Bass & Walleye Summer Secrets

PRO-FILE Clark Wendlant Qualifications: Wendlant is the FLW's only two-time Angler of the Year winner, and since 2005 has earned four top-10 finishes in July and August. He also holds the record for top-10 finishes on the FLW tour (23). His career winnings total $1.2 million. On Boat Traffic: "Summer can be a tough time to fish. Sometimes you've just got to suck it up and deal with it, but early mornings and late evenings are good times to get out on the water. It's cooler and the jet-skiers and boaters aren't usually out yet. And by fishing in the backs of creeks throughout the day, you can also avoid a lot of the traffic." Killer Tactic: Conventional wisdom says to work deep humps and rock piles for suspending fish this month. But to really get into the action, heed FLW pro Clark Wendlant's advice and start beating the shallows. "During August most people are thinking deepwater structure," says Wendlant. "After being deep and suspending during June and July, those fish usually start coming shallower in August and September." The pro doesn't just fish the main-lake shoreline; he's already moving into feeder creeks during August. "Start thinking of getting into the backs of creeks and start throwing a crankbait around docks, rocks or laydowns," says Wendlant. Even when moving into creeks and concentrating on flats and coves, Wendlant isn't fishing deeper water. "A deep channel near a flat can be good, but people always want to go to the channel and fish," he says. "A lot of times those fish get right up on the flats and gravitate to cover." Use a weedless crankbait around any cover when searching for fish. "They'll be suspended, so if you're fishing in eight feet of water, look to that five- to six-foot depth for fish. If the water is dirty, try fishing two to four feet deep. The dirtier the water, the higher the fish will be in the water column," says Wendlant. (Gotta have 'em? Enter to win these lures here!)Outdoor Life Online Editor
YELLOW MAGIC TOPWATER POPPER Time of Day: Morning Color: Baby Bass (pictured) or other natural baitfish colors Key Cover: Vegetation, wood Best Retrieve: Use a twitch- twitch-stop, twitch-twitch-stop cadence. Keep it slow; early-morning fish won't be aggressive. (Gotta have 'em? Enter to win these lures here!)Outdoor Life Online Editor
GAMBLER GIGGY SNAKE & JIGHEAD Time of Day: Afternoon Color: Green pumpkin (pictured) or watermelon Key Cover: Brush, rocks Best Retrieve: The heat of the day requires that you slow down. Use slow hops of 5 to 6 inches, followed by a pause and a shake. (Gotta have 'em? Enter to win these lures here!)Outdoor Life Online Editor
NORMAN MIDDLE M CRANKBAIT Time of Day: Evening Color: Shad (SX Shad pictured)or other local baitfish colors Key Cover: Rocks, wood, docks Best Retrieve: Don't burn it, but use a steady medium-speed retrieve and bounce the lure off area cover. (Gotta have 'em? Enter to win these lures here!)Outdoor Life Online Editor
PRO-FILE Jason Przekurat Qualifications: Przekurat is the only two-time Angler of the Year on the FLW Walleye Tour. He has finished in the top 10 in AOY points six out of the last nine seasons, and leads the league in top-10 finishes (9) and consecutive top-10 finishes (3). On Boat Traffic: "It gets nutty out there, but offshore fish are used to it. If you can figure out where they're at and what they want, you'll do just fine." Killer Tactic: While most people are working the shallows for walleyes during August, the FLW Walleye Tour's only two-time Angler of the Year, Jason Przekurat, is hitting offshore structure. "People struggle so much in August because they're fishing shoreline structure. They need to venture offshore. What worked in June isn't going to work in August," says Przekurat. "I like rock piles and big flats in open water basins." To get summer walleyes to bite, the Wisconsin pro uses the often-overlooked worm harness. "Trolling with a crawler harness is by far the best August technique I use, but most people just don't know how to use this bait," says Przekurat. "If you look at all the big weights coming out of the tourneys, they're all caught on crawler harnesses." Przekurat uses a No. 5 or No. 6 gold Colorado blade with a No. 2 single octopus hook in the front and a No. 10 treble hook in back. While a gold blade is a must-have, bring a variety of colors and let the fish tell you what flavor they want and at what speed it should move- which for harnesses is somewhere between .9 and 1.7 mph. Locate walleyes by keying on the offshore structure and marking suspended fish on your electronics. Then simply keep dragging that crawler harness back and forth in front of the fish. "The biggest thing is finding out where they are in the water column," says Przekurat. "Once you figure out where they are, you just adjust your inline weights, bottom bouncers or snap-weight system to get the harness down." Przekurat keeps his weighting system simple: For every 10 feet of water depth, he adds an ounce of weight, up to 3 ounces. "Because of the thermocline, you don't have to go much deeper than 30 feet," he says. (Gotta have 'em? Enter to win these lures here!)Outdoor Life Online Editor
Rapala Deep Husky Jerk Time of Day: Morning Color: In clear water, use silver blue; in dirty water, go with glass clown (pictured). Key Cover: Offshore rock piles and flats Best Retrieve: Get the lure down to maximum depth (about 16 feet) as fast as possible and then use a rip-pause retrieve. (Gotta have 'em? Enter to win these lures here!)Outdoor Life Online Editor
Rapala No. 11 Tail Dancer Time of Day: Afternoon Color: In clear water, use silver flash and purpledescent; in dirty water, use firetiger (bleeding tiger pictured) and bleeding hot olive. Key Cover: Great for rock piles 25 to 30 feet deep, and suspended fish in open water. Retrieve: Troll the larger Tail Dancer at 1.8 to 3.5 mph. (Gotta have 'em? Enter to win these lures here!)Outdoor Life Online Editor
Rapala No. 9 Tail Dancer Time of Day: Evening Color: In clear water, use shad or silver (pictured); in dirty water, try bleeding hot olive or hot chub. Key Cover: Offshore rocks and open-water flats Retrieve: Use the same rip-pause retrieve as during the morning, and keep moving up in the water column as dusk sets in. (Gotta have 'em? Enter to win these lures here!)Outdoor Life Online Editor

August's best pro anglers reveal their killer tactics and favorite lures for scoring fish in the heat.