In the heat of summer, most of us move as little as possible. Bass are just the opposite: Because their metabolism speeds up as the temperature climbs, they are more active and must feed regularly.
But when and where you fish are key because bass develop particular habits in hot weather. Here's how to schedule your fishing:
HYDRO IN THE MORNING When the water lies still in reservoirs that have power-generating dams, many summertime bass suspend passively in the vicinity of ledges, river-channel junctures, and other main-lake structures. But when the dam pulls water to generate electricity, the current rouses bass like a dinner bell. They swarm tight to those structures and nab shad disoriented by the sudden flow. This often happens in the morning when air conditioners in homes and businesses come on and suck up electricity, but it can happen throughout the day when the temperature spikes.
The bass will face into the current in this situation, so cast upstream and retrieve your baits with the flow. Deep-diving crankbaits, Carolina rigs, and heavy spinnerbaits that weigh 3/4 ounce or more should draw hard strikes. Time it right and you can catch limits of heavy bass in minutes.
ON TOP AT NOON Many anglers wisely take advantage of the short-lived topwater bite that often occurs during the first hour of daylight. Sputtering buzzbaits and chugging poppers spark strikes from prowling bass. But you can also bring up bass that way at high noon when everyone else fishes deep. (True, there are those fish that hold way down in hotter weather, but others will rove the top layer.) My favorite midday tactic is walking the dog with Heddon's Super Spook or Super Spook Jr. Something about that side-to-side action attracts bass, especially on flat water when the lake appears lifeless.
In crystalline lakes with good visibility, bass will charge up from depths of 15 feet or more. One summer I duped a 4-pound 12-ounce spotted bass with a Spook Jr. on Georgia's Lake Lanier. The fish leaped out of the water and arced over the bait before pouncing on it, a testament to how active bass can be in the hottest of times.
While a storm will douse outdoor plans and lead to flooding on some of the Hawaiian Islands, enough rain may fall to ease drought conditions into the start of May.
Milder air will erase the recent chill and snow across Germany by May Day, though rain threatens to spoil the holiday for western and southern areas.
Temperatures will be put on a roller coaster ride in the northeastern United States through the start of May, delivering bouts of summerlike warmth.
While the recent cold snap will be over, bouts of rain will persist and threaten to disrupt outdoor plans across the United Kingdom during the Bank Holiday weekend.
It will feel like the calendar has been turned back to winter instead of moving ahead to May as snow sweeps across the central United States into Monday.
Dangerous thunderstorms and flash flooding will continue to threaten lives and property across the central United States through Saturday night.
A powerful earthquake shook the Philippines, bringing the threat for a tsunami near the epicenter of the quake.
The beginning of May will bring another resurgence of dangerous heat across India as the nation continues to wait for the summer monsoon to bring lasting heat relief.