LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) - Too hot to fish? They don't bite during the dog days of summer? No, these are excuses. Enjoyable fishing can take place even in these hot periods, according to anglers on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission staff. They suggest getting out on the water very early in the day, take plenty of water and perhaps go for bream, which are nearly everywhere in the state.
Most anglers use live red worms or crickets for bream, and there are many other choices of bait and lures. Wax worms and meal worms can be effective. Wax worms are commonly associated with trout fishing, and meal worms can be obtained in pet stores.
Summer fishing can mean going smaller on both baits and hooks for bream and also for other game fish. A veteran bream chaser who fishes the Felsenthal area in south Arkansas passed along this tip. "When water is high, I start with crickets. When water is low, I start with worms. And I change if the bream aren't biting."
Fishermen can make the shade work to their advantage along with giving the anglers relief from the sun. A small area may be shaded from the sun only a short while during the day. This means the water will cool little if any. But a place where the sun is shielded several hours or most of the day will be cooler by a few degrees.
One tactic is to look for an overhang that is deep enough to keep the sun out entirely. A steep creek or river bank can do it. Work a bait as far back into the shade as you can get it. Fish-catching chances should improve.
For bream fishing in hot weather, use a cooler, even an old, stained, ugly one, for fish and bait on your sessions at the lake or on the river or prowling a creek.
If you are planning to keep your fish, it's more practical to use a fair-sized cooler for them rather than the boat's live well. And many people fish from 14-foot flatbottoms not equipped with live wells.
Hook a nice bream, take it off the hook, raise the cooler lid and toss the fish in. One AGFC fisherman recalled, "We were on a bream outing some years back, three of us in a 14-foot boat. The cooler was between the front and the middle seats. In a brief spurt of good action, we were pulling in bream so fast the fellow in the middle had to work the cooler more than he did his pole and hook in the water."
That cooler is also handy for bream bait. Keeping live worms and nightcrawlers in a cooler extends their life. And the cooler does not have to be icy cold. Just one or two plastic bottles with water frozen the night before will be sufficient.