In the heat of the summer sun the water temperatures rise towards the century mark as air temperatures hover in the mid to low 90’s the fishing generally gets pretty tough. Fishing in the daylight hours can be a chore in more ways than one. The soaring temperatures and recreational boat traffic can make being out on the lake down right miserable.

Something you can do is pack lots of drinks on ice, don’t expect to catch a lot of fish and work on techniques that may not be your strong suit. What I mean is this, take advantage of this time to work on your skills. There are fish scattered throughout the water column, some fish remain shallow prowling the banks for a meal, others position themselves out on deep water structure chasing baitfish schools. This variety allows you to fish just about any technique and be able to catch a few fish each day.

So for someone who is learning to fish a deep diving crankbait or gaining confidence in pitching a jig around docks this time of year is a great time to learn. Most of the tournament trails are at a break in their schedules and this allows you some time to just go fishing.

I often get asked by folks that are trying learn a specific technique “what’s the best way to learn it?” My reply is pretty simple, get out there and practice it! There is no substitute for time on the water! I say, “Go out with one or two rods with that bait and spend all day learning that technique.” Another alternative that will definitely shorten the learning curve on a particular technique is to hire a guide, be very specific as to your goals with the guide and go for it. In most cases you will learn more from a guide in that one day or half day, about a technique than you will in a year doing it by yourself.

This is just an idea on how you can make good use of the “down” time that the “dog days of summer” allow.

There is no substitute for time on the water!

Rusty White of Rock Hill is a professional fisherman and full-time guide on the Catawba chain of lakes, offering full- and half-day services. For more information, visit