Outdoors Column: The Heat of the Night

For several weeks, our extended spell of hot weather had been hard on everything.  It sure has played havoc with my fishing.  When the temperatures was still hovering near 100 degrees at 8:00 in the evening, it is hard to get motivated to get out and do what needs to be done, including fishing.  We have been taking the dogs to the lake frequently so they could have a bit of relief from the heat, but most of our time during these outings was spent in the truck watching them swim.  Sunday, after more than a week of not fishing, I could stand it no longer.  While the dogs were swimming, I grabbed a fishing rod and headed over the dam to the spillway.  Since we have not had any rain in several weeks, the water was low and there was no water running either into or out of the pool below the dam.  The rock lined catch basin is about thirty feet across and ten feet deep.  No fresh food had been washed into the small pond for several days.  With no breeze blowing behind the dam, the heat was sweltering.  I put a small Mepp’s spinner on my ultra-lite rod and cast to the other side while sweating profusely.  It was hit immediately by a small bass.  My second cast was taken by a three pound bass.  I caught a large bluegill on my third cast.  The next cast was taken by a nice crappy.  My wife, who up to this time thought I was crazy to fish with sweat pouring off me in the heat next to this little puddle, got out of the air conditioned truck and grabbed her fishing pole.  She is not what a person would consider overly-competitive, except when it comes to fishing.  From the first cast, she was catching fish on her baby catfish lure.  We continued fishing and catching at this rate for more than an hour.  If we had been really good people, we would have carried the fish over the dam and put them back in the lake, or at least thrown them in the cooler to be cleaned and eaten when we got home.  Since we are not, we threw them back in and continued to fish and sweat.  As darkness fell, the dogs quit swimming and came over the dam to see what we were doing.  They found my wife and I ringing wet, each standing in a puddle of sweat, and catching fish as fast as we could reel them in.  The squirrel tail was gone and two of the three treble hooks were broken off my Mepp’s, and I was still catching fish on the remaining hook.  The plastic body of my wife’s baby catfish was chewed beyond recognition.  We had completely worn out two lures, but had more than gotten our money’s worth out of them.  We took the dogs back over the dam and let them get one last swim while we sat on the dock watching the moon come up over the pond.  It did not seem nearly as hot since the sun had gone down, and we were sitting in soaking wet clothes, enjoying the night.  We had the opportunity to catch more fish than we could count and the dogs cooled and swam to the point they were ready for a leisurely trip home in the back of the truck.  A person can tolerate a heat wave, if they ignore it and do the important things, such as going fishing.