The summer heat affects fishing immensely, and not only the fisherman. Fish suffer during periods of temperature extremes, and since they are cold-blooded, they must seek out places with cooler water to thrive. 

In most aquatic systems, fish will typically move to deep water, where water temperatures are several degrees cooler than at the surface, but those fish living in river systems with abundant tree cover along the bank have another option that can 

Bass are like people. When it’s hot, they will gravitate towards a shade tree to get out of the blazing sun. Trees towering along river banks can be excellent places to target bass over the summer months

Todd Vick of Fishin’ Freshwater Charters of Socastee, S.C. said shaded banks are his second stop on an early morning trip when the sun starts peaking above the horizon. 

“When the sun starts to blare, I will switch banks and find a shadowed bank to fish. The fish will usually bite on topwater for longer in the shade over on the sunny banks,”  said Vick, who likes to fish the Waccamaw River between Georgetown and Conway, S.C., a section full of slithering meanders with ancient trees lining the banks, making a shady bank almost always available.

In addition to the Waccamaw, the Little Pee Dee River provides a similar trek, with shady banks available for most of the day. 

While finding shadowed areas will extend Vick’s topwater bite, eventually, the water heats up enough to shut it down and send the fish plunging into deeper water for the rest of the day.