Tips for hot weather fishing

Published 5:24 pm Friday, July 8, 2011

We have moved on past Independence Day once more, having left behind the Fourth of July heat only to find the mid-July heat just as bad as any we have seen. A month ago when we were suffering from the intense heat, the summer season had not arrived. Now the summer season is on us and we expect it to be about as hot as it has ever been. We have not been disappointed.

After we got into the summer season a few afternoon and evening thundershowers began to pop up on a somewhat regular basis and those 100 degree days dropped off into the high seventies and low eighties around the showers. The average daytime temperatures were not as low as we would have liked for them to have been, but the rains did help us a lot.

A lot of folks were out enjoying the holiday weeked even though it was a little hot for them. John Summerhill and I did not partake of the midday and afternoon activities, as years after the heart attack has taught us that we can’t take the heat. If you were to need either of us to help save you from most anything, we would do that and very quickly come right on back inside. Both of us have been out on the lake when it has gotten as hot as it has ever been or on the other side, as cold as it has ever been, and fared well. But that was in the past.

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Now for us, it is early morning fishing up until nine or ten o’clock. Then come on in to some cool air-conditioned air to live out the rest of the day. And I don’t mean any morning early, as some mornings aren’t very cool and it is almost unbearable to breathe in the heavy air. If you are not like us already, you will be. The one thing you have to do is live. You do that to get old and with age comes all the health problems. So enjoy it while you can. When you get old you can still enjoy it—just not as much as in days past. It would seem to be a good idea to take notes as you move along in life, so that when you are older and enjoying just parts of days, you can refer to the notes and write a book, reliving it and fully enjoying it again.

I talked with some folks that had some good fish stories over the weekend and saw a few excellent stringers of fish. As you might expect, most consisted of bream and shellcracker, with a good amount of catfish mixed in. I even had reports of excellent catches of catfish up on Lake Eufaula. One man and his wife caught 17 catfish Monday afternoon and he said he had to fillet all but one of the fish. A catfish that is big enough to fillet and then cut in half makes for some fine boneless eating. A few french fries, some hushpuppies, and some good cole slaw, and you have the makings of as fine a meal as one would ever want. It is getting hard to find good cole slaw, so when you find the good stuff, write down where it came from so that you won’t ever forget and keep going back to that place. I am lucky. Even though my wife doesn’t cook, both my kids do and are excellent cooks.

Bass fishing is starting to slow somewhat. Being cold-blooded, this hot water slows them down as much as cold water does during the winter. Being experienced fishermen, we can entice a bass to bite when he or she doen’t want to. It is certainly not easy to get a boat-load of bass at this time of year, but it happens every now and again. They have to eat sometimes and if you are there, it becomes easy pickings. Though it is seldom easy pickings, it is fun— and when we get a good catch during these hot months, we can feel good about ourselves.