3 Tips for Fishing the “Dog Days” of Summer
Find Some Shade
As the heat of summer arrives you may need to adjust your approach to your favorite areas. Snook, redfish and even trout that cruised your grass flats in the wide open may now be orienting themselves to shade or cover. The water temps in late summer can get sky high and even the fish need some relief from the heat. Now is a good time to try a stretch of boat docks. Up your leader size just a bit to compensate for the dock pilings. The shade you are casting to will allow for the leader size to go unnoticed by the fish. Get your lures or live bait as far as you can under docks or mangrove edges to present the fish with a meal. Don’t neglect the shade of a bridge, a channel marker or even a docked yacht when looking for cooler water in the summer. Fish will hold under a big yacht for shade. As long as you are careful and respectful of the owners property, this is a great place to find summertime fish. I’ve found them most often on the stern end of the boat where the prop wash creates a deeper hole. This combined with the running gear protruding from the bottom rear of the boat seems to cause fish to hold on the stern. Whatever you see that throws some shade is worth a try when the heat is unbearable.
Fish Deeper Water
It’s critical to find some cooler water in the dead of summer. If there is no shade or structure around, look to go to deeper water. Sometimes this is simply a pothole in a grass flat that is slightly deeper than the surrounding area. This allows predator fish to ambush prey coming off of the grass and over the hole. It also provides some relief from the hot water. Other times you may find the edge of a channel or a ledge near deep water that is holding fish that would have been feeding in the shallows during the spring time. A good transducer that reads water temperature accurately is critical during this time of year. Watch for a slight variance in the water color when you have good tide movement. Sometimes this indicates a temperature break. Check your water temps on either side of the color variance. Fish that cooler side and the area of the temperature transition. Look for the deeper side of that sandbar that you caught fish on top of in the spring. You can find the fish in the deeper areas of your favorite water.
Get Out EARLY or Stay LATE
When you will see temps rise to uncomfortable highs in the summer months you need to get out there on the water at first light. The dawn bite is likely to be your best chance to get on fish consistently. Lower temperatures coupled with Mother Nature turning the lights on will many times provide an epic bite. Set your alarm an hour earlier and be ready to fish before the sun peeks up over the horizon. The same can be said for the evening bite. Temps start to cool down and when you can find good tide movement around a sunset things can get real good real fast. The other factor we forget to talk about is how much nicer it is to fish during these times of day. We seem to be more focused on casting and less focused on complaining about sweat in our eyes. Get out early or late in the day and save the noon time for air conditioning and fish sandwiches.
Hope these ideas help you find more fish! If you haven’t downloaded the Fishin’ Wizard App you can do so for free at get.fishinwizard.com Subscribe to our newsletter for more articles like this one.