Memorial Day means that summer and boating season are starting. Fishing has been a bit tricky lately, but it is still nice to get on or around the water before conditions become unbearable. When fishing or boating on a busy holiday weekend, get to the boat ramp a little later than the "dawn patrol" crowd. It is much easier and less frustrating at the boat ramp without hordes of eager anglers scrambling for the next available open stall at the launch. Then, return in the early afternoon before everyone wants to get to air conditioning and the next available shower. On weekends or especially busy holidays, my strategy is to fish where the boats aren't. Being versatile is a must in summer. On a recent trip, we tried desperately for reds at first. We caught one then the tide dropped forcing us to exit the flats before it got too shallow to leave. The water temperature was a balmy 86. No wonder we only caught one. We went to a place adjacent to deep water that had nice, rocky structure. We caught multiple species until we ran out of bait. The move made our day, with an impressive cooler of fish. Again, change things up if necessary on a hot summer day. Heat exhaustion is a reality. Be cautious and hydrate thoroughly. I treated two people on my boat last year for minor heatstroke. The first symptoms are nausea and irritability, followed by dizziness. If you see these signs, take it seriously and cool off as soon as possible.
Dave Walker charters out of Tampa. Call (813) 310-6531 or visit fishontampabay.com/captains.aspx.