Monday, January 24, 2022

Keep your cool and beat the heat!

Summer Tarpon. Submitted photos

Summer Tarpon. Submitted photos

“It’s like a heat wave,  burnin’ in my heart, I can’t keep from cryin’. It’s tearin’ me apart.” …. That’s the song in my head as we are right now smack dab in the middle of our 90 hottest days of summer. We have to be smart and pay attention to what our bodies are telling us so we can douse the fire of the sun and help cool the lyrics of the song, “Heatwave,” that was originally performed by Martha and The Vandellas in 1963.

Out here on the water, we have a different environment than back on land. We most certainly have different things to think about and prepare for in advance.

First of all, we have sun baking us from two directions. The most obvious is from above, but few think about reflection. The reflection from the water and the white deck of a boat can be equally as strong as the heat coming directly from the sun. It is imperative to completely cover up if you want to beat the heat. I wear long pants, long sleeves, and a wide rimmed hat all year round, especially in the summer.  People ask me, “Aren’t  you hot wearing all of that?”  Truth be told, I am a lot cooler in the sun than you are in a tank top and shorts.  This is why… As the sun bakes on you, it heats up your skin which holds the heat. Wearing lightweight, breathable clothing shades your skin, not only from the damaging sun, but also from the direct heat it creates. Columbia makes a fantastic line of clothing made for our extreme summer heat, that actually keeps your body cool. Yes, you will still sweat, but that sweat is what keeps your body temperature cool as it evaporates. The direct sun on your skin will dry out your perspiration before it has time to do what mother



nature created it for.

It is also very important to remain hydrated before, during, and after a day on the water. Hydration must occur on an ongoing basis, not just when you are feeling thirsty. Drink water before heading out. Be sure to pack a cooler with lots of ice and be sure to drink at least 12-16 oz of cool water for each half hour. It may sound like a lot to some, but drinking that much water is necessary for your body. If properly hydrated, you will not feel as exhausted after your day in the heat. Avoid alcoholic beverages, as this will dehydrate you even more!

Plan your day on the water appropriately. What I mean is that we all know it’s going to be brutally hot by noon. Many of the fish feel this heat too, and will stop feeding at the peak heat of the day. Your best bite will be early morning until maybe noon, if you are lucky.  We also know that the summer afternoon rains are going to occur, which will cool things down a bit. The fish feel this too, and will begin to feed again in the late afternoon and into the evening. With this in mind, make a plan to get out fishing early, maybe from 7-11 a.m. Plan on getting off the water by noon so you can swim, eat, nap, and cool off. Then get back out on the water after our late day showers for some fantastic late day action.

Tight lines, and be sure to make someone giggle today!

Capt Rapps offers expert guided, light tackle, near shore, and backwater fishing trips in the Everglades National Park out of Chokoloskee Island. He is happy to accommodate anyone from novice to hardcore seasoned pro. See online availability calendar, booking info, and his custom blended seasonings at

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