It wasn’t that long ago that a majority of the country was locked into a winter weather pattern. My social-media feed was filled with posts reading something like, “I can’t wait ’til summer to go fishing!” Well, now that spring has sprung, it’s definitely not too early to think about summer and making those plans to make some new summer fishing memories.
In my region, that means it’s time to look at the calendar, pick some dates, and get your buddies together to head offshore to fish for tuna, dorado, and other pelagic species. Wherever you may be, though, summer offers a variety of fishing opportunities. Here’s an oldie but goodie from Field & Stream to remind you.
When rivers heat up in late summer, smallmouths can get downright lazy. The same fish that charged fast-moving streamers and poppers earlier in the season often take to feeding at night, and if your river is loaded with late-summer shad or herring fry, getting bass to eat fur and feathers becomes even harder.
Delaware River smallmouth guide Joe Demalderis (crosscurrentguideservice.com) gets around this by leaning on bugs tied with synthetic fur and fiber for the salt, such as a Mushmouth. Flies tied with Angel Hair or Puglisi Fiber retain more buoyancy and a wider profile when wet compared with flies using feathers, bucktail, and rabbit fur, which take on water and sink faster.
Demalderis casts those artificials on the outside of bait schools or in the deeper, slower runs summer smallmouths frequent, and lets them fall broadside with the current. Whereas a Zonker or Clouser would sink away quickly, these synthetic baitfish imitators flutter down slowly, presenting a more accurate representation of a dying baitfish—and an easier target for lazy bass. Even if you don’t want to use saltwater flies, incorporating some synthetic fur geared for the salt into your favorite smallmouth patterns can up your dog-day catch rate.
Photo credits: Field & Stream