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On the Water: Summer’s heat will be here very soon

May 30, 2018
By Capt. Bill Russell , Pine Island Eagle

The week leading up to Memorial Day brought lots of rain, and as I write this article more rain is forecast for the holiday weekend. Looking ahead, the month of May is about over, and the summer months begin.

June is the month summer settles in, bringing hot, humid days, and afternoon thunderstorms. It's a good month to fish or for boating in general, just make sure you plan accordingly to ensure an enjoyable day.

As we progress into the warmer months, it can get downright hot during the middle of the day. For this reason, many anglers prefer to get an early start and fish the cooler hours of morning and back of the water before the afternoon heat.

Often, this is also your best chance at catching fish, they also avoid the hottest time of day and are more active during the coolest hours. June is a top month for hooking a tarpon - they are often most active in the mornings when the sun hits the horizon. A calm summer morning is a great time to get up early and watch the sun rise while chasing active tarpon off the beaches from Sanibel north to Boca Grande.

As the days heat up, it's imperative to keep hydrated. And no, beer is not a good choice. Any alcohol product has a negative effect, you will actually become dehydrated quicker. It's hard to beat good old water - bring more than you think you might need, and drink often. When you're fighting a big fish (tarpon) for an extended time, it's easy to get caught in the moment and before you realize it you're feeling the effects of dehydration. Kids especially need to drink fluids often, they have less body mass than adults and expel a lot of energy.

To make sure your day on the water is enjoyable from start to finish, keep an eye on the sky and watch for those afternoon thunderstorms. It's never any fun to get caught on the water in a storm, especially with women and children on board. It can quickly ruin a great day, plus some of these storms produce extremely strong winds and dangerous lightning. By using a little common sense and watching the sky, you can be back in port ahead of any storms and keep a smile on everyone's face.

As we enter summer, it's a great time to get out, the waters are far less crowded than previous months. If you are fishing or just enjoying a day on the water, with a little planning and precautions there is no reason not to enjoy a great time on southwest Florida waters.

If you have a fishing report of for charter information, please contact us at: Gulf Coast Guide Service, phone: 239-283-7960, Website: or email:

Have a safe week and good fishin'.

As a native of Pine Island, Bill Russell has spent his entire life fishing and learning the waters surrounding Pine Island and as a professional fishing guide for the past 18 years.



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