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It’s summertime, and that means it’s time to head out into the wilderness with your fishing gear and catch as many fish as possible. Hot weather can make it challenging to reel in anything bigger than the palm of your hand. If you’re on a dry streak and haven’t been catching much lately, here’s what you can do to increase your haul.
Look for Cover
Fish are cold-blooded, so during the warm summer months, they tend to be lethargic and don’t seek bait like they do in colder weather. Shallow water will get uncomfortably warm, even for cold-blooded creatures, so those who continue to live in the shallows will look for shade and cover where the water is cooler.
They won’t come out of their shady spots easily, but if you can cast your line into these places, you’ve got a better chance of catching a big shallow-water fish. They’ll also retreat to these grass beds at night, so if you’re spending some time on the water once the sun goes down, fishing in vegetation is your best option.
Fish Deep in Hot Weather
Swimming in warm water might be nice for humans, but it can get uncomfortable for fish — especially big ones. Even if your preferred catch normally lives in shallow water, start fishing deeper once the temperature starts climbing. You might have better luck casting a weighted line in deep water, where the temperatures are lower and the fish are more comfortable.
Explore Vegetation Patches
In natural water features, vegetation acts as a home for fish. Once they’ve fed, they’ll return to water-rooted plants for the cover they provide. It also increases localized oxygen levels, making the area a comfortable home for the fish. Fishing in vegetation is a tricky skill to learn, but once you master it, it can be a fantastic way to follow the fish when the water temperature is climbing and they’re not inclined to bite.
Watch the Weather
Pay close attention to the weather if you’re going out fishing, but not just to avoid the rain. Storms change the ambient barometric pressure of the area, and fish are very sensitive to these changes. They often feed more right before a storm hits, making it the perfect time to get out on the water. This is especially true if you live in an area that’s prone to frequent afternoon thunderstorms.
Take a Boat
You can catch plenty of fish by the shore, but sometimes the ones you really want are going to be in deeper water. There are plenty of ways to get to the good spots. You could take a simple kayak and paddle, which is fine if you’re catching fish in the 12 to 24-inch range. Anything bigger and you’re going to need a bigger boat. Of course, you could always go extreme and get a yacht with a 1600hp engine, but then you might end up just cursing around and not actually fishing. Not that that’s always a bad thing!
Stay Hydrated and Have Fun
This last tip might not help you catch more fish, but it’s important if you’re going to be out on the water during the hot summer months. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated. No one wants to get dehydrated while they’re trying to catch a few fish for dinner.
Other than that, all you need to do is be patient, pick the right locations to cast your line and have fun. The fish will bite eventually — you just might have to follow them around a bit before they do.