Fishing poles aren’t the only thing in Capt. Joe DiMarco’s rod box on his 24-foot Nautic Star — he’s got his very own “Buras shade tree,” as well.

At least that’s the nickname DiMarco has given to a 6-foot nylon beach umbrella that he carries onboard to create a shady spot for customers to enjoy lunch and take a break during what can be intense summer heat out on the water.

“Without a bimini or a T-top, you get very little shade,” said DiMarco, who guides for Cajun Fishing Adventures in Buras. “It’s easy and inexpensive. It’s just a beach umbrella. You can get them at Walmart or Sam’s or Target. We find a nylon or vinyl one works best, preferably a lighter color so it doesn’t absorb the heat.

“And something that has either an aluminum or wooden post that will fit in your rod holders — or you can set them up to fit in your post seats if you get a threaded pipe and make a mount.”

As an added bonus, anglers on DiMarco’s boat had no trouble catching numerous bull reds while the umbrella was deployed.

“You can leave it up and fish around it. It’s not permanently attached,” he said. “You can walk fish right around it, and it spins so the rod doesn’t get hung up on it.”

For a minimal investment, it can provide a lot of relief during the dog days of summer, he said.

“If you have just that little bit of shade where you can get out of the sun for just a few minutes to refresh yourself, you feel so much better,” he said. “For $25 bucks, you can add maybe another hour to your fishing day.”

DiMarco, who recommended not storing the umbrella until it’s completely dry, said he first started using one when he and several other guides would head out offshore for quick afternoon trips in search of red snapper.

“There’s no shade, and we had already been on the water all day,” he said. “We were always trying to fish on the shady side of the rig, but the fish aren’t always on the shady side of the rig. 

“So we’ve started using beach umbrellas, and we’ve adapted to using it inshore to give our customers a little bit of shade.”