Key areas to target

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boat dock

We briefly discussed laydowns adjacent to deep water in the previous section, so let’s start there and hit on a few things. Adjacent deep water and verticality is a big deal for bass in extreme-weather months; both in the summer and winter. But of course, let’s focus on the summer in this article.

Weather fronts happen a lot this time of year. Now, I’m not saying it’s going to drop 30 degrees overnight very frequently throughout the summer (maybe in your area, but it’s just perpetually boiling hot in my neck of the woods), but I’ve noticed around here that lightning storms will kill a shallow bite and cause a bunch of fish to push off the bank to deeper water.

These older, smarter bass know the possibility of severe storms exist this time of year and that’s why they love these deeper laydowns adjacent to deep water. They can hang out on the shallower end of the laydowns when the weathers a bit nicer and if a storm or large temperature swing occurs, they can kick that big ol’ tail two or three times and put themselves in an entirely different and more comfortable living situation in deeper water. Additionally on those super-hot summer days, they can slide out into that deeper water and enjoy significantly cooler water temperatures. When it’s time for them to feed, a few tail kicks into shallow water for a quick ambush is all that’s needed before they back right off into the cooler, deeper water again.

I also encourage you to target boat docks with your shallow-diving suspending jerkbaits this time of year. Again, I’m not a biologist but I do have two functioning eyeballs and I’m constantly seeing small bluegill hanging out around boat docks in the hot summer months. Can you go skip a jig or swim jig around these docks and catch some bass? Absolutely you can and if you’re more comfortable doing that, by all means, do it. But again, these summer bass love to suspend in the shade. So if you’re pitching or flipping docks and not getting bites, rig up a shallow, suspending jerkbait and fish it slowly down the edges and fronts of boat docks.

It may seem a little odd doing this with sweat dripping down your back instead of being bundled up in a hoodie and bibs, but give it an honest shot for me. I was telling a fishing buddy a few weeks ago, “I don’t know what it is about these dang jerkbaits but almost every time I tie one on this time of year, I catch a fish within a minute or two.”

Well guess what? The same buddy texted me the next week and said, “I’ll be dang… you’re right!” along with a few pictures of 4- and 5-pounders on a 103-degree day. They were all caught on a jerkbait around boat docks and laydowns.