Well, summer is right around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about what to do when you hit the lake this summer and you have the Blue Bird Sky’s and temps in the 90-plus range.

Today, I want to talk to you about “shade” fishing and its importance as a method to catch good fish, when everywhere else is totally dead.

On our lakes here in Central Texas, it’s difficult to find any shade in the middle of summer, but there is some out there that the bass find to make it easier for them to take the heat and still wait on their next meal.

If you have been out to Stillhouse Hollow Lake lately, you may ask well where the heck is he talking about. There are no boathouses, except at the marina. There are no — or only a few — piers. But what is there are the floating boat piers near each boat launch.

When the sun gets high and there is no other shade around, the bass will migrate to the areas to keep the blistering sun off of them.

Don’t discount these as you come in from the morning bite. Don’t blast up to them, stop and skip a jig or creature bait up under them. Same thing on Lake Belton.

These shady areas hold bass and a good presentation, well up under them, may produce the bass of a lifetime.

Other things you want to look for are bigger trees that are submerged and close to deeper water. The trees’ larger branches also will provide the needed shade for a bass as well as provide her cover and an excellent ambush point.

Washed-up debris is another excellent place. When all of that piles up and pushes upon itself, it becomes inter-locked and often floats all tangled up. Again this has shade under it and the branches again provide excellent cover for a bass. Don’t pass these up with a slowly worked creature bait because you just might get a wonderful surprise.

Say your cruising down that “Do Nothing Bank,” and all of a sudden, you see on your depth finder a few huge rocks. What should you do? Stop! Ease back to them and drop shot around each of the rocks, primarily working the shady side.

How do you know what the shady side is, in 30 foot of water? It’s easy — position your boat over them and look at which side of the boat is giving off some shade. That’s the same side you want to fish on those rocks.

Other Central Texas lakes such as LBJ, Austin, Buchanan and Marble Falls all have boat houses that will provide the needed shade for Mr. Bass.

What you have to do is master a good pitching or skipping techniques that will allow you to pitch your bait all the way up under them to the darkest spot there.

That’s sometimes easier said than done. It also takes the right kind of rod and reel to allow you to do it without getting a massive bird’s nest every time you try. So what to do?

Get out and practice with your rods, both casting and spinning and find out which one will allow you the best pitch or skip at the farthest distance. Accuracy is the key.

You have to make sure you can hit the perfect spot three out of four times. Once you determine which of your rods allows you to do that, then put all the others away when the sun gets high and focus on only the one rod that allows you to pitch or skip your baits to the shady spots with little trouble.

Once you have mastered the pitching and skipping, you’re good to go for Texas summertime fishing. Remember just like you like the shade when the sun’s blistering down, so do the bass. Now go catch a big ’un and send me the pics to Hook_up66@yahoo.com.

Have a great day on those summer waters!

Jasper Johnson is the Copperas Cove Bass Club secretary. To contact him about the club or for any questions, call 318-218-0358 or email Hook_up@yahoo.com.

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