August is one of the hardest months to fish for bass. The heat is killer, the bass don’t want to bite, and you don’t want to stay on the water long.
Because of this, picking the right lures is essential to have a successful day out on the water. If you read this article, you’ll see what worked in July. Some of those will cross into August as well, but as it gets even hotter you’ll want to go even more finesse to really coax those fish to bite.
So below are 3 fishing lures that you can tie on throughout August and catch fish throughout even the hottest part of the day.
1. Wacky Rig Senko (Stickbait)
The most popular fishing bait in the world right now is probably the senko. And it’s for good reason – it catches fish unlike anything else.
When it gets hot outside and the bass don’t want to actively feed, you need all the advantages you can get. So tying on a fish producing machine like a senko is an easy choice.
But what really lets the senko shine in August is your ability to cast it under shade producing features – specifically docks. In August, fish aren’t just in shade. They’re usually hiding in shade that is in deep water which helps it remain slightly cooler than everything else around it.
So if you find a great dock that comes out into deep water, maybe even near a channel swing or steep point, there is a good chance there won’t be just one bass sitting on it but a whole livewell full.
Still, they aren’t usually very aggressive so most moving baits won’t let you catch them. And a big heavy jig might be too much bulk. Instead you want something a little more finesse that just floats right by their nose. It’s too easy a meal to say no to for a lot of bass in August.
I recommend going with a weighted wacky jig hook like this simply because it will make the worm sink a little faster. If you’re fishing 10 feet or plus of depth, you need the weight so you can fish more efficiently.
Focusing on the dock pilings on the outer edge of docks is going to be your best bet. And when you find a piling holding one bass, throw at it multiple times because there could be a hole school sitting on it.
Color is less important for me here, but remember a fish holding deep is likely to see less sun penetration so stick with strong contrasting colors if the water is at all murky, like black. In clearer water, green pumpkin will still work just fine.
2. Shaky Head Worm
If you don’t want the stupid, easy fish catching machine that is the wacky rigged senko, then instead you can opt to fish a shakyhead worm.
A shaky head is much like a texas rig, except the jighead forces the worm to stand upright instead of falling over. This design is meant to allow you to slowly hop it and then “shake” (hence the shaky head name) the worm to really coax a fish into biting.
It isn’t designed to come in and out of tight spots as easily, so you won’t want to fish it in heavy brush. But if you get on a deep point, channel swing, or even a boat dock you’ll find that it can produce fish even in the heat of August.
The key to successfully using a shaky head, especially in August, is to fish it slowly. Like watching paint dry type of slow. Just little hops and a shake. Let it sit for a few seconds, and then do it again.
Due to this, you will have to target your casts in specific areas. You can’t use it as a search bait because it’s too slow to fish in wide areas. Target your casts to spots you really think the bass will be holding. The tips of points, channel swings, and the ends of deep docks are great locations.
Also opt for heavier shaky head jigs so you can get into the deep water that bass are often holding in August. Anything lighter than ⅜ of an ounce is usually going to take too long to get and stay at the correct depth.
Your worm trailers can vary, but I really love using 7 inch Roboworms as shaky head trailers. The color combinations seem to be something a little unique that can get an extra bite here and there from the bass that are intrigued by something new. Try Aaron’s Magic,it’s an all around great color.
3. Punch Rig
Senkos and shakyheads are slow, finesse forms of fishing that can bore a lot of fishermen. So if you want something a little more active in August – opt to use a punch rig.
A punch rig is essentially a texas rig with a heavier weight and a bobber stop right in front of the weight. This is designed to “punch” into thick grass mats and get through to them to the bottom where the fish are sitting in the shade, ready to eat.
The weight should make a hole that lets the bait fall behind it free of grass and other debris. Depending on how thick your mats are – this can be pretty heavy. Usually 1 ounce weight is recommended to make sure you’re punching through cleanly.
As expected, this means you need very beefy tackle to go along with it. Use braided line up to 50 pound test with a strong fluorocarbon leader – up to 20 pound test. A heavy rod is necessary for this type of fishing as well. And an extra heavy gauge hook as well to make sure it doesn’t bend out.
Remember – you’ll be pulling in a lot of grass, weeds, and other debris with the fish you catch. So heavier than you expect is always better to keep your gear – and the fish – safe from unnecessary harm.
The places you want to fish this is where the vegetation is the thickest and most green – or most alive. This is because vegetation that is still alive in the hottest months are producing oxygen. As water temperatures rise, oxygen levels decrease. And like all animals, fish need the oxygen to survive. So they’re likely to be close to whatever is producing the most of it.
The soft plastic you choose to use here can vary but keep in mind it needs to get through grass mats without catching a ton of vegetation. So big wide arms with lots of action aren’t what you’re looking for.
Something like a long ribbontail worm can work, but my favorite choice is the Strike King Punch Bug. Specifically made for punching grass mats – it has great action without a lot of unnecessary appendages. Or try the Rage Bug and tear off it’s front arms.
Because you have to have the weight create the hole for the bait – you can only spot cast this lure. You throw it out, let the bait fall into the hole, and shake it up and down a few times at different depths. If you don’t get a bite, you have to wind it in and recast or else you’ll just get stuck in vegetation.
So it is a very tiring form of fishing – but can be a lot of fun and very rewarding. Not a lot of fishermen go into the thick stuff, so you might find a few hungry bass that aren’t overfished and used to seeing a ton of lures. That means they’re easier to catch!
There are the top three rigs that I will be throwing throughout the month of August. You might notice that everything I recommend is using a soft plastic. You can certainly still catch a few bass on a deep diving crankbait in August, but I think you’ll find bass are too tight-lipped for this to be effective throughout the day. Instead, try to go with these more finesse type presentations and I’ll think you’ll see your fishing success increase in the heat of summer!