Beat the Heat

By: Joe Sheaffer

The summer heat has come to Southwest Florida and fishing can become quite a challenge especially during the heat of the day. Many Anglers fish early, calling it a day before noon. Some fishermen fish later during the evening or even at night to beat the heat and hopefully find fish that are a bit more aggressive. Many of us have limited opportunities to fish and go when we can. That has been my trend of late and it can be a struggle fishing during the heat. I typically use artificial lures and grinding out a few fish on my outings of late has been the norm. I don’t usually fish with live bait and trying to find fish that may react to my lure presentation is inconsistent at best. If you are like me and you fish the windows that you have, there are keys that we can focus on that can help improve our chances. Key #1, try to fish as early as you can, if the dawn of the day isn’t possible, then mid to late morning is still better than the middle of the day. Finding shady areas along the mangroves will still present opportunities to catch fish shallow before they bury themselves under the shrubs. Key #2, fishing tide changes or finding any current can definitely be productive. Fish will position themselves near current areas to feed which can offset other conditions including heat. Focus on the down current areas especially if the flow is being disrupted by some type of structure. Key #3, points and funnel areas, this ties in with current. Fish the points and funnel areas because there seems to be current around these areas and structures, even on a slack tide. Wind may be the catalyst creating current flow. Key #4, fishing around bait pods and mullet schools. If there is bait, usually there will be a predator or two around looking for a meal. Many times, predators will hang with mullet schools, not so much to eat them but the mullet spook other bait fish that reds and snook will feed on. Key #5, last but not least, cover water, power fishing. Many times, I use or focus on these keys as I cover water, focusing on current areas, points, structure and even mullet schools. Even when conditions are tough and the bite is inconsistent, I usually can find a few fish to make for a successful day on the water. Stay Cool, keep casting and good luck.