Jordan Rodriguez holding a big largemouth bass

Tight Lines 208 is dedicated to helping people become better anglers through education. The Cram Session is designed to give readers a crash course on a specific fish species or local fishery. Want to see a topic covered? Email with your suggestion!

We’re having a heat wave! When temperatures creep north of 100 degrees, I often get questions about fishing in the heat. In this special edition Cram Session, I answer common inquiries on fishing during triple-digit weather conditions.

Do fish still bite in extreme heat?

They do. Fish still have to eat to survive, so they can still be caught. Like people, fish aren’t huge fans of prolonged, extreme heat. So, the best bet is fishing early or late in the day, when it’s cooler, or even at night. The timing works out for anglers, since it’s much more comfortable to be outdoors then.

Is it bad to catch fish when it’s hot outside?

It can be. Exercising on a hot day is harder on our bodies, and fish endure similar increased stress when they are caught in warmer-than-usual water. Fishing during cooler times of the day helps limit this impact. Catch-and-release fishing is not recommended during extreme heat, as fish may not survive—especially species like trout and Kokanee, which are more delicate and sensitive to high temps.

What are the best options for fishing during a heat wave?

Elevation certainly helps, as temperatures in the mountains are usually 10-15 degrees cooler than here in the Treasure Valley. Fishing from a float tube is a great option, too—it keeps the lower half of your body in the water and is very refreshing on a hot day. Similar can results can be achieved wading the Boise River or other cool streams in wading shoes and swim trunks.

If you do venture out in the heat, be sure to take the proper safety measures. Hydration is the biggest key—you can’t possibly have too many bottles of water and electrolytes. Sunscreen, long sleeves and a hat are also musts. Hopefully, things will “cool down” soon, but hot weather will likely be part of the fishing equation for the next couple months. Be smart, stay cool, and tight lines!