The June equation

Davy Hite likes to start each day this month about halfway back in creeks off the main lake.

In the month of June, I’m going to spend about three-quarters of my time fishing offshore.

Boy, do I love that other quarter.

I have always loved to fish topwater, and this month, I’m going to spend the first hour or two of every day fishing shallow. I love those days when it’s overcast or when we’ve had a lot of rain and the water is a little cooler and has some color, because that shallow-water bite can last a lot longer.

I really love to fish a buzzbait in June. More often than not, you can get a big bite the first hour of daylight. I like fishing a Buckeye Buzzerk buzzbait – a clacker – with a Yamamoto Zako trailer and a trailer hook. I don’t fish a trailer hook on a spinnerbait very often, but I will fish one on a buzzbait most of the time. I’m going to have two colors tied on: black for low-light days and white for sunnier days.

I’m going to be looking for shallow, visible cover, and I’m going to try and throw that buzzbait past that cover. I’m going to give it a medium retrieve, and if I can see the piece of cover – maybe a stump or a brush pile – I’m going to slow it down as I get close to it, settle it down, then speed it up once it passes, like it’s a baitfish trying to get away.

All in the details

I keep my eyes open for bream beds. I pay attention to the moon phase, the lunar tables, especially the full moon in June. I will be keeping an eye out for places that might hold bream beds. They are great places to fish a buzzbait.

Most fishermen are not that different when it comes to being able to cast a lure, but being in the right places, finding the right places, is what separates some fishermen from others. Now, with mapping and GPS, it’s easy to go to any lake and fish effectively. It’s really changed over the past 15 or 20 years; it’s changed our sport.

Years ago, if I went to a lake I wasn’t really familiar with, if I only had a day or two to practice, I was going to fish shallow, visible cover. Now, you don’t have to be slow to fish offshore. If you have the tools most fishermen have – mapping systems, 2D, down imaging, side imaging – you can fish offshore in 2024.

Get started

I like to start in one of the major creeks, in the outer third of the creek. Most fish have spawned and are headed out. I like to start no farther than halfway back in a creek and work my way out.

When I get there, I start looking at my sonar. I’m not looking for fish; I’m looking for bait and cover. When I find bait and cover together, that’s where I start fishing. Vegetation is the best cover, but it could be wood: stumps, brush, standing timber. I’m looking for food and cover, because that’s what the fish are looking for.

When I start fishing deep, I’m going to be fishing with a crankbait, a Rapala DT-10 and DT-14 in shad colors. I like to cover a lot of water. I will start using different baits if I get a bite or two – maybe a Mop Jig or a 6- or 7-inch Senko. I’ll even throw a topwater or a jerkbait like a Rapala Marauder, if I see some fish higher in the water column, even suspended. That jerkbait can get down to 10 feet, and that’s a good depth range in June. One other thing: fish are going to be grouped up in June; if you catch a few on a crankbait on the same place, you may see fish following your crankbait; that’s another time you go with a jerkbait.

Water clarity

If I don’t know anything about the nature of the lake I’m fishing or which areas might be better in June, I will look for water clarity. Fish are a lot easier to trick with a crankbait when you have a little color in the water. I want to be able to see my crankbait a foot or two down – no more. If I can see it 5 feet deep, I’m going to try another place. And if I go in a creek for about an hour and haven’t seen that bait/cover combo, I’ll move. You are much more effective spending your time looking for places with those key ingredients than trying to find fish in places that don’t have them.

It’s not a difficult task. Use your mapping software to find good-looking spots. Use your electronics to find evidence of cover and food. Then use your crankbait or jerkbait to cover water and find those fish, and they’ll be aggressive in the right kinds of places. 

That equation is not difficult for most fishermen to solve – not with the kinds of advances in electronics we have these days. 

Add it all up:

Mapping software helps find good-looking spots, electronics find cover and food, then crankbaits or jerkbaits find the fish.

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About Davy Hite 1 Article
Davy Hite is a native of Saluda, S.C., who now resides in Ninety Six, S.C. He began fishing professionally in 1993, when he qualified for his first Bassmaster Classic. He was the BASS Angler of the Year in 1997 and 2002, and he won the 1999 Bassmaster Classic and the 1998 FLW Tour Championship.

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