Make Fishing a Safe Recreational Activity During COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are seeking recreational activities that can be done safely while following the social distancing guidelines provided by the CDC. Fishing from the shore of a lake, ocean, or stream is one such activity because it can be done outside while maintaining a distance of 6 to 8 feet between others.
“Fishing is an ideal recreational activity right now,” said Russell Conner, owner of Rusty Angler—a website that offers fishing tips and techniques. “The safest activities during this pandemic are those can be done outside while maintaining a distance from others—and fishing fits the bill nicely. It is also a great option for providing food for your family during these challenging times.”
With the summer months in full swing, it is important to know that summer heat affects fish behavior—with larger fish seeking deeper, cooler waters or shaded areas. “Summer fishing can be challenging because the big trophy fish are harder to find,” said Conner. “It helps to know where to look for the fish, especially if you’re new to the sport.”
One reason bigger fish seek cooler waters during the summer heat is that they require more oxygen than smaller fish. “Cooler water holds more dissolved oxygen than warmer water,” said Conner. “As a result, the smaller fish tend to populate the warmer shallows while the bigger fish seek deeper waters.”
To bypass the smaller fish and go deep, gear choice is important. “Summer is an ideal time to use electronic fish finders and more sensitive rods,” said Conner. “Also, a heavily weighted rig will quickly reach deeper waters without allowing smaller fish to bite.”
When using heavier rigs, it is important to choose a strong line and use extra knots. Fluorocarbon fishing line is an ideal choice for summer fishing. “We like using fluorocarbon fishing line during summer because it is denser than water—helping it to sink quickly,” said Conner. “In addition, it doesn’t stretch easily, resists deterioration from UV light, and is great at resisting abrasion.”
Resisting abrasion is particularly important in summer because fish tend to seek cover—leaving the banks for the open spaces of a lake. “During the summer, target offshore structures and look for fish along the ledges,” said Conner. “Fish particularly enjoy rock piles, stumps or stump rows, and fallen trees (laydowns) for the protection and shade they offer.”
Another place to seek fish during the hot summer months is in matted vegetation, which provides shade cover. “Look for openings in the mats or any irregular features,” said Conner. “However, you’ll get the best results if you penetrate the mat itself. You can do this with a three-quarter ounce to a one and a quarter ounce jig with a plastic craw trailer.”
Choosing the right fishing reel is another important consideration. “The first decision is whether you’ll be fishing in freshwater or saltwater,” said Conner. “Once you know that, your choice of reel will depend on what type of fishing you’re doing and which fish you’re targeting.”
Spinning reels are versatile and ideal for beginners. Baitcaster reels require a bit more experience but are the preferred reel for bass fishing. An open face reel is recommended for larger game fish and bottom feeders (such as catfish). Finally, fly reels are used for fly fishing—a niche type of fishing beloved by many.
“Whatever type of summer fishing you do, the key is to understand how the fish react to warmer waters,” said Conner. “Although it can be a bit more challenging, summer fishing can be immensely rewarding. The key is not to give up if you’re not finding fish right away.”
For those who want to try fishing as a safe recreational alternative during COVID-19, Rusty Angler has many resources to help with gear choice, technique, and more.
For more information about Rusty Angler, contact the company here:
4400 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 9-285
Scottsdale AZ 85251