Does heat bother the fish?

Published 7:25 pm Friday, September 10, 2010

Where did this come from? I know it’s not out of season, but holy volcano blast, Batman, it’s hot!

I called a biologist friend of mine last Friday. I asked him if it was possible for fish to sweat.

In his usual southern bio-humor way, he responded, “No, but even if they could, the humidity is way too high to do them any good.”

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Okay, enough with the jokes. It’s too hot to be funny.

The fish seem to be feeling it too. Maybe it’s too hot to eat.

The last week has been some of the slowest fishing I’ve seen all year.

Bass: Even though the bite has slowed, a variety of top-water baits are producing some fish early and late. Focus heavily on grass points adjacent to deeper water. Don’t be afraid to make multiple casts to the same spot to tempt a big one into biting. The one key bite that seems to be starting its upward fall swing is the shoal bass. Top-water and straight tail worms are still producing good numbers of solid fish.

Bream: I talked to a couple of guys that have some small beds located, but for the most part it seems to be over for real this time. You know it’s hot when the bluegill and redbreast slow down. Even they are hiding from the Sun. The grass holes throughout spring creek are producing some fish. But, patience in waiting for the fish is the key. The fish seem to be coming to the surface around 11 a.m. Stealth and a non-weighted cricket can catch them when nothing else will.

Catfish: I have started looking around rock piles in the Flint River with limited success. The best bites are coming from piles along the river channel edge where current is present. In the lake, look for deeper flats and bays within the grass adjacent to deeper water. Moving around is still the key to success. Noodling tops the list as the best way to catch a couple good ones, but bobber fishing is still a great option. The bait doesn’t seem to matter, but my preference this time of year is fresh cut shad. The extremely oily fish puts out a good strong scent trail like a stink or blood bait, but you can wash the fish smell off.

Crappie: It’s official, crappie are smarter than bass. They new it was going to get hot again. Schools of slab crappie have been almost impossible to find. Individual fish can be caught in the standing timber in the Flint River and in the mouth of Spring Creek. Slider jigs rigged with a 1/16 or 1/32 inch head, fished vertically, have been producing. Vary the color selection often. I have noticed that color may play a role in the fish from one patch of timber to another.