Many fish species can be found throughout the water column during the late summer period. Panfish and predator species alike can be caught at or near the surface of the water column, hunkered down in thick vegetation or cruising weedlines adjacent to steep drops, or suspended over deep basins during this time of year. Having a variety of hardbaits that cover each level of the water column during late summer can improve the odds of catching several fish species in one fishing trip.
With so much bug life and baitfish congregating at or near the surface of the water column, late summer can be a great time of year to chase largemouth and smallmouth bass and northern pike using poppers. The Yo-Zuri 3DR-X Popper is a smaller profile lure at 2 5/8” and 1/4 oz. that works well during lowlight periods of the day, when the wind is under 5 miles per hour, and when fish are extremely finicky. The Bone or Ghost Prism Frog are solid patterns when fished within open pockets formed by lily pads and when chasing fish hunkered down in weeds during the heat of the day. Yo-Zuri 20 lb test SuperBraid is a top line choice when using the 3DR-X Poppers in and around weeds as it is strong enough to hold large bass or pike when they dive for thick cover as is often the case after a strike.
While many walleyes will shift their focus to deep humps, rock piles, and deep flats during late summer, there are inevitably going to be fish that frequent structure in less than 12’ of water as well. Larger walleyes will hunt in and around large cabbage patches where small perch, bluegills, and other minnows seek cover. At 4 3/8” and 1/2 oz., the 3DB Jerkbait 110 Deep is a hardbait that stands out among smaller forage that gets the attention of large walleyes waiting for an easy meal to pass in front of them. The Bold Table Rock Shad is arguably one of the most versatile patterns when fishing for walleyes in weeds as it can be effectively fished in clear or tannic-stained water. Changing up the cadence used from fast twitches to simply pulling the Jerkbait forward a few inches at a time allows the Yo-Zuri “Wave Motion Technology” to maximize vibrations that walleyes cannot resist.
Although bluegills and crappies can be found in weeds and wood in late summer, this can also be a great time of year to pursue large schools of fish that suspend over deep water chasing smaller minnows and invertebrates. It is common to find marauding packs of panfish suspended 15-20’ down in 35’+ of water during this time of year. The Rattl’N Vibe, at 2 1/8” and 3/8 oz., is a large enough profile lure that sinks to suspended panfish quickly to maximize water covered effectively, but it is still small enough that big panfish will regularly eat it. Tying Yo-Zuri 6 lb test Hybrid line to the Vibe and then jigging, drifting, and trolling are all great options when pursuing suspended panfish. The Luminescent is a glow-based pattern that works regardless of water clarity and is an excellent choice early and late in the day when light is diminished.
The late summer period can be a great time to chase multiple species of fish in the same trip. Coupling Yo-Zuri lines with the 3DR-X Popper, 3DB Jerkbait 110 Deep, and Rattl’N Vibe can give you the opportunity to maximize results during your next multi-species trip on the water.
Tight lines and be safe!
- Mark Maule