Skip to main content

Summer Bass Gear, Tactics from MLF Pro

Jacob Powroznik powers through his hot-weather bass secrets.

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)

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
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.

TOP 8 GO AT IT IN THE REDCREST

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 majorleaguefishing.com for more information about the tournament and expo.

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Hunting Elk with the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in 6.5 PRC

Hunting Elk with the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in 6.5 PRC

Michael Cassidy and Paul Pluff talk about their elk hunt in New Mexico using the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter.

Understanding Reel Retrieve Ratios and How it Affects Lure Presentations

Understanding Reel Retrieve Ratios and How it Affects Lure Presentations

Increase a lure’s effectiveness by pairing it with the ideal reel speed.

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.

Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod

Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod

Most fishing rods feature both an action and a power rating, but what do those ratings mean and how do you use them to select the right rod for different scenarios? In this video, outdoor writer and tackle specialist Shane Beilue breaks down the difference between a rod blank’s action and power and discusses what the various ratings of each mean.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Simplify breakfast or brunch for a crowd by making this savory venison chorizo quiche recipe.Southwestern Venison Chorizo Quiche Recipe Wild Game

Southwestern Venison Chorizo Quiche Recipe

Allie Doran - October 30, 2020

Simplify breakfast or brunch for a crowd by making this savory venison chorizo quiche recipe.

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish time after time.10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About Catfish

10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish...

Bucks visit them regularly and so should you.Understand How to Use Scrapes to Locate Whitetails Whitetail

Understand How to Use Scrapes to Locate Whitetails

Tony Hansen - October 23, 2020

Bucks visit them regularly and so should you.

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near anything that fits in their mouths.5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures Catfish

5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures

Keith Sutton

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near...

See More Trending Articles

More Fishing How-To

Try these 3 bass strategies during the hottest month of the year.Go Big, Fast or With the Flow for August Largemouths Bass

Go Big, Fast or With the Flow for August Largemouths

Ken Duke - August 25, 2020

Try these 3 bass strategies during the hottest month of the year.

Here's what to throw to tempt the biggest fish below a dam.Hit the Tailwater Buffet for Eastern Trout Trout & Salmon

Hit the Tailwater Buffet for Eastern Trout

Jeff Knapp - October 26, 2020

Here's what to throw to tempt the biggest fish below a dam.

Almost anyone can catch a bunch of small catfish. Hooking a true monster requires a different level of preparation, skill and effort.A Time for Giant Catfish Catfish

A Time for Giant Catfish

John N. Felsher - August 24, 2020

Almost anyone can catch a bunch of small catfish. Hooking a true monster requires a different...

A combination of factors can put the walleye bite into overdrive this time of year. Here's how to capitalize on the action both day and night.Searching for a Never-Ending Walleye Bite Walleye

Searching for a Never-Ending Walleye Bite

Dr. Jason Halfen - October 28, 2020

A combination of factors can put the walleye bite into overdrive this time of year. Here's how...

See More Fishing How-To

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now