Best Summertime Tip: Take A Look
There's no doubt that summertime fishing can be a mystery. The bass that were seemingly everywhere have all of a sudden become hard to find, and so frustration sets in. What can you do? Where did the fish go and how can you catch them?
Let me first say that there's no foolproof answer, but there are some common threads that can help.
Recently I had my boat engine checked and the mechanic told me that nearly 50% of the hours on the motor were spent idling. In this information lies the key to summertime fishing. I've spent endless hours over the last month looking for fish on my Lowrance StructureScan.
I was continuously scanning the bottom for fish grouped up on the ledges and drops, and to me, this is the best tip I can give. The bass group up in the heat of the summer and they have some common tendencies as the water warms up. Scanning the bottom and looking for those groups can be the key to good days in the heat.
Over the years I've developed some inner sense as to what this all looks like on my Lowrance StructureScan and how to actually tell the difference between what bass look like on the bottom compared to other types of fish. I wish I could actually get into detail, but it would take days to describe every formation I see on my electronics. What I can tell you, though, is that you can also learn to discern bass if you spend enough time scanning the bottom.
The biggest key to scanning and determining the species of fish is formation, because each species seems group up in a different way. Some are solid and in big balls, others appear to be elongated on the bottom or suspending. Some appear to be loners, while some species stay in small groups directly over structure.
If you dedicate time to scanning the ledges in the heat of summer, what you see will tell you, for the most part, whether they're bass or not. Learn to do that and summertime fish won't be much of a mystery anymore.
Capt. Mike Gerry has lived in north Alabama since the 1970s and has been fishing Lake Guntersville for over 35 years. He owns and operates Fish Lake Guntersville Guide Service and books individual, group and corporate trips. He also offers pre-tournament trips for competitive anglers. Visit FishLakeGuntersvilleGuideService.com, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org call (256) 759-2270. He'd love to hear from you!