Summer Fishing: 6 Tips to Catch Summer Fish

By: Nolan Pyle

October 18, 2022

Table of Contents


1. The Early Bird Gets the Worm

2. Stay Hydrated and Dress the Part

3. Deeper Can be the Answer

4. Don’t be Afraid of Big Baits

5. Current is Key

6. Find the Shade

Who doesn’t love a gorgeous summer day on the water? Beautiful weather, sunshine, a calm lake and plenty of people enjoying the water. As enjoyable as all of these things can be, they can also make for some seriously tough fishing conditions. In this article, we’re going to give you some summer fishing tips to help you land a big one when the bite gets tough.

1. Early Bird Gets the Worm

The hotter the days get, the more important it is to be on the water at the crack of dawn. Most predatory fish prefer to feed in low light conditions because it makes it easier for them to ambush their prey, so in the summer when bright and sunny days are common many fish will be considerably more active in the morning than any other time of the day. It’s not uncommon for our local Lake Erie walleye anglers to have a majority or even their entire limit in the first few hours of the morning. And as for our bass and musky anglers, a morning topwater bite is some serious motivation to get out of bed before the sun comes up!

2. Stay Hydrated and Dress the Part

Although this may not seem like much of a fishing tip, it’s one of the most important things you can do when fishing in hot weather. The more dehydrated you become, the more you lose focus on what's going on around you. This will cause you to start missing bites or overlooking pieces of the puzzle when trying to put a pattern together. Many companies such as Aftco and Simms design apparel to protect you from the sun and keep you cool. FishUSA even carries their own line of hot weather apparel. Wearing these specially designed sun shirts keeps you cool, focused and safe from the sun all day.

The FishUSA Men’s Hardcore Performance Long Sleeve Shirt is sure to keep you cool and comfortable in the heat of the summer

3. Deeper Can be the Answer

Depending on what body of water you’re fishing or where you are in the world, deeper can be the answer in the summer. As water temps rise in the shallows, oxygen levels can decrease causing baitfish to head for the deep, and the predators aren’t far behind them. Bass will head to offshore structures such as stumps, brush piles, rock piles, deep weeds or any other type of cover they can find. Other species such as walleyes or muskies will also head to these offshore structures, but are also more prone to suspend or just chase bait around the basin of a lake. This is when it becomes difficult to target these fish with any technique other than trolling.

4. Don’t Be Afraid of Big Baits

This tip is a little more focused towards early summer fishing, but it can definitely still be a factor throughout the entire summer fishing season. After fish have spawned and are leaving the shallows of whatever canal, creek or river they may have just been inhabiting, they’re tired, hungry, and just dying for a big easy meal to fall right in front of their faces. This is why a larger presentation such as a big swimbait, topwater, or jig can have some serious drawing power in the early summer. Plus, catching fish on big baits can just be downright fun! Megabass makes a variety of plus sized swimbaits that excel in the summer months and are an excellent option for many species.

This post-spawn smallie made short work of this 5” Megabass Sparkshad

The Megabass Magdraft catches the eye of just about any big predator

5. Current is Key

Current is important when fishing anywhere any time of year, but in the summer it is an especially crucial variable to keep an eye on. Current positions fish and gets them feeding, so in the hot summer when fish are scattered and lethargic, it can be your best friend. Current isn’t just a factor on a river, creek or a lake with a dam that pulls water. Wind can create an impressive amount of current on even small bodies of water, which moves the microscopic plankton invisible to us that baitfish love to feed on. In turn, predatory fish follow. Fish that are in a completely neutral mood and not interested in feeding at all can be snapped into activity as soon as the wind starts blowing and some current becomes present. As nice as it can be to enjoy a glass calm lake and not fight wind or current all day, that can make for some difficult fishing conditions.

6. Find the Shade

Imagine you’re out fishing on a brutally sunny and hot day. Whenever you pass under a bridge, tree or anything else offering shade it feels great to escape the blasting sun, doesn’t it? The fish feel the same way in the summer. This is a large part of the reason fish will run for deep water, but some will remain shallow if there’s enough cover to keep them there. And shade is something that they’ll instantly gravitate towards. Shade doesn’t just offer relief from the sun, however. It creates a perfect ambush point for fish and allows them to feel safe and sheltered from predators.

From early summer to late summer, fishing in hot weather can be extremely tough yet very rewarding. We hope these tips help you put a few more fish in the net this summer!