Three ways to beat the heat

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James Overstreet

Most of the country is experiencing true summer right now. It’s as hot as the devil outside and water temperatures are in the 90s in many places. If you’re tough enough, though, you can still catch them. They have to eat, and if they eat they’ll bite a lure.

As I recall, we’ve talked about this in the past, but I think it bears talking about again. I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately on how to deal with this heat. It’s not all that hard. All you have to do is keep three things in mind — deeper water, thicker cover and current.

Begin your search by fishing deeper. I know that deep and deeper are relative to where you’re fishing. That doesn’t matter. If you’ve been catching them in 3 to 5 feet of water move out to 8 or 10. If you’ve been in the 8 to 10 foot range move out closer to 15 feet.

The bass will migrate deeper for two reasons. First, there’s probably more oxygen down there. Second, the forage will be down there. That’s a couple of pretty good reasons if you stop and think about it for a minute.

If fishing deeper doesn’t work for you, try thinking about thicker cover and don’t worry about water depth so much. There’s more shade in the thick stuff, and there’ll probably be a pretty good amount of forage in there, too. 

When I say thick that’s exactly what I mean. It might look like it’s so nasty that nothing can get through it, but I assure you that they can. They’ll be in there and they’ll grab anything that looks like it’s edible, especially if it’s moving fast and they don’t have time to look it over.

The final thing you want to keep in mind is current. Don’t think of current like you see it in a river or stream. Think of it more like moving water. We’re all familiar with generation schedules in manmade reservoirs and how it’ll turn the bass on and make them feed. But we’re less familiar with other kinds of current.

The wind also makes current. Even a light wind will cause some water movement. Rain will do the same thing. Look around streams and creeks where they enter the lake after a rain. There’s current in the area. Even boats moving through a narrow spot or bottleneck will create current.

I’m honestly not sure what it is about current that makes for a good bite. It might be that it attracts the forage. A better explanation — in my opinion, anyway — is that current carries oxygen and probably cools the water a few degrees. The thing is, though, it doesn’t really matter why.

That’s enough about the fish. Now let’s talk about you. Hot weather like we’ve been having can be dangerous. The air is hot, the sun is bright and you have a huge volume of water underneath you that radiates heat. Make sure you protect yourself from the sun and take the time to drink plenty of fluids. You won’t catch very many fish if you’re in the hospital, or dead.

Mike Iaconelli's column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter or visit his website, mikeiaconelli.com.