ALEXANDRIA, Va., August 20, 2012 - It’s been a scorcher of a summer, but that hasn’t kept anglers from fishing. Some, like BoatUS Angler Pro Staff angler David Gnewikow (juh-nee-vuh-koh) of Tennessee, have simply figured out a way to manage the heat as they battle it out with pizza oven-like temperatures. So what’s the secret? Here are some tips to help keep anglers and their catch cool from Gnewikow that may seem forthright – but after spending a long hot day competing on the water, you’d be surprised at how many pros “still look they’ve been smashed by a beat truck” chuckles Gnewikow.
While it may seem overkill, covering your skin not only protects you from sunburn, it is actually much cooler. Purchase a good, lightweight long-sleeve top with a decent SPF rating. Gnewikow also believes in head, neck and face protection. “I bought a Buff and while it’s a little goofy looking, at the end of the day I’m not red-faced and I’m actually cooler during the day,” says Gnewikow. He even recently took the plunge and bought a pair of sun gloves. “If your luck holds out they get stinky at the end of the day, but all you have to do is get them wet and your hands stay cool.” He also has invested in a good wide-brimmed sun hat.
Gnewikow once had a co-angler simply bring two, one-liter bottles of Mountain Dew aboard for a tournament day. By noon, the man felt ill, clearly on his way to winning a case of sunstroke. “I drink a bottle of water every time I start the big motor and if I move 10-15 times a day I stay plenty hydrated,” says Gnewikow. So what’s your timing trick to ensure you get enough water? Use whatever works for you, but bring plenty for the day’s outing and avoid sugary drinks.
For the fish in the livewell, getting enough oxygen is key. Working against you is the heat – warmer waters contain less oxygen. A simple aerator which puts thousand of small bubbles in the water by way of an “air stone” is fine – just make sure you check its operation throughout the day. At higher temperatures, frequency oxygenators which create millions of “Nano” oxygen bubbles may do a better job maintaining oxygen levels. Some systems are for fresh or salt water but not both, and if your system uses chemicals, be sure to use the recommended product.
If temps are really hot, keeping the livewell at a cooler temperature will help. If you have access to a freezer, you can also freeze lake water in zip lock bags to take along. Just use it in moderation - a rule of thumb is that livewell water should neither feel cold nor warm like bath water. Good luck staying cool!
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