Surface Fishing for Bass: Fly Rods and Surface Lures for Summertime Bass Fishing

Bass are one of the most spectacular of freshwater game fish. With patience and the right approach, anglers hook fighting, splashing, tail-walking bass.

Lurking Bass Lunge for Poppers

Bass resting under shady cover will often hit a popper splashing along the surface. Important factors in summer surface fishing include placement and movement of the lure. Bass cover is often tucked up next to a shore, with vegetation growing along the bank and hanging over the water.

Heavy weed mats can also harbor big bass. Getting the popper in where the bass are lurking, without snagging the lure on weeds or overhanging trees, is the key to success in this situation.

Choose the Right Popper

Even a moderate sized largemouth bass can completely swallow a small popper, so the angler should go with a larger rather than smaller lure. Matching the hatch for midsummer suggests choosing a popper that sports insect-like legs.

High-visibility colors, such as white, yellow, chartreuse, and hunter orange are good selections. When fishing weeds, a weedless popper, the kind that comes with one or two strands of monofilament protecting the hook, will diminish frustrating snags and disappointing lure loss.

Fishing the Weedbeds

To entice bass resting in the shade under a mat of water plants, the angler should cast a weedless popper directly into the mat. Working around the edge of the weedbed might bring in some smaller fish, but the big guys will be in deeper hiding.

The usual twitching popper retrieval is not workable in this situation, but as the lure is retrieved it will bounce and slide in and over the weeds, attracting the attention of fish beneath.

Keep Line Slack to a Minimum

More pressure is required to hook a fish when using a lure with a monofilament weed guard. Slack in the line results in loss of hook-setting power. The rod tip should point directly at the popper, with as little line out as possible.

Fly Rods Allow Premium Popper Action

When using a fly rod to cast poppers in toward the bank from a boat or wading position, the angler can cast freely unless the cove or pond is extremely small. In confined areas, or when casting from the bank, roll casting allows the same quick popper placement and replacement as the traditional casting method.

Rewards of Midsummer Bass Fishing

Although spring and fall are best for finding hot spots where bass are feeding, lone lunkers can be caught in midsummer if anglers change fishing technique. Fishing surface areas above the shady nooks where bass find cool sanctuary results in fishing success, even when others are leaving the lake empty-handed.

Donald S. Cochran
 

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