Stay inside and wait till October…just kidding.
While August can be tough and hot in the South, the fishing up North is awesome. The fish have finished spawning and feeding heavily. This is my favorite time to fish for smallmouth bass with crawfish imitating lures. Two of my favorites are the Incredi-craw and a jig with a DW1 trailer. Both baits have tremendous appeal to the brown bass this time of year.
There are two ways that I like to fish the Incredi-craw. First, for dragging over shoals and humps, nothing beats an Incredi-craw on a hinged football head jig. If I can get away with it, I like to fish 14lb. fluorocarbon in clear water. Mussels and rocks can be tough on light line when fishing up north. My technique is simple- cast a long way and drag steadily until you hit the type of bottom that feels “right”. What I mean by that is hitting the right bottom type- the right size rocks, stone, sand, or mussels that the fish are using- and it could be different every day, even during the day. This is why I like a heavy head to maintain contact with the bottom. I usually use a 3/4 ounce.
The other way that I like to fish the Incredi-craw is to flip in vegetation. I like to look for topped out weeds in 5-10 feet and flip both sizes of Incredi-craw on 1/2 to 1 ounce weights. You can really do some damage in a hurry if you find the right weed bed. Keep looking and don’t get frustrated- often the best weed beds are on the edge of a flat or on a point.
Another option is much more finesse-oriented and deadly on a smallmouth. It is a small rubber skirted jig with a tiny trailer by Culprit called the DW1, designed by smallmouth guru Dave Wolak. The difference in presentation is that you almost want to be over top of the best structure and make short casts or pitches. The retrieve is just tons of short, fast hops that imitate a small crawfish in a panic- easy target for smallmouth. I use a spinning rod with 8-10lb. fluorocarbon. This is a deadly way to fish drops. It also works on largemouth on drops all over the country.
My recommendation for fishing in the southern half of the country this August is to look for reaction bites either by burning shallow diving crankbaits or punching matted vegetation with the new Incredi-punch. The other option is night fishing, which can be fantastic. I use 10 and 12 inch Original worms in black or the new 9 inch Fat Max and I fish shallow drops and flats in 3-8 feet.
Hope this helps you out this August.