Largemouth bass action peaks in the summer when the water finally heats up to the bubble-bath temperatures the fish enjoy. Start your day fishing with an aggressive presentation; slow down only if the fish tell you it’s necessary. My favourite summer largemouth tactic is burning a Whopper Plopper-style bait across the surface early in the morning and late in the evening. The best speed is typically as fast as you can turn the handle on your high-speed reel.
During the rest of the day, meanwhile, I love flipping and pitching soft-plastic and pork baits as fast as possible along verdant walls of weed, as well as among the gnarly branches of fallen trees. How do I flip and pitch faster than normal? The best way is to use a heavy weedless jig or bullet weight so your offering falls more quickly. If you would normally pitch a 3/4-ounce jig or sinker, for example, opt for one that weighs at least an ounce. You want your bait falling straight down and zinging past the nose of a bass, forcing it to make a split-second reflex response. Don’t give the fish any time to think.
Some anglers believe they can create a faster drop rate by using a bigger pork or plastic dressing. That only results in a slower descent, however, because the bulkier dressing is more buoyant and water resistant. Instead, trick the biggest bass this summer by selecting the heaviest and most compact presentation possible using a tungsten jig or sinker that’s half the size and twice the weight of a similar lead lure. Then dress it with an appropriately sized frog, worm or creature bait, and you’re all set to drop some bombs.