How to keep cool on the bank
You might be well-used to wrapping up warm for a winter fishing trip, but what can you do about the heat? The increasingly extreme weather in the UK is just as capable of delivering a heat wave as freezing conditions. Hot weather can make life extremely uncomfortable but may also lead to sunstroke. Your fishing trip could be cut short and you might end up feeling very ill indeed if you don’t look after yourself.
Your water supply will add considerable weight to your gear but you must ensure that you take a decent supply with you. Drink frequently because if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated and store your water somewhere shady or in a cool bag. It is surprising how much liquid you need on a hot day so do take more than you think you will need and add ice to your water before you set out to keep it cool for longer.
Seek out the Shade
Shade might be hard to find at many lakes and any shade available may have been claimed by the time you arrive. If you can’t snaffle a shady site, move out of the sun in the middle of the day. It’s annoying when you have to run for cover, but you will soon find yourself in trouble if you don’t. Alternatively, shield yourself with a brolly or take a well-ventilated bivvie with you.
Don’t forget to wear a hat and to dress in lightweight clothing which is breathable. It’s counterintuitive but long sleeves will prevent your arms from burning and sunglasses are a must. You should protect your eyes with shades because they are easily damaged by both sun’s UV rays and the glare from the water. If it’s really hot, you might have to avoid wearing darker garments and choose lighter shades which reflect rather than soak up the heat.
Cover yourself in sun screen
Sun cream is absolutely essential, even if you think the fish might be able to smell it. Smother yourself in sunscreen with a high SPF and reapply it regularly throughout the day. It’s amazing how quickly you can burn if you aren’t protected and you probably won’t notice until it is too late. But don’t let that sunscreen lull you into a false sense of security. You can still get burnt if you are exposed to the sun for too long, even if you are covered in SPF50!
It is all too easy to concentrate on your fishing and forget about everything else. That’s one of the joys of the sport but also one of the dangers. It is vital that you think about the weather, consider how long you have been sitting in the heat and remain aware of how you are really feeling. Don’t allow yourself to fall asleep and if you feel even slightly dodgy, get out of the sun immediately.
No matter how good the fishing is and how much you are enjoying it, your health is more important. There will always be more great days to fish, but not if you are in hospital.