How to beat summertime largemouth bass fishing blues

A largemouth bass eyes a plastic worm. Largemouth bass fishing during the summertime means focusing more on plastic and mixing up presentations.
A largemouth bass eyes a plastic worm. Largemouth bass fishing during the summertime means focusing more on plastic and mixing up presentations.

Wondering why largemouth bass aren’t crushing your reaction baits? It might not be your fault.

It’s the nature of summertime: the water temperature at Bartlett Lake hit 90 degrees on Saturday (for example), and nights aren’t cooling down much. Monsoon storms moving in and out are keeping bass “dazed and confused.”

Across all statewide desert bass fisheries the next few weeks,  plastic worms rigged on Texas rigs, Carolina rigs and dropshots will be the most reliable tactic.

“Every day changes,” said Gary Senft, a Bass Pro at the Mesa Bass Pro Shops who has fished Bartlett Lake often during the past couple weeks. “What you catch them on one day, you may not catch them on the next day. If you’re catching them on jigs one day, a couple days later they might not be hitting jigs at all. In August, be smart and try different colors and depths.”

Here’s a tip: at night, make your leader small – you only want your bait about 5 inches above the weight on a dropshot. During the daytime, make that a bit longer, say, 10-12 inches.

Bartlett Lake largemouth bass fishing in Arizona can be steady due to high numbers of fish,
Bartlett Lake largemouth bass fishing in Arizona can be steady due to high numbers of fish,

Arizona bass fishing hot spot

Bartlett Lake is probably the top spot for bass. It’s typically the most steady for bass fishing because of its high numbers of largies.

At many lakes, such as Bartlett and Roosevelt Lake, bass are not retreating to the deepest water possible. Instead, they are suspending in their comfort zone of around 70 degrees. Even though a lake might be 60-90 feet deep, fish could be suspended in 20-25 feet – along with all the shad they want to eat.

Take heart: it’s not necessarily that you’re fishing skills aren’t getting it done right now.

Just mix it up and grind away until that first fall cool-off.

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