As usual our weather went from cool and windy to hot and windy almost overnight a few weeks ago with little transition. I used to embrace the heat, and I pretty much hated cold weather – especially for fishing. I think it all stemmed from growing up on a west-side farm where we worked outside in the summer, as well as doing my training for the decathlon under Fresno State coach Dutch Warmerdam who, being a tough Valley kid himself, expected us to run our 300-yard intervals at 3 p.m. regardless of the heat! Hot sure didn’t stop us from going fishing, either!
I don’t necessarily suffer the heat like I used to, but I’ve found that the dog days of summer can work for me, too.
A lot of it has to do with attitude. For example, most fishermen will hear that it’s going to be over 100 tomorrow and they automatically mark off that day as a bad one. Look at it this way: If you can see that day as one where you’ll have no competition and you can moderate its impact by being smart, it can be a good trip.
Here’s a couple steps that have helped me:
▪ I make sure I have the ability to stand the heat. My best defense has been a bimini top on my boat. It’s cooler under the deployed top, and the sun is blocked. The alternative is dangerous, plus you can’t stay focused when you’re baking.
▪ Having a partner who understands what I’m doing and is willing to get sweaty is another key. Many anglers opt out when it gets uncomfortable and want to go home, so teaming with someone who’s up for the challenge is critical.
It’s possible to use the hot days to your advantage: little competition and bites that many are missing. Sure, going out in the heat can be a waste of time, depending on the species you’re chasing. But I’ve been amazed when I’ve hit a surprising good bite in the middle of the day in sweltering conditions.
A lot of anglers put their fishing poles away in the summer heat, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Never give up!