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Summer Bassin' and Saltwater Bite

By Rob BelloniJune 9, 2002

Summer Bassin'

It's June and the summer is coming on strong. Let's talk about what the bass might have on their minds for the coming months.


After a bass gets done spawning, it takes a little break and then commences eating. June will see the fish in varying stages of recovery. There are still going to be some big headed, snake looking females bashing on crankbaits, topwater, and trouts but a lot of the fish will also be getting pretty fat again as the month progresses. And the fatter they get, the harder they get to catch.


Success in the summer time can have a lot to do with your timing. Now is the time to focus early and late in the day. I especially like the late evening bite in the summer. On bright sunny days the bass just don't enjoy burning their eyeballs out looking for food. With the abundance of bluegill, shad, and other baitfish that most likes develop in shallow water in the early summer, bass can wait until that perfect window when they can feed at will and target those tasty baitfish silhouettes that never saw the bass coming.


It's time for Rio Ricos, Zara Spooks, Speed Traps, Fat Free Shad, frogs, drop shot and 5" swimbaits. I'll always have a jig and a trout tied on but the baitfish thing is more on my mind this time of year. Mid day I'm probably looking deep or I'm looking shallow in heavy cover. Take a minute to look up at the sun mid-day. No, not right at it! To the side ... anywhay, it's bright. Bass don't like that very much. Catchable fish are likely to be shading their eyes using either cover or depth.

Paying Attention:

I took a short trip to Lake Chabot the other day and since I knew the fishing would be tough, I tried to focus and pay as much attention as possible to the conditions and to any clues the fish might be giving me. It's important to do this on every trip, but this day I put a little more emphasis on it. I only caught one bass, but by paying attention I felt like I learned a lot. Some observations, in breif. Big fish in the mid-day were not shallow. Talking to Eric, they had been shallow in the morning. I need to work on my timing! Visible fry were pretty large, 1/2 to 1 inch long. I made mental note of every area where I sighted a ball of fry for sight fishing next year. Smaller male bass were still guarding some fry but not agressively. The big females were obviously done spawning and had moved out off the bank. I adjusted to this by fishing deeper and slower and although it didn't pay off, I felt like I did the right thing.

Worthwhile Reading:

Vince started a good thread on the Trophy Board with some book references for Bass fishing. I need to get my hands on some of these titles and get my learn on :) Some other interesting reading I came across was in a recent Bass West. An interview with Dave Gliebe about subliminal suggestion. Absolutley fascinating and well worth reading if you have a copy of the mag. There is something of a follow up article on Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here. This is some great philosophy from some of the greats in bass fishing.

Big Bass Days

Nicolo Raffo nailed down the top spot for the Big Bass Days of May with his 13.7lber from Coyote, caught on a brush hog. Congrats to Nico on a great fish and a personal best.

Saltwater Bite

Good ocean fishing is happening all over the map. Let's talk about it and where it might be headed.

White Sea Bass:

White sea bass must be up there on the fish popularity ranking. Everybody just wants to catch the darn things! What everyone is hoping for right now is that the MDR/SMB bite is going to be like last year where the fish bit stupid for a good length of time right in front of the harbor. All the reports I'm reading indicate that the fish are definitely around, but that they haven't decided to get very stupid yet. It seems like the best advice is to get some live squid and use your fish finder to locate some fishy marks in 80 to 110 or thereabouts. My guess is that the guys who know their sonar are getting the fish and the guys that use their visual sonar (ie let's go anchor by that horde of boats) are probably not nailing them. I'm sitting here in Nor-cal and really wishing I could lay into one of those nice 20+ croakers right about now. I wish everyone the best of luck fishing for them this month.


The bite has pretty much petered out off SB, but it would appear that a good number of fish have finally decided to show for Avila. The biggest problem has been weather with nasty jet stream influence piping some high winds this way all weekend, but look for some big slugs to show up there as soon as it lays down.


You take an area like the SB Harbor, Goleta Beach, El Capitan, etc and those pesky halibuts are always around somewhere. The deterrent recently from the reports has been a lot of kelp in the water and unstable water conditions in the form of wind and swells. My advice would be to wait for at least 2 or 3 days of low wind/swells and pick an afternoon high tide at Goleta that peaks out late in the day. The fish are there and you will catch them.

Calico Bass:

Where is bass? That was a joke for you Brian. I really don't know what's up with the checkboard family. I'm expecting any day to look at the Stardust fish count and see about a hundred bass and sixy cud's but it hasn't happened quite yet. Larry and Pete have been busy catching several thousand bass on the Q105 Big Hammer trip, so maybe that explains the lack of local bass reports. Larry, Pete, and Co. had a real time of it and made me very jealous with the report. Larry knocked off a 53lb 'tail on a big hammer and Pete followed suit with 44 and 38lbers. Not to mention the (from the sound of it) phenomenal calico fishing.

Good times all around, it's time to go fish!

Copyright © Robert Belloni 1997-2012. All Rights Reserved.
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