As fishermen, we all know the joys and perils of the seasons. We gear up and prepare accordingly. As we fish our way through the rest of this summer here are a few reminders and suggestions to help manage the heat and stay safe during hot weather bass fishing.
Hot weather bass fishing – It’s not just the temperature
Be aware it’s not just the temperature we need to worry about. More often than not, for most of us, humidity is the devil of summer. The combination of high heat and high humidity can make for a dangerous scenario on the water. The best indicator for keeping tabs on summer weather is dew point. Anything 65 or above is an indicator it’s going to be tough when the air temperatures get above 80.
Hot weather bass fishing – Hydrate early and often
If planning an outing on a day with high heat and humidity, hydrate early and often. Start hydrating the night before. A couple glasses of water before going to bed can go a long way in staving off injuries as the heat builds the next morning. A steady intake of water and electrolyte (sports drink) throughout the day is essential to preventing heat injuries. Alcoholic and soft drinks are not good substitutes. A light snack during the day will help maintain electrolyte levels. Waiting until the body is hot, dry, and dying of thirst isn’t the way to do this. A few sips from a water bottle at regular intervals, beginning at launch, will help avoid getting into an unsafe situation.
Hot weather bass fishing – Cover up
The easiest way to keep cool in direct sunlight is to cover up with loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. The new Ultra Violet (UV) protective materials used in outdoor clothing nowadays is perfect for protection from overexposure to the sun and for keeping comfortable. As we perspire, the UV materials help accelerate the evaporation process. The drying process generates a slight wind current between our skin and the garment. Check out the various manufacturer’s claims on their respective websites for specific details, but for our purposes here it’s not unrealistic to see skin temperatures 10-15 degrees lower than if exposed to direct sunlight. A tank top may appear cooler, but the smart choice is a long sleeve UV t-shirt.
UV protective buffs, neck gaiters, and gloves are additional garments to keep handy for hot weather fishing. It may take a bit of getting used to; however, covering up the neck and face with a buff can do more to protect our skin from overexposure than an entire bottle of sunscreen. Dunk a neck gaiter in some cold water every hour or so, this cools the blood flow to the head and helps keep it cool.
We often forget about our hands, and this is dangerous. A large number of skin cancers due to sun exposure are on the hands. UV protective gloves are an excellent alternative too greasy, slippery sunscreen.
Hot weather bass fishing – Don’t forget the eyes
During those bright sunny days of summer, don’t forget the eyes. We all know polarized glasses help us see things under water more clearly. They’re also an essential component to an effective hot weather protective ensemble. A good pair of UV resistant polarized glasses will protect our eyes from the harmful effects of sunlight. The price of sunglasses doesn’t necessarily equate to better protection. My favorite outdoor eyewear is an off-the-shelf pair of safety glasses. They’re 99% UV resistant, polarized, and impact resistant (handy for when the bugs and other critters are flying around). I use wrap-around lenses, protecting against peripheral hazards. I find them at home improvement stores for about $20.
Hot weather bass fishing – Rest and diet
Rest and diet are key preparation elements for a hot day on the lake Get plenty of sleep and pay attention to what’s on the dinner table. Get a good night’s sleep before a hard, hot summer day on the water. The amount of sleep depends on the individual, between 6-8 hours is usually sufficient. Eat a reasonable, balanced meal the night before. Avoid a heavy or greasy breakfast before heading to the lake.
Hot weather bass fishing – Know the signs
Heat injuries are very real and very dangerous. They sneak up and hit when we’re not paying attention. Know the signs before they hit, because they always hit hard. Spend a few minutes on the internet or with a basic first aid book to learn and understand the signs of heat injury. Knowing heat injury signs are especially important with conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease. High heat and humidity will wreak havoc on the body. Stay alert, stay alive.
Take a look at these other articles on Ultimate Bass for additional information about fishing in the heat of summer.
None of this is cryptic or secret. It’s just good ole’ common sense. A quick review of these tips and some simple preparation will ensure a fun day on the water.