Mark A. Cartwright
You have heard the the Mark Chestnut song Too Cold at Home song? The lyrics, it's too hot to fish, and too hot for golf, And too cold at home, is almost an anthem. The first part of it anyway. We have been in a little bit of a heat wave here in Baton Rouge. 30 of 31 days in May were higher than the average. We even had a couple of days with heat advisories, in May! Lawd! it is going to be a hot summer. What is a heat advisory anyway?
From weather.gov we have these definitions that are heat related: Excessive Heat Watch; An Excessive Heat Watch is issued when there is a potential for the heat index value to reach or exceed 110 degrees (east of the Blue Ridge) or 105 degrees (west of the Blue Ridge) within the next 24 to 48 hours. Excessive Heat Warning; An Excessive Heat Warning is issued when the heat index value is expected to reach or exceed 110 degrees (east of the Blue Ridge) or 105 degrees (west of the Blue Ridge) within the next 12 to 24 hours. An Excessive Heat Warning may be issued for lower criteria if it is early in the season or during a multi-day heat wave. Heat Advisory; A Heat Advisory is issued when the heat index value is expected to reach 105 to 109 degrees (east of the Blue Ridge) or 100 to 104 degrees (west of the Blue Ridge) within the next 12 to 24 hours. A Heat Advisory may be issued for lower criteria if it is early in the season or during a multi-day heat wave.
And where do we get the heat index from? NOAA has a chart.
You can see from the chart that you get into trouble areas pretty quick when the humidity is high. And the humidity is high almost all the time along the gulf coast. The graph below is from Weatherspark for Gulf Shores Alabama.
Don't confuse the percentages on the left with humidity level. It is the percentage of the time you have the comfort level. August 6th is at least muggy 98% of the time!
One really scary thing for us fishermen that I found when researching for this post, is that the index is 15 degrees higher if you are in direct sun. So we fishermen need to be especially careful out there in the middle of the day. We are probably in the danger zone anytime we are on the casting deck after 10:00 am.
Be safe while fishing
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Before, during and after the trip. The most protection you get is from the extra fluids you take in before the trip. And alcohol doesn't count in that total.
Wear a wide brimmed hat. I always wear one and it really makes a difference on the felt heat.
If you have a Bimini top, put it up around 10:30 or 11:00. When you are under it you won't have the added 15 degrees for being in the sun, and it will feel, we say, 20 degrees cooler under it.
Time your drinking. Drink a beverage every 45 minutes to an hour. Don't wait until you are thirsty to drink. That's too late.
Use one of the various cooling towels. When you're starting to feel the heat. Put one down in the ice chest water and then put it on your neck.
Wear light colored clothes. A long sleeve shirt helps too.
Try this for a quick pick me up. Cut up a watermelon into chunks and put them in a ziplock or plastic container. Put this in the ice chest before you add the other stuff. If you don't it might not fit. Now when it is really getting hot and you're feeling a little weak from the heat, take a little break in the shade and eat the watermelon.
Run to a new spot. You will be surprised at how good a little boat ride feels.
If you're fishing all weekend, fish early and late.
There are lots of weather sites out there to keep you posted on the heat, humidity and potential for rain. I always have one up and running on the phone when I am on the water. We have lots of them on our website. Reelfunenterpises.com Be safe out there.
Soft rides and hard strikes!!!