It’s blazing hot all around most of the country right now. While summer fishing can be a lot of fun, the heat can sometimes make it a lot less enjoyable. I’d like to share with you some of the ways I like to beat the heat in the summer and still enjoy some fishing.
The first and second most important ways to beat the heat are to protect your skin and stay hydrated.
Growing up we didn’t think as much about protecting our skin as we do today, but the harmful effects of the sun are now a known reality. There are a few ways to protect your skin. The first is with a high quality broad spectrum sunblock (consult your dermatologist for what is best for you) or cover your skin with sun protective clothing. Typical cotton T-shirts do not protect your skin very well against harmful UV rays. For better protection you will need a UPF 30 to UPF 50 protective material. I like to fish in shorts and flip flops, so I will cover my legs and feet with sunblock while wearing sun protective clothing above the waste. Believe it or not, I actually feel cooler with a nice light long sleeve fishing shirt than with a short sleeve cotton T-shirt or no shirt at all. I’ll also use a sun gaiter around my neck and over my ears to protect these areas.
Keeping hydrated is another important factor you can’t ignore. It’s very important to drink a lot of water while fishing on a hot summer day. I will usually drink one to two gallons of cold water throughout the day. It’s easy to get caught up fishing and overlook hydrating, by the time you are thirsty it’s too late. Drink lots of water regularly and stay away from soft drinks, as they won’t help the cause and may be worse than drinking nothing at all.
I also follow the adage, “On the water early, and off the water by noon.” Get on the water before the sun comes up and get your fishing done by lunchtime. Some states (California for example) even have summer tournaments mandated to be less than six hours long. In the heat of the summer, take shorter fishing trips and if daybreak to noon isn’t enough, then return in the early evening for a few more hours of fishing.
One of my favorite ways to beat the summer heat is to fish at night. Night fishing can be a load of fun and along with the cooler temperatures it also has the added benefit of less boat traffic. Some of my best fun fishing trips have been summer night fishing with friends and family. Be sure to bring bug spray, plenty of lights, and drive cautiously and you can turn a summer night into one heck of a fishing trip.
Enjoy your summer fishing and remember to take a kid, a veteran, or just a friend fishing. Any fishing trip can provide a lifetime memory.
Image courtesy Luke Clausen