Bass are most predictable this time of year, as their patterns are most stable. After the spawn, bass feed in two different ways, either hunkering down in cover to ambush prey, or schooling together and chasing down baitfish. Shallow bass ambushing prey stay put until their food source depletes, so fishing shallow is a game of finding high percentage areas with plenty of forage. Schooling bass can be difficult to catch, because they are constantly on the move chasing prey; but on the flip side, these fish are easier to catch once thy are located, as they are less pressured and less wary of artificial baits.
Many anglers are jumping aboard the chatterbait craze. Chatterbaits are a kind of swim jig with a swinging metal lip that creates a hard thumping side-to-side action. You can fish them throughout the season, and they’re a top choice among shallow water bass anglers. They really shines when worked through hard cover like rock and wood, and you will get most bites deflecting the bait off of cover. The chatterbait is equally effective when retrieved fast over the top of vegetation or the outside of weed lines in the summer.
Go-to chatterbait retrieves for summer fishing
Clear water- fast retrieve
Muddy water- slow retrieve
Tough bite- use a slow lift and fall retrieve
Fishing along the coastal shorelines in the dog days of summer can be tough…. and hot, so getting out before sunrise is the best time of day to catch fish. Walk the beach and look for baitfish activity or birds feeding on the surface. Cool off by wading the shallows, casting spoons and hair jigs to active schools of redfish, seatrout, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and jack crevalle. A long spinning rod in the 7- to 8-foot range with a light tip works great for casting these smaller baits long distances. Be sure to bring a cast net to catch your own live bait for larger species like sharks, bull redfish, or snook––gear up with a heavy-duty surf rod and cast live baitfish or shrimp to troughs along the beach.
Recommended light-tackle gear
• Rod: Shimano Convergence-7’6” medium-power, fast-action spinning rod.
• ReelShimano Sahara 3000 size spinning reel.
• Line:20-pound, PowerPro Maxcuatro.
Recommended heavy-duty surf gear
• Rod: Shimano Tiralejo 11’ Heavy-power, fast-action.
• Reel: Shimano Ultegra 5500 size spinning surf reel
• Line: 65-pound, PowerPro Maxcuatro
1. Rinse the fillet with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub your fingers over the fillet to be sure that there are no bones. If you feel a little bone, remove it with a knife.
2. Line a baking sheet with foil and rub with oil or spray with a non-stick spray.
3. Set the grouper on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and seasoning. Dot the top with butter.
4. Broil on high for 8 minutes.
Turn on your fan and open the door. Things could get a bit smoky, but it will be worth it! Serve with roasted vegetables and a light salad. It is a delicious treat!
With the plethora of spinning reels on the market, choosing one suits you best can be a tough decision. Follow this checklist so that you have more knowledge when it comes time to purchase.
• Drag. A smooth drag is necessary when it comes to fishing with light line, and will allow fish to fight with out breaking the line. Make sure it tightens all the way down so you have some stopping power on your reel to stop fish from running into cover.
• Gears. Quality gears are a must have. Cheaper gears decrease the life of a reel. With good gears you will reel in fish with ease and have flawless performance for years to come. Shimano HAGANE gears are the best in the industry––they are cold forged, are the strongest gears in the market place, and have no imperfections.
• Bearings. Smooth reels have good bearings. Make sure you have shielded ball bearings to keep dirt and grime out for both fresh and saltwater fishing.