During the hot and muggy days of late summer, bass and crappie look for cooler water, meaning they go deeper. When I refer to deeper water, in some cases this may only be a few feet or 20 feet.
Hot shallow water has a very low oxygen level. Fish become stressed in this type of area and will not feed much. Deep lakes with clear water cause fish to move much deeper than lakes with stained- or off-colored water.
In the heat of summer the lake will be made up of layers of water of different temperatures. The temperature between the top and lower depths only changes a very few degrees until you get to that one depth area where it will change quite a bit. This area where the warmer water and the cooler water meet is known as the thermocline.
Most anglers will tell you to fish below the thermocline in the heat of summer for the most active fish. In most lakes in our area this is usually around 20 feet deep or so. Worms and jigs are good choices for bait when bass are holding on deeper cover and when they are schooling holding off deep points and cliff and bluffs.
When fish are scattered on deeper cover, use a bait that can be used as a search bait to quickly cover water and locate active fish. All these baits will work well when the fish are holding deeper. The deeper cooler water has much better oxygen than the hot shallow water and this makes the fish more active and hungry.
So if you’re fishing shallow this summer, back off the bank some and let your line down deeper for better summer fishing action.