Want To Catch More Late-Summer Bass? Here’s Some Tips!

Tips and Techniques
With the radiating sun beating down, late summer bass fishing can be sluggish, discouraging, and difficult. Many bass tend to slow down and move into cooler, deeper water, under cover, or near structure. Others may suspend mid-water or continue foraging along shallow lines. Confusing right? We know! Deciding what lure to tie on next when the fish aren’t biting can leave anglers scratching their heads wondering what they are doing wrong. While summer seems like a tough time to fish, with a little bit of work, it can also be the most rewarding.

Here’s a couple tips to help YOU catch more bass in late summer:

1) When the surface water is heating up, key in on fishing under cover – like docks, fallen trees, vegetation and more. Docks and submerged trees make for an excellent bass utopia. Vegetation like Hydrilla and Lily Pads are home to baitfish, higher oxygen levels, and mostly importantly, SHADE! Targeting bass in these areas can produce a satisfying summer catch.

2) Take advantage of feeding times! Get on the lake before the summer heat begins or as the evening sun begins to set. Low light and low heat are the perfect conditions for hungry bass. Tie on your favorite topwater, buzz-baits, or trick worms. This small window provides a prime-time experience and increases your chances of nailing your next personal best.

3) When bigger baits, frogs, and crank-baits stop working, go finesse! Use a drop-shot rig. Keep in mind – while we all want to feel the every twitch at the bottom by using heavier weight, lighter weight helps your worm maintain a natural presentation. Slow your crank speed down and stay confident in your technique!

4) Find the current! Whether it be from the wind, water density, or a nearby dam. Finding the current means finding oxygen, higher levels of oxygen means finding forage, finding forage means you find hungry predatory bass! BOOM…

5) Remember, not all bass are deep during the summer months, because this species of game-fish have a higher tolerance for heat, some remain shallow foraging on craws, bugs, frogs, some remain near points in search of ambush prey, and others will migrate to cooler deeper water. Don’t focus your energy in one place, the water is your wonderland!

6) When the hot gets hotter, match the hatch and throw a deep-diving crankbait. Use it as a search bait to cover a big area of deep water. Varying your speeds and technique can entice even the most lethargic fish to bite!

Bass can be finicky in the summer months, but with a little bit of time, effort, and technique you can quickly improve your catch ratio and thus, improve your summer-time fishing experience!

Get to know: Savage Gear Product Manager Mike Bennett

Mike joined the Okuma team in 2009 as has since joined the ranks as one of the top big bait fisherman around.  Also known as Big Bait Bennett and TheHawgFather, Mike likes to get out and do just that, throw big baits.  We had a chance to sit down with Mike and get a little of his story.


Okuma– Have you been fishing your whole life, and what got you started?

Mike– I got started at a young age thanks to my dad who used to take me fishing almost every weekend. Living in Colorado at the time, we started off trout fishing with bait, lures and then flies and from there branched out slowly to bass fishing and offshore saltwater as I got older.

Mike with nice Brown

Okuma– Clearly your dad was a big influence on you.

Mike–   Thank god for his patience with me not only while on the lake but every night he came home and I pelted him with a hundred fishing questions.

Mike with a 48 lb Stiped Bass

Okuma– How did you get started in the fishing industry?

Mike–  My first job in the fishing industry came at age 18 when I got a job at a local tackle shop that closed about a year after I started. I then moved into a chain of Southern California tackle shops and the fishing bug has stayed with me ever since. Fast forward to when I was 31 years old and I got hired at Okuma Fishing Tackle as a Customer Service Rep.

Sushi time

Okuma- Sitting in the customer service department, you got the opportunity to talk fishing with fisherman from all around the country.  Generally over the phone, you got to learn key techniques and pick up tips from the folks that would call in, and eventually put that to use.  Did the time in Customer Service help you move forward?

Mike– My fishing knowledge let me grow with the company and soon I was promoted to product department assistant. I was working in the product department when Okuma took on distribution rights for Savage Gear in North America and Canada.

Mike overseeing Bluegill production

Okuma– Savage Gear was primarily known as a Pike/Muskie brand when we took the distribution on in the US. 

Mike– Savage Gear being a European company had little that matched up to our fisheries and we spent a year rolling out a USA program. Since then we have fine-tuned the program and grew Savage Gear USA to the company you see today.


Okuma– Savage Gear has some incredibly realistic and lifelike baits like the Suicide Duck.  Is this new technology?

Mike– The process we use to develop a new bait today is still the same we started with. We start with a 3D scan of what we are trying to mimic and from there adjust the body/segments to get the swimming action we are looking to achieve. After some trial and error and plenty of testing we release the baits in the USA and abroad.

Suicide Ducks

Okuma– Speaking of testing, that has to be pretty cool, and lead you into some pretty unique fishing opportunities.  Do you still get out and fish regularly? 

Mike– For sure. I still fish a lot in both freshwater and saltwater with big swimbait fishing for largemouth bass/ musky and striped bass being my favorite.

Mike along the beach in Mexico doing some “Testing”

Okuma– Obviously, we are based in SoCal, but if you had to choose a destination where you had to live out your fishing dreams for the rest of your life, where would you choose?

Mike– I have fished some of the best off the road spots in the USA in both saltwater and freshwater and have to say for its diversity in fisheries and the access for normal anglers that Florida gets my nod as a top destination any time of the year.

Mike with a nice Marco Island Tripletail


Mike is a great guy and very personable.  If you get the chance to sit down and chat with him, he might just take you to one of his secret spots and put you on some big fish.

Feel the Vibe

On a recent trip down to El Salto Lake outside of Mazatlan Mexico, the guys from Savage Gear got into a wide open bite on the Fat Vibe baits.  With the incredible side to side vibration, loud distinctive rattle, and swim action on the fall, these baits just plain got it done.  The action was fast and furious, and the bass just kept coming.

The Savage Gear Fat Vibe lipless crankbait was designed to fish the entire water column drawing strikes from a great distance.

Fat Vibe largemouth

The distinct rattling noise and exaggerated belly makes the Fat Vibe deadly on a lift and fall retrieve.

Fat Vibe Largemouth

The Fat Vibe does not spiral down on the fall like most lipless crankbaits, but rather has a side-to-side swimming action on the fall.

Nice Largemouth Fat Vibe

Available in the hottest colors with high quality, super sharp hooks.

Fat Vibe Colors

Here is a video with a more detailed look at the baits and description by Savage Gear USA Product Manager Mike Bennett.