Posted - 08/15/2012 : 5:19:48 PM
| Next week most kids in Charleston County will be going back to school and many think of this event as marking the end of the summer. I am happy to report as far as the true seasons goes, summer is still here! As matter of fact these next few weeks are typically when we will experience the hottest weather here in the lowcountry. With late August and early Septembers temperatures reaching over 100-degrees with the heat index heat related illness should be on all of our minds.
Most of us think of heat exhaustion when we are working or exercising hard outdoors during the middle of the day; however, the fact of the matter is heat exhaustion can hit you just as easily out on the water fishing as in the yard taking care of the honey do's.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while fishing during these hot summer days:
* Wear lightweight light colored loose fitting clothing, including a full brimmed hat. There are many different manufactures in the game these days with summer fishing apparel; make sure you consider full coverage from the sun and look for vented clothing that will promote air circulation and evaporation of sweat from the skin.
* Take breaks from the sun when possible. If a top or cabin is available on the boat spend at least a portion of the day in the shelter.
* Take caution not to over exert yourself. Casting, poling, fighting fish, and other fishing activities can be just as demanding on the body as some yard work. Take frequent breaks and rest.
* Drink plenty of water and sports drinks. Obviously water consumption will depend upon your activity level, the temperature, and the rate at which you are sweating. Doctors recommend staying ahead of the thirst, that is consuming enough fluids that you never actually get thirsty. Most say that if you are thirsty you are actually already behind on your fluid consumption. In addition balanced electrolytes are important. Too much water may actually dilute your electrolytes causing an in balance that may lead to dizziness and nausea. Consuming a mixture of water and sports drinks such as Gatorade will help keep electrolytes balanced.
* Sodas and alcohol are no substitute for water and sports drinks. In fact alcohol and caffeine are known diuretics and should not be consumed while in the heat as they actually cause dehydration.
Some of the signs of over exposure to heat and heat exhaustion include the following:
* Heat cramps. Severe muscle contractions usually occurring in the legs and abdomen.
* Headache, nausea, dizziness, elevated body temperature, and weakness.
* Cool, moist, pale, or red skin or in extreme cases hot, dry, skin.
Should you or someone aboard begin to suffer from over exposure to heat the following steps should be taken.
* Move the victim out of the sun if possible.
* Loosen any tight clothing and remove any clothing soaked with perspiration.
* Encourage them to drink water slowly.
* Apply cool wet cloths to the skin.
* Watch closely for any changes in behavior or consciousness, in addition victims may go into shock as there is a loss of blood flow to the vital organs. If any of these changes are noted call for emergency help immediately.
* Under the most severe over exposure to heat - heat stroke the victim will experience high body temperature, red, hot, dry skin, rapid and weak pulse; and/or a rapid shallow breathing. Under these conditions a victim may have brain damage or even die if preventative measures are not taken immediately. Emergency help should be contacted right away and quick measures must be taken to lower the victims body temperature. Wrap the victim in a cool wet sheet, and place cold packs on areas with large blood vessels such as the ankles, wrists, arm pits, and groin areas. Watch for shock and be ready to provide CPR if necessary.
As temperatures rise so does the fishing action. Use good common sense when fishing in the heat. Try to fish in the early morning and late afternoon hours to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Pack plenty of water should the fish bite really be on, or should you experience engine trouble and end up spending a longer time out than expected. Lay off the alcohol and sodas, dress appropriately, use some common sense and have a good time catching some fish!
Captain Tim Pickett