Hot comes in many forms. There’s Kathy Jacobs, the 56-year-old bikini model who appears in the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. She’s hot.
Then there’s the well-seasoned, coal-black cast-iron skillet that’s been sitting over your gas burner waiting for you to get the redfish ready. Brush it with the back of your finger while laying a fillet in, and you’ll see. It’s hot.
But there’s nothing quite like the heat of a South Louisiana summer when a high-pressure system moves in, capping the atmosphere and preventing daytime storms from bubbling up. Day after day, the unblinking sun cooks the atmosphere, suspending droplets from all the water that surrounds us. You walk out your front door in the midday hours, and it feels like you have two options: You can either breathe the air or drink it.
But at least we can park our derrieres in relative comfort indoors, where the miracle of freon keeps temperatures 30 degrees below the horror that awaits just on the other side of the drywall.
The fish that abide in our marshes don’t enjoy such luxuries, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have options. When the summer sun makes the bait-rich shallow marshes uncomfortable and sometimes downright uninhabitable, they use their tails to get the hell out of Dodge.
What they seek is deeper water with lots of current, because such areas are considerably cooler than the more-stagnant shallows. This tendency makes the fish really predictable and usually easy to locate.
They certainly were for Justin Bowles and me last week. We found them stacked up in an armored channel that’s replete with structure and current breaks.
To keep up with Marsh Man Masson: