There’s fishing in hot weather, and then there is what anglers like Tai Au fish come summer.
he MLF Pro Circuit rookie and reigning MLF
Toyota Series Western Division Angler of
the Year hails from Glendale, Ariz. So yes, he’s lucky to fish the winter months in shorts, but come
“It can be miserable,” said Au.
Surface water temperatures often hit well into the
90s, and the air temperatures over 115 degrees. Dry heat
or not, that’s some extremely hot weather to deal with,
both for anglers and the fish.
Yet, whether it’s in Arizona or anywhere in the
country that experiences extreme heat in the summer,
by having the right game plan and taking the right
precautions, there are still plenty
fish to be caught in water
that one might consider
to boil shellfish.
shallow, it can get close to that in the summer, so that’s where the fish will be first thing in the morning.”
Of course, the shallows also heat up faster. Thus, Au looks for shallow water near deep water, as the fish will often quickly transition out to deeper water come 8:30 to 9 a.m. as the water temperatures up shallow begin to rise. From there, Au will start hitting deep points or bluffs; anywhere near the shallows with deep water.
Of course, lakes with heavy vegetation or extra shade up shallow can prolong this migration to deep water, but even in places like the California Delta that Au fishes regularly, he’ll see fish move to deeper areas come midday, even if it’s vegetation in deeper water.
But if you’re not a morning person, night fishing provides another prime option. Again, watch the water temperatures and follow the transition in reverse, starting on deeper points and bluffs before hitting steep banks.
GO EARLY … OR VERY LATE
It probably goes without saying, but if he has the option, Au will skip fishing midday come the summer months. Part of it is for his own health, part of it is for the health of the fish, and a big part of it is the fishing can get tougher once the sun comes out in force.
Fortunately, as hot as the days can get in the summer, the nights get cold enough to quickly cool down water temperatures, especially up shallow. Thus, any time Au is fishing in the summer where it can get extra hot, he plans to get out as early as possible to capitalize on what can be a great shallow bite.
“The optimum water temperature for fish in terms of oxygenation is 68 degrees,” said Au. “The closer they can get to that, the more comfortable they’ll be. Up