Summer fishing in Texas is a unique seasonal event. Morning and evenings are fine, but mid-day can be a trial. It's easy to get sunburned, dehydrated and worn out, and that's before lunch. It used to be a lot different when I was a kid.
We bank fished back then, with worms, grasshoppers or minnows. We used cane poles a lot, but sometimes we used casting rigs. What was really different though was the tempo. Today when I fish the tempo can be pretty fast. For many fishermen the tempo is very fast, especially tournament fishermen.
Back then it was a slow tempo. A fishing trip would be a day long event. Early in the morning we'd get the minnow seine and go seine up minnows and crawfish. Then we'd pile into the pickup and head for that day's fishing venue. These were stock tanks, and each one had it's own name. Sometimes the name was the property owner's name. Like Spunky's Tank. Or Sullivan's tank. Sometimes the name was a bit more descriptive. Their was the Big Tank, the Minnow Tank, the Horse Tank, the Pump Tank. I wonder if tanks still have names these days.
Arriving at the tank, we'd climb out of the truck and find our morning spot. The morning spot was based on where we thought the fish would be. Since the mornings were cool, relatively speaking, solar influence on the spot chosen was limited to how it might affect the fish.
If two people sat together there would be slow lazy conversation. Mostly we scattered out and talk was pretty minimal. A shout now and then as a big one was caught.
By mid morning we would have shifted positions, these new position being less oriented to fish locations and more oriented to where we could find shade to sit in.
Lunch time was spent under a big tree. The food would be unpacked and we'd sit down to eat. Cold fried chicken, sweet potato pie, cool tea that might or might not have ice in it. Then a nap. With a full belly and the sun beating down ferociously, we'd stretch out in the shade and go to sleep, sometimes for several hours.
As the sun began to drift back down we'd go back to fishing. Waking up one by one, stretching and looking around we'd gradually return to the water. Still sitting in the shady spots of course. Then as the evening came on we'd go back to sitting where we thought the fish were.
At dark we'd pack up and climb back in the truck to go home. On arrival we cleaned fish. Everyone was involved in cleaning the fish, even little kids got to scrape scales off with a tablespoon - those scales would fly everywhere.
Supper would be cooked, fresh caught fish rolled in cornmeal and fried in smoking hot lard. French fries on the side and a loaf of bread on the table in case anyone swallowed a bone, or just wanted a slice of bread buttered with home churned butter from milk taken the day before from the family milk cow.
Then the kitchen was cleaned up and everyone settled in the living room for an hour of Gunsmoke on television. After that it was off to bed.
At the time we had no idea how precious those days were to become to us. We just enjoyed them minute by minute without any thought about how we would someday look back on it as heaven on earth. Now I look back and see how lucky we were to have those days, how precious they were, how I'd trade a month of my life to be able to go back for just one of them.
So enjoy your fishing trips, stay out of the sun as much as you can, slow down and fit yourself back into the earth's tempo. Eat a good lunch, take a long nap. Talk slowly about unimportant things. Be with good people.
That's the best advice I have for summer fishing in Texas.