With temps in the 100's I wondered if anyone could offer any summer gill tactics. The fish seem to have abandoned the shallow water haunts on my favorite lake. I am considering changing from my beloved flyrod to probing the depths with spinning combo and a drop shot rig. The lake I fish is a shallow (15 to 20 feet) oxbow with stained water. Any advice appreciated.
First of all Cedric, I'd like to comment on how cool your profile picture is. Where did you come up with that?
During the hottest part of the summer I like to think like a bluegill. Spawning is usually not an issue, and the fish's metabolism is high and they're eating as much as possible. Typically there are lots of invertebrates available this time of year. The bluegill that I target are usually tickling the tops of submergent vegetation in deeper water. Make sure that the water you are fishing however is not below a thermocline where you would lack oxygen at the bottom. Somtimes older bodies of water have poor water quality on the bottom because of long-term accumulated organic, and inorganic loading. So if the water quality in your body of water is good, try as deep as possible where there is live vegetation, then try right across the tops. Slip bobbers can work really well, and if you have the correct bottom substrate, Musky Mod's spooning methods can be absolutely deadly!
Cedric, Before you give up your beloved flyrod. Try an intermediate sinking line , 15' to 20' is an obtainable depth for this line. It sinks at a rate ot 1 1/2" to 2" per sec so you can count it down, then target areas as Bruce said. Dragon fly nymphs, leach patterns, brightly colored estez flies and small steamer patterns are goo this time of year.
Down here in south Texas the summer heat can get up to 105 in the shad. What I have developed is a cast from tuck approach. I pull my truck as close to the bank as possible.
I us a slip bobber to help with the long cast. Please make sure there is no rack on the top of the truck as some time this will cause casting problem. Roll window down all the way stick pole out window and cast. I use a circle hook so the need to set the hook is reduced. After cast roll window up as high as possible but do not pin the pole.
You must keep open beer away from the window. You don’t want to spill it if you get a bit. Keep the radio down as not to bother the fish. Finally do not lock your door. If you do catch a big fish this will give the wife access to get out and get the net.
I guess I'm just spoiled on my lake, when the weather gets hot I just fish beside the big house boats that keep their air conditioners running all the time. Cold air drops, and it's amazing how much cooler the water gets below these big house boats. When the water at the surface is 92 degrees elsewhere, the fish coming out from under these boats are actually cool to the touch, and are less than 4 feet down. I guess fish are smarter than we think, they like air conditioning too. I have one spot I fish with about 5 big house boats, side to side, and end to end under the cover of the marina, in 15 ft of water, and it is a summer fishing paradise. The shade from the boats isn't bad either on a hot day. Just my two cents worth.