Well it’s only June and the heat is scorching already. Most fresh water lakes have water temperatures exceeding 65-70 degrees which makes it tough on fish. These conditions also make it tough on the anglers as well. Heck, it even makes things tough on fishing gear, boats, motors, and other equipment. Hot weather fishing is just a tough business.
So, can you catch big bass when the ambient air temperatures are over 85 degrees? Sure, but you have to pick your battles very carefully. You have to adjust your regular fishing strategies to accommodate not only the environmental conditions, but also the fishing water conditions.
First, make sure you know the weather forecast. If it is going to be blazing hot the day you go fishing, then plan accordingly. That means taking plenty of hydration drinks, and forget the beers until after the fishing trip. Wear a big, wide brimmed hat, and pick the coolest clothing you have to protect your skin from the sun. Of course, have sunscreen along, too. If you have a fishing boat umbrella, be sure to use it. Wear sunglasses to protect eyes from water-sun reflections.
Double check the boat before you trailer out of the driveway. A friend recently drove two hours to a lake with a dead boat motor battery. He could have checked that at home days before the trip. Check fuel and other fluids, too. Charge up the trolling motor, too.
The best daytime fishing strategy when it is hot is to go early or fish late in the day. I would say plan to skip fishing from around 10am to 2pm. Adjust your time on the water by how hot it actually is. I have had heat stroke and trust me it can sneak up on you in no time.
In terms of where to fish, think about where fish are going to be when the water warms up. This means going deeper or tossing bait lures in shady spots. Look for submerged cover like logs, the shadows around stumps, and where tree cover shades the water.
Lilly pads can be good along the edges especially if there is tree shade around these spots. Fishing under bridges and other over water structures can be productive, too. Again the common denominator is the shade where water is cooler.
Try out these tips for bass fishing in hot weather. Above all else, protect yourself.