STRATEGIES Sensational Summer Strategies
We’re into January and the heat in most parts of South Africa is peaking, with warmer water temperatures than any other time of the year. It’s time to consider our second part of this series on strategies for targeting summer bass.
Bass are an incredible species and their movements are largely decided upon according to seasonal weather patterns. The extreme temperatures of mid-summer can help us locate bass without too much confusion and a basic rule of thumb is that old story of fishing the shallows before dawn and around sunset. There is good theory in this and it is simply this; the very warm water temperatures with harsh sunlight will drain a large portion of oxygen from the shallow depths and this in turn makes it intolerable for bass to spend their time in this zone between the hours of dawn and dusk. There are exceptions of course, including the hours just before a rain storm (generally windy with intermittent sunlight penetration), as well as those welcome windy afternoons where the water surface is rippling and oxygen is churning through the upper water layers. Don’t forget these two excellent opportunities to rush into the shallows and take full advantage of the activity that takes place during these obvious, yet often over looked weather events.
For the majority of our summer day though we should prepare ourselves for many warm hours with little to no wind at all, still surface conditions and rising water temperatures. These are the times of the day where fishing and finding bass are going to be testing.
A great example of events overlooked was during a tournament on Rust der Winter Dam. At around midday we had agreed to have the events camera crew join us on board our boat. My fishing colleague, Peter Potgieter and I had been targeting deep, isolated strings of chicamba weed just off the deep edge of an abundant, dense vegetation line. The summer air was thick with humidity and every now and then our polarised glasses would suddenly fog up as an indication of changing weather conditions. The water surface was mostly very still and we were really having a jolly old time probably boating a fish on every cast!