By Dustin Elder

The late summer period (August-September) can be a very tough time to develop a pattern with bass fishing on clear water lakes. Our best tips will involve search baits that cover vast amounts of the water column, because bass roam most mornings chasing shad and settle down as the lake gets hot.

Heddon Spit'n Image

The Spit'n Image is a perfect bait for throwing in the late summer through the fall due to its shape. This lure is a small profile bait that accurately matches small shad forage that bass tend to key in on this time of year. The best areas to target with this topwater are flats, points and over brush piles. These areas typically produce breaking fish and can be good places to start when looking for bites early. Play with retrieves and let the bass tell you what works best. I typically like to begin with a slow walk and progressively walk faster as the surface action increases.

BOOYAH Buzz

The BOOYAH Buzz is a no-brainer when it comes to late summer topwater fishing, but the ¼-ounce size is the oneI prefer right now. Bass will be fussy up shallow and will attack a smaller profile better than a bulkier size. The areas to focus on with the Buzz are shallow flats, stumps and shady banks. Bass tend to cruise banks in the summer time in search of shad and other bait, so when a buzzbait lands in their vicinity they can’t help but react.

YUM Finesse Worm

This old favorite is best suited for when the sun is high and the topwater action has slowed down. Once the bass have gone back deep, drag a Finesse Worm on a Pumpkin Head Jig on obvious fish-holding spots such as points, rocky banks and river ledges. Use this combo like a makeshift fish finder if you don’t have the best electronics. Most obvious spots on clear water lakes like long points have scattered brush that anglers have placed to enhance the cover. By fishing slow and steady you are sure to get some bites.

YUM Ribbontail

This last option is the big bass finder and is best employed once you have found brush or other fish holding structure. Bass get tired in the hot summer water and look most often for big meals so they don’t have to eat as often, so the Ribbontail really begins to shine. Fish the Ribbontail with a slip sinker weight, or swing head that is appropriate for the depth you're fishing. Always remember to position your boat so you can make an accurate cast past the structure and drag through it properly. This technique is best fished slow and steady. Once you get to the brush, retrieve it even slower. Go as slow as you can.