The sun can definitely work against you when fishing for smallmouth bass, however, there are certain times of year where it will help for sure. The water clarity also plays a role in how well the sun may make fishing harder or easier. For most casual smallmouth bass anglers, they dread when the sun gets up higher in the sky because the bite usually slows down, however, take a look at this page to find out how to keep catching bass even when the sun is high in the sky.
Best Tips for Catching Smallmouth Bass on Sunny Days
In the Spring, The Sun is Your Best Friend
During the spring, the sun can actually help make the bite better. The sun helps warm the water during the day, which usually provides a better afternoon and evening bite for smallmouth bass.
Sight Fishing is Easier When the Sun is High in the Sky
If you’re going to do some sight fishing for smallmouth bass in the spring time, you don’t have to get up early in the morning. You can wait a few hours until the sun gets higher in the sky. In clear water, once that sun gets up, break out the polarized glasses and start covering water as you search for active bass in the shallows.
Summer & Fall, Fish Deeper on Sunny Days
Once the spawn is over, the sun can actually make fishing a lot harder. On clear waters, smallmouth bass will move closer to cover such as weeds and docks for shade or they will move into deeper water. Smallmouth bass that may be feeding in 8 to 12 feet of water during the early morning could be in 20 to 50 feet of water during mid-day. In murky water, the sun will still push most fish into deeper water during the summer, but usually not as deep as in clear water.
Late Fall, Mid-Day Sun Can Actually Help
Once the late fall rolls around, the bite may be better from afternoon through evening as the water warms up several degrees. A warm, sunny day near the end of the open water season can help get the bait fish moving around more, which can also help turn the bite on for some smallmouth bass.
In Murky Water, The Sun Can Actually Help
On most murky water lakes or rivers, you are still going to have that peak early morning and evening bite and the middle of the day can be tough. However, if you can find the areas that hold the fish, the sun actually makes it easier for smallmouth bass to find your bait in murky water. On these bodies of water, you can usually find smallmouth bass shallower than you would in clear water under the same sunny skies. Because you can find the smallmouth bass shallower, it does make it a lot easier to find more bass and catch more fish.