate up and down the lake using channels as “highways” Bass will set up facing up current waiting for the shad to pass over and swarm in to feed when the baitfish appear.
Shell beds are another great place to identify. These shells are small mussels and form large colonies. Bream love the little mussels and will always be hanging around an active bed. The bream provide a constant food source for bass and a big shell bed can produce for years. Humps, submerged bridges or roadbeds and especially old pond dams are all likely summer hot spots.
There are many baits that will work on bass in these offshore spots. The deep diving crankbait, Carolina rig, Texas rigged worm or jig are all summer time bass catchers. A couple of baits should also be mentioned. The flutter spoon has regained popularity and will put some whoppers in the boat. These spoons are giant with some being 10 inches and larger. They resemble a big shad slowly sinking and produce when smaller baits don’t seem to work. A heavy single blade spinner is another good choice. A one ounce “thumper” slow rolled through the aforementioned areas can be generate bites and they also produce giant bass as well.
Look for cover on the structure and this can sweeten the deal. The “spot on a spot” phrase can be summed up as the brushpile on a hump situation and as earlier mentioned can produce year after year. Idling around looking for these conditions is not glamourous and can be time consuming but well worth the effort. Find the spot and log it away for future trips. Fish may only use a certain spot at night or perhaps it seems to work best at midday. Keep records and after enough are found use the information to duplicate the results elsewhere on the lake.
Bring plenty to drink and stay cool as it wont be long before we start experiencing the triple digit daytime highs East Texas is known for.