Summer can be a time for big swimbaits, magnum worms and heavy jigs offshore

This is not a typical summer pattern, however

Summer 2018


ccording to FLW Tour pro

Luke Dunkin, that’s not

always the only option. Dunkin prefers to hold onto the

shallow bite as long as possible.

“I love fishing in this early

summer through early fall season,”

said the T-H marine pro from

Lawrenceburg, Tenn. “While many

of my competitors spend their time

offshore, I start searching for schools

of bass that relate to the small, young

of year shad that gather in marinas

and pockets; it’s a fun and productive

way to fish.”


The post-spawn to summer transition can be a difficult time to catch quality fish. Bass leave the spawning areas and move towards offshore areas to recover.

Initially, the females make the move, followed by males who have guarded the fry until they leave the nest. Around the time that happens, a shad spawn occurs, and in lowlight conditions, shad spawning activity can mimic a washing machine around vegetation.

After the shad spawn dies off for the spring, many bass head out to deep water ledges, while a few remain in the shallows to feed on bream that are spawning. These fish tend to be resident, shallow fish that remain there for much of the year.

At some point, when the shad hatch and they begin to roam in schools searching for plankton, groups of bass will take the opportunity to feed on the small, yearling shad.

“There can be large groups of bass that do this, and some of them can be big,” said Dunkin. “But, this ain’t a time for standard summer offerings, it requires a little more finesse, but it can be a winning approach.”


Dunkin said that anglers can expect to see pods of tiny shad just about everywhere on the lake; however, just because the small baitfish are present does not mean that the bass will be catchable.

“I guarantee you that there will be bass hovering around every school of shad you see,” he said. “But those out in open


Andy Hagedo