3 Tips for Finding Summer Bass in Shady Areas

Lily Pads

In the summertime, everyone has a favorite spot to stay cool and beat the heat. Some go to the water park; others just hang out inside the house.

Now, here is the cool thing: Fish also have predictable summertime hangouts. They go to places where there’s food, current, plants, high levels of oxygen and shade, which they use as cover.

Of all those factors, shade is one of the easiest for anglers to find and target. Use the tips below to help find good shady fishing spots and get more bites during your next fishing trip.


1. The best place to find shade when fishing from the bank is usually very close to where you are already fishing – maybe even right under your feet. Can you think of where it is? That’s right. Docks create huge amounts of shade, and fish love to get underneath them. Docks provide shore anglers a great place to reach farther into the water when fishing, and they offer a nice place to catch fish. When on a dock, try dropping your bait or lure right next to the posts or as close to the shady area underneath as you can. In the morning or afternoon, when the sun is low, there’ll usually be a “shady side,” where the dock casts its shadow, and a “sunny side.” Always fish the shady side. My favorite way to fish a dock is with crickets. They are a sure bet for summertime bluegills.


2. A bed of lily pads is almost like a natural dock for fish (don’t try to walk out on them though). Lily pad leaves are large and flat, and they float on the surface, which creates an excellent shady spot for fish to hide during the sunny days of summer. Lily pads are a bit tougher to fish because your hooks can snag, so try to cast your bait or lure just on the edge of the pads or in the holes. If you’re comfortable with the technique, a topwater frog can be a very fun way to lure these fish out of their summer hangouts.


3. While not offering as much shade as the last two options, fallen trees make an excellent spot to find a few lazy summertime bass along the bank. Catfish and bluegills will also set up in the shade of the trunk or within its branches. Don’t forget to fish the shady side of the tree just like on the dock. Plastic worms and live night crawlers are my go-to choices when I want to catch a “tree-pounder.”

Use these quick tips to find those summertime fish next time you’re out on the water. As always, have fun, and if you’re in a boat, ALWAYS wear your life jacket.

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