In most Southern lakes, there’s still a lot of bass on the drops and humps out in deeper water, but the bigger fish have been moving toward the banks, no matter how hot it’s been. That’s because the current in most reservoirs slackens up quite a bit by the end of summer, and the dissolved oxygen in deep water is pretty much depleted.
A good sign that it’s time to really start working the shallows again is when you see a lot of 1- to 3-inch bluegills and shad around the boat launch when you go out in the morning and you start noticing more bream fishermen closer to the bank. It might be 100 degrees in the shade, but bass will be cruising the shallows because the dissolved oxygen is better there.
Tie on a topwater and start roaming the banks yourself. The best place to start your search is the back ends of feeder tributaries, ditches and main creeks that feed water – even just rainwater – into the lake. The inflow of fresh water always improves the dissolved oxygen, and that draws fish.