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 Fishing the Dog Days of Summer

Article: July, 2001
Lake Fork Pro Jim ReaneauThis month's article will cover the dog days of summer. What do you do on those long hot summer days. The mornings can be spent fishing shallow. Texas rig worms, jigs, top water, and small crank baits. All these baits will usually catch fish till the sun gets up and then you have to back off the bank out to ten foot of water or better. Creek bends with jigs and Texas Rigs are the good summer time baits and areas. Medium to deep crank baits over creek channels is another good tactic.. Carolina rigs out on main lake points and humps are another summer tactic. The deep crank baits like the thirty plus will wear your arm out but they will catch fish over deep water. July is the month the fish really start to suspend. Suspended fish can be caught on Jigging spoons, drop shots, lipless crank baits, jigs, and spinner baits.

When you find the suspended fish get the proper depth and count lures down to them such the jig, lipless crank baits, spinner baits, or hold a jigging spoon suspended down where the fish are and don’t move the bait. Let natural line twist give the bait all the motion it will need to draw a strike. The natural unwinding from the line twist will cause a flash from the spoon. Swim jigs and spinner baits down to the fish and work the lure just fast enough to keep the bait at the proper depth. This a good time to use your electronics to search deep water for individual or small schools of very large fish. I have fished for one fish that was suspended down at twenty feet and threw a thirty plus and finally got the bait in the right place and caught a nine and a half in fifty foot of water. This is tough fishing but this is a tough time of the year.

Night fishing can be productive for those who like the night bite. I personally never cared for night bass fishing. Crappie and catfish on the other hand can be very plentiful at night.

If you like the night bite get out on the lake before the dark falls so you can figure out you best areas. Look for banks with not much standing timber so you want be casting into it during the night. Don’t forget knot tying can be tough at night. On Lake Fork and all of Texas you have to have all your lights on if you are not tied up or anchored. The game wardens are out at night looking for the boats not legally lighted.

The summer is another time you need plenty of fluids as you can dry out pretty quick. Try fishing in the mornings until it gets hot and then go in until late evenings, then come back out. This is one good way to beat the summer heat. Plenty of sun screen is a must. Apply before you hit the water and reapply after the sun gets up and starts to burn. Sun stroke is no laughing matter. Don’t fool a friend who is complaining of the heat about being a sissy. He may be in real trouble and wont let you know. Watch for signs as you will become flush in the face and get very weak. This is when you need to head to the dock.

Be sure to carry a good hand cleaner or bar of soap as some sun screens can leave and odor on your bait that is offense to fish. So wash your hands regularly, to keep the sun screen from your hands. Plenty of water and sun screen and you are ready for your day on the lake.
Thanks and Good Fishing,

Fishing Tip by EX Lake Fork Guide Jim Reaneau


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