Catching Bass During Summer Recreational Boat Traffic

Boat wakes pound your boat as cabin cruisers, pontoon boats and jet skis pass by in a never-ending procession.  You’re facing another summer weekend barrage of recreational boat traffic while you vainly attempt to fish your favorite spots.

If you’ve been losing battles to the recreational boaters and getting skunked on your summertime outings, don’t surrender or abandon ship. You just need to make a mental adjustment before facing the pleasure boating barrage. Try to tune out the traffic around you and concentrate on what the fish are doing.  Boat traffic probably annoys you more than bass because on heavy traffic lakes bass become immune to all the commotion during the summertime.

Catching Bass On Popular Vacation Lakes

boat traffic

Image Courtesy Of: The Caddy Shack

On some popular vacation lakes, boat activity actually triggers some bass into biting.  You will notice a lot of times on the weekend where there is light boat traffic the fish don’t bite well. But after the boat traffic increases and stirs up the water, it tends to activate the fishing.

If you find bass congregated in an area that receives heavy boat traffic, concentrate on that area rather than seek a calmer spot that might have less fish.   It will be harder to fish the area and a little more irritating, but you have a better chance of getting bites there because of the greater concentration of bass in the spot.

How To Avoid Boat Traffic

You can avoid some boat traffic by fishing early and late in the day.  I can usually fish my home waters of Lake of the Ozarks with little disturbance from daylight to about 10 a.m. even on a Saturday morning in July.  The boat traffic also slows down during the last two hours of daylight.

Boat traffic might not affect a bass’ feeding habits, but it does cause the fish to seek different eating locales.  All the surface commotion tends to lock bass closer to the bottom, so you should entice the fish with bottom-bouncing lures, such as 1/2- or 3/4-ounce jigs and 8- to 11-inch plastic worms with 3/8- or 1/2-ounce weights.

Fishing Deep

You have an advantage in this situation if you know how to fish deep-water structure.  When heavy boat traffic disturbs your favorite fishing hole this summer, look for ways to use the traffic to your advantage instead of quitting for the day. With a few adjustments and a move to deeper water, you can still catch bass even during the peak boating times.

Header Image Courtesy Of: The Caddy Shack

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