From the Helm – September by Captain Adam Morley

Are you feeling hot, hot, hot?

Not everyone enjoys the mid day heat of summer. Even on the water where temperatures tend to be cooler, the mixture of sun and salt can be exhausting. But like most conditions; learn to dress accordingly and you can have a comfortable and productive day of fishing while others seek shelter from the midday sun. Here are a few tips to beat the heat that I use when it gets “too hot” for others.

This first tip is counterintuitive to most people; cover up with long sleeves and long pants. Cover as much skin as you can with with lightweight sun clothing and sun masks (think of how people survive in the desert, they don’t strip down. They cover up). I have been using Patagonia shirts and pants for over a decade on the water and am a huge fan but there are other options out there too. Another option we have that folks in the desert don’t typically have is access to fresh water.

For a midday trip, I like to douse myself with a hose making sure my clothes are soaked, I call it the Angler’s AC. If it’s going to be a long trip I might fill a couple half gallon jugs with fresh water to pour over myself if I start to dry out. I never use saltwater to “cool down” as it tends be more uncomfortable as it dries and has a dehydrating effect. That brings us to the next important tip, stay hydrated! Well all know beer and fishing is a popular match, but beer is also dehydrating so if you’re looking for a productive and comfortable day of fishing save the beer for after the trip when you’re telling your fish stories. Bring plenty of drinking water and/or Gatorade to stay hydrated.

Now that you’re prepared for the heat, let’s talk fishin’. I love me some midday top water action, I know it’s not popular, but some of my best catches recently have come when most anglers are seeking shelter from the heat of the day. I look for higher tides and moving water around thinned out marsh grass and submerged oyster bars. But most importantly, I look for “life”. I don’t know how to explain it, but you should
“sense” activity in the area you are fishing and if you don’t then move somewhere else. You want to hear and see bait fish and “nervous water” moving through your spot, not so much hanging out in one place and leisurely jumping. You want them scared and every so often you want to see a school break the surface as they “run” for their lives. This is when and where I’m throwing a top water lure. Lately I’ve been throwing, and absolutely falling in love with the Kiss My Fish “Creeper”. My second choice and historically favorite is the Mirro-Lure “Top Dog Jr.” But
I only use top water when I have at least 18-20 inches of water. If it’s a low tide I’m throwing a FishBites “Dirty Boxer” on a light jig head and getting as shallow as I can. It’s not unusual to find upper slot Red Fish with their backs clear out of the water as they gorge on small shrimp this time of year. No such thing as too shallow, just the wrong spot or wrong time. If you’re interested in hearing more about summer time fishing, top water fishing, or skinny water fishing stop by Genung’s Fish Camp and pick our brains. You could say we are very shallow minded and like it hot and wet this time of year.

Captain Adam Morley, President

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Club 51 at Social Club of Palm Coast
51 Old Kings Rd N
Palm Coast, FL 32137

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PO Box 353383
Palm Coast, FL 32135

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