What We’re Throwing in June

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Summer is here. June is upon us and the air temps are tickling the 90s across much of the country, the water temps are nearing 90 already in some places. For most of us though, the water temperatures are still a bit more moderate than that, hovering in the 70s and into the 80s in places. 

These temperatures will continue to rise though and this will have fish looking for a reprieve in cover, current, shade and deeper water. There are certain baits and techniques that work really well this time of year for tempting both shallow and deep fish alike into biting. We’re going to look at a few of those as we break down what we’re throwing in June. 


Standard sized wake baits (like the Jenko Wake n’ Bait pictured above) work well at catching bass in the summer. These baits can be used to mimic injured or feeding bluegill and other bream, which spawn in the shallows during June. Bigger wake baits in particular are what really get me going in the summer. 

If you read much of what I’ve written lately, you likely already know I’ve been on a big bait kick the last couple months. I spent a good amount of my time in April and May heaving around glide baits in particular. While these baits still catch bass in the summer, I really like big wake baits better as the water temps continue to rise. 

Big wake baits like wood rats and the Clutch Wake Gill (a newfound nugget I’m looking forward to throwing a lot this month) are great baits for June. These baits have a ton of drawing power, the same way a glide bait does. However, wake baits can be fished even slower, as they crawl and knock along the surface. 

Baits like these are great for fishing over and around bluegill and other bream beds, which are prevalent in many places. They are also great for shady spots and drawing fish up out of tree tops and other deeper cover. You can fish them through mayfly hatches as well, as they imitate bream and rodents feeding on these bugs. All of these things and more make big wake baits hard to beat in June. 


There are few baits as effective at getting bit as a drop shot, especially in the summer. As bass transition into deeper water, they’ll pause and collect around cover at various depths. The beauty of a drop shot is that it can be used to precisely target these fish throughout the wide range of depths they’ll be staging at this month. 

Whether pitching a weedless rigged Roboworm into a brush pile in 10 feet of water in Alabama where I live, or tossing a nose-hooked Shad Shape Worm to a bedding smallmouth on the upper stretches of the Great Lakes, a drop shot is a fantastic bait to use in June. 

Here are some great tips on how to rig and fish drop shots from one of the best to ever do it, Elite Series Pro Brandon Palaniuk. 


The deep crankbait bite really gets into full swing in the month of June. From ledges along the Tennessee River to isolated brush piles along the Coosa, I’ve caught lots of bass on deep diving crankbaits like the Strike King Series 5XD and Series 6XD. These baits run about 15 and 18 feet respectively, which is just right for targeting those first bass that group up offshore. 

Though deep crankbaits do work well throughout the summer, they are typically more effective in June than any other month. The reason being the fish get conditioned to these baits pretty quickly. Though offshore bass will see a lot of crankbaits as the summer drags on, early on, these baits are great because they can be used to quickly process water and catch numbers of deep staging bass that are fresh off the beds and looking to feed up.

As the summer drags on, you’ll find that the crankbait bite slows down a bit in most places. Slow moving football jigs, Texas rigged ribbon tail worms, magnum shaky heads and swing heads are all great baits in June as well, but these are typically “clean up baits” this time of the year—lures that you can fish through an area to pick up any fish that wouldn’t bite the crankbaits and other, more aggressive lures. Hair jigs are other great baits to use this time of year and should be worked into the rotation as well. 


June is one of the best months of the year to throw a hollow body frog—a popping frog in particular. Traditional hollow body frogs with pointed noses work really well in June too, especially when fishing through and over top of thick cover. In most situations this time of year, I prefer to replace these walking frogs that I’ve used throughout the spring with popping style frogs. 

The SPRO Dean Rojas Bronzeye Poppin’ Frog 60 is THE epitome of a popping frog. This is my personal opinion of course but it’s one that thousands of frog fishing enthusiasts share with me, no doubt. Popping frogs like this one from SPRO mimic feeding bluegill and other bream along the surface as good or better than any other bait. 

The closest competition for best bream imitator would have to be treble hooked baits, like poppers and prop baits. These lures can only be fished in open water and around isolated cover. Additionally, they are much harder to skip. Hollow body popping frogs on the other hand can be skipped several feet with ease and they can come through really thick cover. 

These baits are great for fishing around grass, bluegill beds and insect hatches—all areas where big bass lurk around in June. The hookup ratios are better with these baits than most other bream imitators. You can use much heavier gear with frogs, which makes wrestling big fish out of cover easier. I rarely go fishing in the month of June without a popping frog on deck. This is a must have in my opinion. 


The bass scatter quite a bit in the month of June. You’ll still be able to find fish shallow as far south as Florida, as they hone in on spawning baitfish in the southern states. Bass that are fresh off the bed farther north can still be caught shallow too. There will be a lot of bass moving into deeper water this month across the country, looking to recuperate in cooler water. 

It’s a good idea to keep options on hand that can be fished throughout a wide range of depths. Deep crankbaits and drop shots are great for targeting the deeper fish, while popping frogs and big wakebaits can make what’s left of the shallow bite more than memorable. I like to mix things up myself, keeping both bites honest. Those big topwater bites shallow, those are what keep me going fishing in June for sure. The heat can be pretty unbearable at times but a big blow up on top makes it all worthwhile. Gotta love it.