Everyone, including myself, is always quick to give advice about how to tackle a favorite body of water while swarms of boats are pressuring every possible bassy looking spot, kind of like the 4th of July weekend onslaught some of you just experienced, right? But nobody ever talks about what happens after the holiday crowds head home. I’ll let you in on a secret; the week after the 4th is one of my favorite weeks to fish all summer. If I look back at the logbooks, I’ve caught a ton of bass this week, and some really big ones. Here’s why.
First off, it seems like 4th of July marks the official start of the summer patterns straight across the U.S. Most bass that had a little postspawn blues get stirred up one final time in the chaotic churn of the July 4th boat barrage. After the stir up, it’s time for bass to regroup in a big way. The offshore population basically reassembles and eats again, while the shallow bass pick the long-term ambush spots that they want to spend the remainder of the summer around. And whether inshore or offshore, bass activity level just seems to spike. The patterns you establish the week after the 4th will hold for at least the next two to three months. For example, if you catch a bass on dock in the back of a main lake pocket, you’ll be able to reproduce that pattern in a similar pocket. The same concept applies to patterning deep spots.
Post-4th bass are ones anglers should go after with power fishing strategies. Put away the finesse stuff and look for obvious biting fish while utilizing reproducible patterns. One of my favorite simple summer strategies is to flip a big jig next to the last 2 docks in a pocket or creek, and then run a big deep-diving crankbait across the best-looking point leading into that same pocket or creek. It’s worked time and time again. The most important thing to remember in the weeks after the 4th is not to overthink your strategy. Look for simple patterns that get big bites regularly.