Summer Bass Gear, Tactics from MLF Pro

Summer Bass Gear, Tactics from MLF Pro

Give Jacob Powroznik a topwater and a drop shot, and he’ll catch the tar out of summer bass. (Photo courtesy of Major League Fishing)

Jacob Powroznik powers through his hot-weather bass secrets.

As is the case with most school-age kids, Jacob Powroznik looked forward to the start of summer in northern Virginia like it was a get-out-of-jail-free card.

But while other kids’ attention turned to the local swimming hole and sandlot baseball games, Powroznik’s summer revolved around a pond located at a hunting club to which his dad David belonged.

The pond wasn’t large by any stretch of the imagination, but over the course of Powroznik’s school-age summers, it taught him things about catching bass that he still utilizes as a successful touring pro.

“Man, I’d spend every day I could on that pond,” said Powroznik who won the third stage of Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour earlier this year. “I’d go over there in the summertime with my little boat with a flasher on the front so I could have an idea about how deep everything was, and fish every bit of that pond. Shallow, deep, I fished it all, and I learned a lot about catching fish when it’s hot.”

Powroznik won the third stage of Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour earlier this year. (Photo courtesy of Major League Fishing)

Recently, Powroznik answered some of our questions about summer bass fishing.

Q: What’s one basic rule that you apply to all of your summertime fishing?

A: You never, ever rule anything out until you’ve fished it for yourself. Yes, there are some basic truths that can get you started pretty much every season of the year, but I still try my best to keep an open mind when I’m fishing in the summer. I used to force myself to go to Buggs Island Lake (Virginia) in July, when it was the hottest and the fishing was the slowest, so I could learn how to catch bass in those conditions. And one thing I learned is that there might be just as many big fish up shallow as there are out deep, where you’d expect the cooler water to be. You have to go both ways: fish deeper, yes, but also fish those shallow, shady spots where a big ol’ fish might be hunkered down.

Q: What are a couple of universal baits for the summertime? A couple of baits that you’ll have on deck, no matter where in the country you’re fishing?

A: A topwater and a drop-shot. I’ll fish those from one end of the country to another. No matter how warm it gets in the summer, there’s always a topwater bite sometime during the day. It might only be for an hour or two first thing in the morning, but you can throw a topwater, like a Livingston Walking Boss, for suspended, schooling fish, or a Walk N Pop at more target-oriented fish. I think people give up on a topwater too soon in the summer, too — it doesn’t just have to be first thing in the morning or at night.

A drop-shot is another bait that works almost all year ’round. In the summer, you can drop a V&M Trickster down into brushpiles and fish a school, or fish it around deeper rock. It’s just a very versatile presentation.

Q: You’ve talked about the “how” of catching bass in the summer, but what about more specifics on “where?” Are there any basic rules you follow when you’re trying to identify specific water conditions?

A: You have to remember that summertime starts to become about different things than just eating and spawning. As water gets hot, it starts to get stagnant — there’s less oxygen, and the bait just naturally moves away from that. A lot of fish will move out of the backs of creeks in the summer because the water just isn’t that hospitable. I’ll usually pay more attention to the main lake in the summertime, or to parts of the lake that have a natural river arm. Basically, something that has current flowing at all times.

Q: Do you also naturally switch more to smallmouth fisheries in the summer versus largemouth? Your competition schedule usually starts to take you farther north in the summertime, but is that a course you’ll follow on your own fun-fishing time as well?

A: In the summer, when largemouth fishing slows down and gets really tough, the smallmouth fishing is usually absolutely incredible in places like Lake Erie, Lake Champlain and Lake St. Clair. Smallmouth are biters: they just like to eat. If you can find a wad of them in the summer, you can catch the fire out of them on a drop-shot. Smallmouth fishing has changed since I first started learning how to catch them. Back in those days, it was a tube and heavier weight. But now I like 6-pound fluorocarbon and a drop-shot weight down to 1/4 ounce if I’m fishing shallower than 20 feet. There are absolutely some times in the summer when it’s worth it to me to make a drive to a good smallmouth fishery.


You’ve watched top anglers compete through the first half of 2019 in the Bass Pro Tour. Now, we’re coming up on the culmination of that tour — the Redcrest. On Aug. 19-25, the top eight BPT anglers will compete in the Redcrest tournament on the upper Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin. First prize will be $300,000. Of course, it also will be pretty epic for the winning angler to be able to hoist the first-ever Redcrest champion’s trophy.

While there’s a lot at stake for the anglers, all bass fans can get in on the action. If you’re in the neighborhood of La Crosse, Aug. 23-25, stop by the community expo where there will be all sorts of events and gear from Bass Pro Tour sponsors. Activities, including interaction with the pros, are free and open to the public. Check out for more information about the tournament and expo.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Other Hunting

New Gear: MidwayUSA Competition Range Bag

G&F Staff

Perfect for competition or a day at the range.

Fishing How-To

Your Guide for the Best Catfish Baits

G&F Staff

If you've been catching catfish with the same method for years, it's time to change it up and...


New TRUGLO Bowfishing EZ•Rest

May 23, 2019

Brush-style bowfishing arrow rest and kits designed for simplicity and reliability.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Berkley's Surge Shad

Major League Fishing pro Scott Suggs has relied on the Berkley Surge Shad lure concept for years, using similar designs to capture MLF titles and a $1 million dollar FLW Forrest Cup win. With new features in the Surge Shad, Suggs tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead that even he can find success out on the water!

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance's Lucas Steward shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead what all of the fuss is about in the brand new Ghost trolling motor being brought to market by the Tulsa, Okla.-based fishing equipment manufacturer.

13 Fishing Omen Black Baitcasting Rod

Multiple time FLW Costa winner Jessi Mizell is no stranger to catching big Florida bass on a popping frog. As he tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, with the new 13 Fishing Omen Black baitcasting rod, the job just got easier.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


7 Best Bets For New Jersey Largemouth Bass

October 04, 2010

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll...

Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?


Top 10 Biggest Pike World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - August 19, 2015

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the...

See More Stories

More Bass


Lake Erie's Summertime Smallmouth Bass

Jeff Knapp

This Great Lake offers prime habitat for smallmouths. Here's where to catch them.


Summer Bass Gear, Tactics from MLF Pro

Joel Shangle - August 07, 2019

Jacob Powroznik powers through his hot-weather bass secrets.


Chicago's Smallmouth Bass Hot Spot

Tim Holschlag - June 17, 2019

Want to get after smallmouth near the city? Hit the Kankakee River south of town.

See More Bass

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.