South Florida Bass Fishing

How To Catch MONSTER Summer Bass Part 1


South Florida bass fishing is some of the best in world.

During the fall and especially spring seasons – fisherman fly in from all over the country and world to fish with South Florida bass fishing guide… John Pate.

“After 38 years of guiding for bass in south Florida… especially the Florida everglades… I find it amazing how many people pack the waters in the spring time.

Sure you can catch a lot of bass then.  And some big ones.  Any half decent guide can put you on a bunch of fish then.

What I don’t like about that time of year is EVERYONE is out fishing.  There are boats everywhere.  And what I love the most about fishing is going somewhere no one else is – no other boats – just you and mother nature.

That’s why I absolutely LOVE fishing in the summer.  Because fish are harder to catch – you see a lot less people.

But when you know exactly how to catch them – the dog days of summer are a great time to land MONSTER, trophy bass.” Said South Florida bass fishing guide, John Pate.

How does John catch so many big bass during June, July, August and September when most fishermen are getting skunked?

The first secret to catching MONSTER bass in summer is to know the body of water you are fishing in.

John Pate has been fishing for bass for over 40 years in the South Florida Everglades and many other lakes including: Lake Okeechobee, Lake Tohopekaliga (Lake Toho), Lake Ida, Lake Istokpoga, etc.

John knows where the biggest fish are most likely to be during every month of the year.  And he also knows the lures that are most likely to make them strike.

Clearly, there is no substitute for experience.

But what if you don’t have John’s 40 years of fishing knowledge?

Contrary to popular belief, John catches quite a few really big bass during the middle of the day in summer.  But this is not for the beginner.

Fishing in the blazing hot Florida sun during July and August can be brutal.  And it takes quite a bit of skill to get them to bite.

That’s why John recommends these times of day during the summer months:

Early morning, evening/dusk and night time in general.

John’s favorite time to fish for big summer bass is starting at dusk and fishing into the night.

Big bass will hit top water lures during this time… like 12-16 inch plastic worms pulled across the top with a steady retrieve.

If you don’t know where the fish are – here are two methods that will help you locate and catch big bass…

First, fish “edges.”

For example, if the shoreline has lily pads… cast parallel and bring your lure back along the edge where the lily pads stop and open water begins.

Big bass will hang out right on this transitional edge.

Move down the shore and work this edge with very long casts.  If you are using a big 12-16 inch worm – your retrieve should be steady and just fast enough so the head of the worm and line is out of the water.   You will be creating a “V” wake with the bait.

It should look like a snake slowly cruising through the water.

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT:  Hold your rod tip up high – at 12:00.  Watch your lure and pay attention!!!

You will either see the wake of a big bass coming after your lure… or… you won’t see anything… just the exposition as they inhale it.

If you see the wake – don’t speed up.   Keep going until the bass is at your worm and then drop your rod tip.

This will often trigger a following bass into striking.

If you are retrieving your worm and the bass nails it – immediately drop your rod tip to give her slack.  Count to 3 or 4 and then set the hook as hard as you can.

You need to be using a decent rod for this kind of fishing.  A 7 – 71/2 foot medium heavy action rod is recommended.  With a 12-16 inch worm a 4/0 – 5/0 wide gap hook.

We will get into the lures and equipment etc. in the next post: part 2.

The second method is to cast the big worm right into the lily pads and swim it out.  This, obviously, takes more casting and fishing skill.

Try to find little lanes in the pads and make casts to those spots.  Move your rod tip back and force to guide the worm through the pads – keeping it swimming on top.

The bass will either hit the worm as it swims through the pads – or follow it out and nail it on the edge of the pads and open water.

Dropping the rod tip and setting the hook is the same as mentioned above.  But getting a big bass out of the pads is another set of skill we will talk about in another post.

We will also teach you specific techniques to catch MONSTER bass at night in the next post – PART 2 of this post.

One more thing: If you are fishing where there are no lily pads or weeds to make the transition edge – start fan casting both parallel and perpendicular to the shore.  The big bass will be holding on an under water transition edge – or structure.

You will discover where they are if you methodically work the water this way.

Want to know when we post part 2 of this article, video’s showing this technique and other fishing videos etc? 

Click here to join the king of the everglades fishing club! 

It’s free – all you have to do if enter your email address and we will email you with fishing secrets, techniques and all our new posts.

P.S. If you would like to go on the Florida bass fishing adventure of your dreams and learn to catch MONSTER bass – give John Pate a call and book a trip today. His personal cell phone number is 954-325-5310. Or send an email to

P.P.S. Part 2 of this article is up… click here to check it out.



2 Responses to South Florida Bass Fishing: How To Catch MONSTER Summer Bass Part 1

  1. Steven says:

    Thank you this is a BIG help. the downside is. I’m 12 and i can only fish in my backyard or a nearby park. And Iv’e been trying to get my dad to take me to Holiday but we cant afford it. So i will Sadly have to stay here…But i still got alot of bass!… and snakeheads… and No peacocks… So Yeah! its still fun but i cant find my big bass :\ i only find 1-3 pounders biggest on i caught EVER was 4 lbs LOL i suck ^^
    Anyways Thank you for the Tips!



  2. Matt says:

    Hey Steven!

    A 4 pounder is a very nice bass… many people fish their entire lives and don’t get one that big. Especially if they do not live in South Florida.

    We are going to be posting a bunch of articles on how to fish local ponds from shore. I have caught many bass between 5-10 pounds fishing little local South Florida ponds walking the shore.

    I caught a 10.25 pound bass fishing in a little condo pond in Boca Raton, Florida.

    I bet you have some pretty big bass where you are fishing – just need the right technique and a little time.

    You are in our fishing club, so you will be getting emails when we put up the information you need to get your BIG ONE!!!

    We are doing an article on night fishing. Make sure you read that one. You can catch MONSTER bass in your little local ponds at night this time of year if you know what to do!

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