The Best Bass Lures for Summer

April 21, 2020

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It’s mid-April. Each day the weather seems to get a little bit better, and with the current shelter-in-place, it’s hard not to daydream about your first day back out on the water to fish for bass.

Unfortunately, this probably won’t happen until it’s nearly summer. So you’ll want to be extra prepared with what to use when the ban is lifted. You have your favorite lures, but what are the best bass lures to use during the summer? 

Depending on how far along summer is, the answer actually varies. Different temperatures, feeding patterns, and depth of water all make a difference in picking out the best bass lure in the summer. Lucky for you, we’ve done all the hard work and put together this guide!

Over the next few pages, we cover all types of lures to use depending on the month of summer you’re in. Read on and you’ll be ready to rock and roll come summertime.

Best Bass Lures for Summer

If you’re wondering what tackle to use, fear not: we’ve got a complete crankbait rod buying guide that lists our favorite rods for bass. And, if you need a new bass fishing reel be sure to check out both our spinning reel buying guide as well as our baitcasting reel buying guide. We’ve also picked out our favorite fluorocarbon fishing line for bass that pair excellently with the above hardware.

Early Summer Bass Fishing (May to June)

You made it! It’s early summer and you’re ready to bass fish. But which lures are best for bass coming out of the spring months? In May and June, the water temperature is lower than the other summer months (usually in the 60s and 70s depending on where you fish), which means bass are more comfortable in shallower water and are more active. They’re also done with spawning and ready to replenish their energy stores – which means lots of aggressive eating.

This makes early summer one of the most popular times to fish for bass – especially for beginners who enjoy catching the smaller but more aggressive fish. Since the water temperatures are in the 60s and 70s, bass love to cover ground in the water they’re residing in. If a spot isn’t working for you, be sure to move on to another location where the bass may be hiding.

Best Bass Lures for Early Summer

Since bass are actively feeding more early on in summer, it makes sense to use flashy lures that move fast through the water. This will catch a hungry bass’s attention and also entice them to strike. It also allows you to cover more ground with your casts and fast retrieval. Here are the types of lures you should prioritize.

  1. Spinning lures. Spinning lures have a ton of action underwater and are great at attracting an aggressive bass’s attention. The thinning the blade on the spinning lure, the faster it will spin. Focus on spinning lures with thin blades for the most intense action.
  2. Crankbait lures. Just like spinning lures, crankbait lures have a lot of action when retrieved quickly. For early summer conditions, focus on using shallow water crankbaits in shallow water near the shoreline. Hungry bass will mistake them for a frog or mouse running for cover.
  3. Buzzbait lures. Another loud-and-fast lure for aggressive bass is buzzbait lures. These lures attract aggressive bass with their loud retrieval. These lures tend to also work well in shallower water.
  4. Rubber worms. Rubber worms will work well all summer long. In the early months, fish them close to shore and use a Texas Rig to prevent hookups on underwater grass or logs. These lures also work great for snakehead!

Mid Summer Bass Fishing (July to August)

Once it’s July, summer is in full swing. It’s time to switch your bass fishing and lure tactics. Daily water temperatures are now often in the 70s and 80s, which will force bass into deeper water later in the day. Bass are less active than in the earlier months of summer, but they’re also easier to find since they like to hang out in or near deeper water as well as shaded areas.

Depending on the time of day, different locations make more sense to fish for bass mid-summer. Early in the morning (before 9 am) when the water temperature is at its lowest point, fishing for bass in shallow water can still be effective. As the day progresses and the temperature rises, the bass will tend to leave the shallow water in favor of deeper, cooler locations. They’ll also favor areas covered in shadows, such as under a dock or fallen tree.

Bass are also sensitive to light. Their pupils can’t adjust to the amount of light entering them, so in mid-day conditions, they have to seek low light areas to stay comfortable.

Best Bass Lures for Mid Summer

Depending on the time of day you’re fishing, various types of lures can work well in mid-summer conditions.

Early Morning

Topwater Crankbait lures and spinners are often a great choice for bass fishing in the early morning. Just like earlier in the summer, bass like to hang out in shallower water if the temperature allows. It’s where their prey live. Early in the morning, you should try fishing the same lures you used in early summer.

Mid Day

After 9 am and until around 3 pm, you’ll need to get your lure in front of bass that are either hiding undercover or in deeper water. This means using a punch rig or deep-diving crankbait lures. Punch rigs have a weighted nose on them that helps them ‘punch’ through topwater cover (like lilypads or grass) and get to the fish hiding underneath. Deep-diving crankbait lures do just what their name implies – dive deep in the water to get closer to fish near the bottom. Since the bass at this time of day are trying to reserve energy, retrieve your lure slower than you would in the morning or in early summer.

Later Afternoon/Evening

As the day gets closer to ending, the water temperature begins cooling off again. This means you can start using the same topwater techniques you used in the morning. You may need to modify your rate of retrieval, however, so test different speeds to see what the fish prefer.

Late Summer Bass Fishing (August to September)

Late summer brings varying temperatures depending on location. Some bass habitats will remain hot well into September, while others will begin cooling off rapidly (especially at night). Depending on where you’re fishing, you’ll need to modify the type of bass lure you use.

Because the conditions are changing rapidly, you should be ready with a variety of bass lures and techniques at your disposal. On hot days you’ll need to follow mid-summer bass lure rules, while on cooler fall-like days you can transition to your early summer techniques. 

The farther into late summer you get, however, the more aggressive bass will become. The fall months of September and October are great for bass fishing, as the bass are feeding heavily to prepare for the winter months. 

Best Bass Lures for Late Summer

Warmer Days

On warmer late summer days, follow the lure options that are best for mid-summer conditions. Use topwater lures with more action early in the morning/later in the evening, and deeper water options midday.

Cooler Days

These days will often be more productive than the warm days, as bass begin to think about bulking up for winter. Feel free to use more aggressive topwater lures in shallower water all day, and transition to deeper water if the more aggressive techniques aren’t working.

Final Thoughts

Bass fishing is one of our favorite summer activities. Bass are some of the most fun freshwater fish to catch, and the weather in the summer can’t be beaten. If you’re looking forward to bass fishing this summer, now you know the types of lures you should stock up on ahead of time. 

Got a specific lure that has worked well for summer bass fishing? Hit us up in the comments! We’d love to hear more about your summer bass fishing adventures.

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