If you spend enough time this summer chasing crappie, bluegill or stripers, you’re going to run across a killer bass pattern in due time.
If you graph enough humps or channel bends looking for stripers, you’ll drop on a wad of fish and they’ll end up being bass. And guess what? I’m willing to bet very few bass anglers have ever found or looked for those fish. They’ll be all yours and it might be the beginning of a big-time pattern you can run for the rest of the summer.
When you break out your bluegill gear, you also have a high probability of running across some giant bass. Some of the best summertime bass spots I’ve found in the last decade have been found when I was bluegill fishing with my friends or fiancé. There are certain factors that will prompt bass to show up to certain bluegill beds year after year, such as adjacent depth, cover and orientation. Whenever you hook a bluegill, I’d suggest letting them fight a little longer than normal and wear some polarized glasses—you’ll see some bass follow them that will make your knees knock.
Crappie fishing can also teach you a lot electronics and shad behavior. Summertime crappie are going to be found around the bait and ironically, so will the bass. If you spend some time looking for crappie and shad on your electronics (the crappie are usually stacked vertically), you’ll run across a few horizontal dots on the bottom, which are often bass. Make a waypoint and get back out there with a big swimbait or a deep crankbait and hold on tight.
If you’re finding yourself getting irritated with the slow summer bass fishing, there’s no shame in taking a little break. The more you can learn about all of your local fish species, the better you’ll understand the seasonal patterns and behavior of big bass.