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Bass By Month Series: How to Catch Bass in June

Previous Post: Catch Bass in May

June is, at least in the opinion of the author of this piece, the single best month to fish throughout the whole year. Everybody has different styles and preferences, but if you like to find large groups of fish offshore and fire up some mega schools, June is your month. 

The majority of bass are deep in the summertime. There will always be some shallow fish, but the majority will be deep once the water gets into the 80s. Depending on your parallel and what kind of spring we’ve had, the bass start to form big groups some time between mid-may and early June. Once they form these groups, they just hang out and act like bass. 

As the summer progresses and the fish face more pressure, warming water, and declining water quality, the bite gets harder and harder. When the fish first set up deep, the bite is as good as it will be, and it tapers off from there before the fall cold fronts begin to change their behavior entirely. That’s why I love June. It’s that first time period where they school up deep, and it’s not uncommon to catch huge numbers of fish out of very aggressive schools. 30 and 40 fish days are very doable depending on your body of water. 

Step 1: Map study

Even as the fish get into big groups, they won’t be on every possible offshore area. They will actually be on only a small number of them, so you need to spend some time finding possible areas that could hold schools. Anything that positions deep water close to shallow water has bass potential. On my home lakes, the big groups are commonly found between 12 and 18 foot of water, usually right on the edge of 30-35 feet. The fish like to eat in the shallower water and then suspend off the side of the structure in the deeper water when they’re less active, so an area that puts both of those options right next to each other is prime habitat. 

It’s important to remember that deep is relative. In some lakes, you’ll find them in 30 feet on a point that drops into 80 feet. On other lakes, they’ll be in six feet of water on a channel ledge that drops into 15. It’s less about the actual depth and more about the presence of a rapid depth change. It helps to make a mental list of points, humps, road beds, channel ledges, and whatever else you can find on your map before you go. 

Step 2: Look for them

Summer is the time of electronics. You don’t need $8,000 worth of screens to catch fish, but something that lets you see what’s below and offers mapping is pretty useful. Once you have a list of areas, go scan them with your fish finder. Be sure to do so thoroughly though. Sometimes you’ll run up on a school of 60 fish and you can’t miss them, but some lakes don’t have a lot of that and fish will group up in much smaller groups for whatever. You can easily miss four or five fish if you half-heartedly look at an area. 

Also understand that you can’t effectively scan an area that’s shallower than about nine-ish feet. If the predominant offshore structure on your body of water is shallower than that, you have to use clues to try and ID good areas. These include the presence of fish off the drop of these shallow areas, the presence of bait, and even the presence of birds. 

This is a moderate-sized school

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Step 3: Catch the fish

Once you have found an area that’s compelling, get your boat a cast’s distance away and start throwing into the school/area. I like a three-bait system here that I wrote about in this article about fishing points, but each angler needs to work to their strengths and to the lake’s characteristics. Generally, a deep crankbait, a large bait you can drag, a small bait you can drag, and something you can fish off the bottom is a good foursome. What those are more specifically is really up to you. I like the 6th Sense Cloud 9 series, but I’m also pretty convinced that most crankbaits will work similarly this time of year. A football jig is the most common dragging bait, but a carolina rig, a big worm, or a shaky head can also be choices. For the elevated baits, a deep jerkbait, a spoon, or a hair jig are your most popular choices. I’ve linked some of my preferences below.  

6th sense cloud 9

Zoom Ol Monster

Strike King Sexy Spoon

One mistake to avoid at this point is to not fish for a school too long if they won’t bite. Sometimes, they just will not bite. This is more common as the year progresses, but it definitely can happen in June too. Cycle through your system of baits and get maybe 5ish casts with each, and if you can’t get a single bite, it may be time to leave and go look for something else. Be sure to return later though, because they make activate at some point and you will want to be there when they do. 

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