Summer is the Time to Think Like a Fish
Spring has come and summer is almost here. With good weather and adequate rain, spring fishing has been very good. But, with summer approaching fish will be adjusting to warmer water temperatures, looking for larger food, and searching for places to hide from the noon day sun. So, your secret hot spot during the past few months may have become what seems like fishing in an empty bucket.
They are still there, or at least close. Now is the time you have to start thinking like a fish. Are you comfortable when you are too hot or too cold? You adjust by removing clothing or putting on a jacket. Since they don’t have fingers to fasten or unfasten buttons, they find water with a temperature they prefer. Some species move to deeper cooler water while others may move into shallower warmer water. And, they may move between these temperate zones several times a day depending on the sun, clouds and air temperature.
During the spring warm up fish will eat almost anything that is or remotely looks like food.
As the water warms there is an increase in the amount of food available. This comes just in time for warm water fish species such as bass, bream, and catfish to prepare to spawn. They need food and a lot of it! In addition, while searching for a meal, fish prefer larger food offerings. Instead of trying the catch ten small minnows they will look for one small bream. Taking ten gulps at food requires more energy exertion than gulping one larger fish.
In the summer months fishing early and late in the day is usually more productive than midday. Overcast days can provide good fishing the entire day. Fishing at night can be fantastic. The point here? The sun in not your friend or the fish’s friend during the summer. Fish like structure such rocks, stumps, logs, and weeds. During summer months you should add shade to your list of structure. In places where there is no structure a shady place over the water and along the bank may be full of fish. Structure like that mentioned above will be more enticing to fish if it is in the shade. Don’t despair if there is no shade available, just fish deeper.
So, what have learned about summer time fishing?
Your favorite fishing spot has probably changed or will change during the summer. Fish have no fingers and are sensitive to water temperature changes. Larger food items are more appealing to lazier ones, and shade is our friend. Think like a fish!
If you need to buy a fishing license, go online here.
Looking for somewhere to drop a line? Check out the pier and bank database.
From the Desk of SCDNR Certified Fishing Instructor: Michael Ralston