The dog days of summer are upon us here in the Midwest. Between the high temperatures and crazy humidity it's literally a melting pot every time you venture out on the water. In the past you'd find me on the shoreline sunburned, dehydrated, and dripping with sweat. However with a little planning and the help of some crazy advancements in garment technology, you'll find that the midsummer experience can be really enjoyable. I thought I'd offer up 4 tips to help you beat the heat over the next few weeks.
- Fish At Night: I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but seriously give it a try. Besides the obvious fact that the sun isn't over head, fish are just easier to catch at night. Many species of fish move deep when the water heats up. Those same fish though will usually come in shallow at night to feed. They feel safer at night and many freshwater predators like bass, pike, and muskies, loose their inhibition and are more willing to strike lures in the darkness.
- Drink Lots of Fluids: This makes a lot of sense and shouldn't require a lot of convincing. 50-65% of our bodies are made up of water and if you're sweating it out, you need to put it back in. I used to drink lots of fluids when fishing in the heat. The issue was that I was normally drinking coffee and soda, both diuretics. So even though I was consuming a lot of fluids they weren't the right fluids. This caused me to struggle with headaches and nausea due to dehydration. Next time you head out the door throw a water bottle in your kayak hatch or backpack and make sure to take a drink at least once every 20 minutes.
- Cover Up: The easiest way to beat the heat is to cover up your skin and limit your exposure. Manufacturers are now offering lots of light weight long sleeve moisture wicking shirts. These will help you stay cooler longer and make those annoying sunburns a thing of the past. Also wear a Buff to protect your face. Skin cancer commonly starts on the ears and nose. Using a Buff protects these sensitive areas, and they're pretty freaking cool looking too.
- Pack An Umbrella: Portable shade is something I've started to experiment with a lot lately. An inexpensive golf umbrella provides a ton of shade and is really, really, portable. I use them when jigging from walls, watching a bobber, or even in my kayak. All I have to do is stick it in a rod holder or strap it to my seat and I'm instantly cooler. It's a great tip that doesn't cost a lot of cash and makes a huge difference.