As the sun cranks up the heat, it's tempting to leave our fishing gear to gather dust. It's no secret that our fishy friends tend to slow down, much like us humans sipping lemonade and hogging the air conditioner. They get a little touchy, maybe even a bit grouchy when the water starts to feel like a simmering soup. Not the ideal mood for them to go nibbling at your lure, huh?
But hold on, don't let your fishing dreams melt away with the summer heat just yet. You don't have to hang your rod up on the wall and turn your bait into fridge magnets. I know, fishing during a heatwave might seem as futile as trying to catch clouds with a butterfly net, but there's a secret to it. And I'm here to spill the beans.
Believe it or not, with a few sneaky strategies up your sleeve, those hot summer days can turn into successful fishing escapades. That's right, even when the weather heats up, you can still reel in a hefty catch. So let's dive into these hot-weather tactics that'll keep your fishing dreams afloat this summer!
Summer Fishing Tips
Early mornings are the golden hours for fishing. As the sun is still rubbing sleep out of its eyes, fish dwell in shallow waters, enjoying the cool temperature before the day's heat starts to dominate. At this time, your strategy should be to send your lure into dense cover, like an irresistible breakfast invitation for the fish. A topwater frog or a soft plastic worm, worked slowly, could do the trick.
Afternoon Deep Dive
When the sun shines bright and hot, fish, like humans, seek relief in cooler places. They head for deeper waters, and your fishing strategy needs to adapt to this migration. Turn to bigger lures such as crankbaits and swimbaits as you navigate your way from the shallow end to deeper waters. Structure and cover may not be the fish's priorities at this time, so bass anglers can put that playbook aside.
Ever wondered why you seem to only catch small fish when it's hot out? That's because the larger ones have sought solace deeper in the water, while the small fish take over the shallows. If you want to catch the big fish, your lures need to scale up as well. Opt for heavyweight plastics and cranks to navigate past the small fry and draw the attention of the bigger, more mature fish.
The heat makes everything a little more temperamental, including topwater lures. Spinners can still be effective when the water is warm, but they seem to perform best when there's cloud cover. Without the sun beating down on the surface, fish might still venture to the surface. So keep your topwaters ready for action, especially around the dense cover near the shallows and on the surface near the deeper parts of the water.
The River's Junction
Thinking like a fish means understanding their needs, and one of those needs is oxygen. Fish are attracted to oxygen-rich waters, and such places are the ones where rivers or streams flow into larger bodies of water. Spend time at these junctions, and you might just find fish there, enjoying the added oxygen and the buffet of tiny organisms flowing down the stream.
Summer is when you pull out all stops to get fish biting, including using technology. A good fish finder can help you pinpoint where fish are lurking and chart the successful spots for future reference. Mastering the hot and cool hideouts of fish can set you up for a summer full of great catches.
Live Bait Love
Once you've found a sweet spot teeming with fish, try vertical jigging with live bait. Dropping the bait into a congregation of fish can significantly increase your chances of a catch. And when it comes to live bait, keep it simple - a standard nightcrawler can be quite effective when rigged naturally.
Seek the Chill
Hot summer days (think 90+°F) require a slight change in your strategy - you need to seek out cool pockets in lakes and rivers. These refreshing spots might only be accessible after heavy rain or with the help of a shallow-draft vessel like a kayak. Finding where the fish are cooling off on warm mornings can make your summer fishing trips significantly more rewarding.
Don’t Overlook Fishing Reports
Don’t forget to check out fishing reports if you’re planning a summer fishing trip. Fishing reports are like little treasure maps, giving you valuable insights into the fishing conditions of a particular area. They can include information such as water temperature, recent catches, bait preferences, and even secret hotspots shared by other anglers. Whether you're planning a day trip or a week-long fishing expedition, fishing reports are your trusty sidekick to guide you towards angling success.
Frequently-Asked Questions about Summer Fishing
1. What are the best fishing spots during the summer?
The best fishing spots in summer often depend on local conditions and the type of fish you're targeting. Generally, look for areas with cooler, deeper water as the day heats up. Places where rivers or streams meet larger bodies of water can also be great spots because they're rich in oxygen and attract many fish.
2. What should you wear when fishing in summer?
When it comes to summer fishing, what you wear can make a big difference in your comfort and safety under the blazing sun. Besides wanting to stay cool, you also need to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
Start by choosing clothes with a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). UPF-rated clothing is designed to block UV rays and is much more effective than regular clothing. A UPF rating of 50+ offers excellent sun protection.
Consider wearing a long-sleeved shirt, even though it's hot. Long sleeves made from breathable, moisture-wicking fabric can protect your arms from the sun and keep you cool at the same time. For instance, UV protective gear such as the Deconstructed Series UPF 50+ PFG Long Sleeve and the Fresh Water Series UPF 50+ Hooded PFG Long Sleeve would be great for summer fishing. Also, check out this blog post for a more comprehensive fishing preparation checklist.
As for your eyes, UV-protected sunglasses are essential. Not only do they protect your eyes from the sun's rays, but they can also help with visibility on the water by reducing glare.
Finally, it's critical to regularly apply a good quality, water-resistant sunscreen to any exposed skin - including your hands. Many anglers overlook their hands, but they can burn easily when the sun reflects off the water.
3. What types of fish are commonly caught in summer?
The types of fish you can catch in the summer largely depend on your location. Bass, catfish, crappie, and trout are some of the freshwater species often caught in the summer months. In saltwater, you might reel in redfish, flounder, snapper, or striped bass. Learn more about fish behavior and how it influences your fishing tactics from Baitium's blogs.
4. What is some essential fishing gear and equipment for summer fishing?
Apart from your usual fishing gear, you'll need items to protect yourself from the sun, such as a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. A hydration pack is also essential to stay hydrated. As for the fishing gear, it's beneficial to have a variety of lures, a fish finder, and perhaps a kayak if you plan to seek out cool pockets in bodies of water.
5. How do I choose the right bait for summer fishing?
The type of bait you use depends on the species of fish you're targeting. You may want to try different lures or live baits based on what is commonly preyed upon in the summer months. Nightcrawlers can work for a variety of species. In terms of lures, topwater frogs, soft plastic worms, crankbaits, and swimbaits can be effective. In hot weather, consider using larger and heavier lures to attract bigger fish in deeper waters.
For more guidance, check out this blog post on whether to use live bait or artificial lures.
6. What is the best time to go summer fishing?
The early morning and late evening are typically the best times to fish in the summer. During these times, the water is cooler and fish are more likely to be active.
Check out this blog post for more information on when is the best time to fish.
7. What are some popular summer fishing destinations?
Popular summer fishing destinations can vary greatly based on your location and the type of fishing you enjoy. From the Great Lakes region for freshwater species to coastal areas like Florida or the Gulf Coast for saltwater fishing, there are many great options for summer fishing across the country. You can also check our guide on finding the perfect fishing spot, if you want to narrow down your choices.
7. How can I catch bass in the summer?
Bass is definitely a favorite for those fishing in the summer. In summer, bass often move to deeper, cooler waters during the day. Heavier lures like crankbaits and swimbaits can be effective. In the early morning or late evening, try topwater lures in shallower water. For more detailed tips, consider reading our blog post on bass fishing basics.
Summer fishing can certainly present its challenges, but it can also offer some of the most rewarding catches if you adjust your strategies to suit the season. By incorporating these tips into your fishing routine - early morning and late afternoon fishing, targeting deeper waters as the day heats up, optimizing your lure selection, and making use of fishing reports - you're sure to set yourself up for a summer of great catches!