By hot weather I mean hot by Irish standards. Anything above 20 degrees is classed as ‘hot’ here in Ireland which is pretty laughable in many parts of the world. We usually get a few days of hot, dry weather at some point during the summer and we are basking in the mid-twenties right now. So what effect does that have on our fishing?
The answer is pretty terrible I am afraid. Trout simply hide in the shade all day, venturing out in the relative cool of the evening to feed. Dedicated trout men will fish the last vestiges of light and into the total darkness. A fall of spinners will bring the fish on and sport can be fast and furious for a short spell. Later on a sedge can fool one or two trout. Sea trout in the rivers can be caught of course during the hours of darkness but that branch of the sport is not very popular here in the west coast.
Salmon anglers will flog away during high temperatures but to be honest I think they should leave the fish alone. Salmon become very stressed in warm water and catching them adds to this and can easily kill them no matter how carefully they are handled. If you are salmon fishing and catch one do not lift the fish out of the water, unhook it in the net and release it as quickly as possible. Grilse will continue to run even in very low water conditions and the fishing can be quite good but very hot weather does tend to put them off.
That beautiful little fish, the rudd, loves hot, calm conditions and they are plentiful here in the midland lakes and slow rivers. Float fishing for them is a lovely way to while away a sunny afternoon. Bread or sweetcorn are the favourite baits but I still like to use a single maggot. Rudd in some lakes grow to a good size but catching the bigger lads is tricky. Other coarse fish can be caught if you fish ‘early and late’ but as soon as the sun is up the fish tend to go off. Night fishing for tench can be good mind you.
For me, hot weather means a spot of sea fishing. With any luck there may be a few mackerel around to give some sport. General bottom fishing will turn up rays and dogfish while deep water rocky marks should produce pollock to either bait or lures. The fishing might not be brilliant but you may catch something. Sea angling into the darkness or during the night will increase your chances of success greatly at any time but during a heatwave this is even more true.