Summer time, yes it’s hot outside; not too many places are much hotter than central Florida this time of year. The “Love bugs” are still hanging around with a vengeance making driving a car and fishing outside the wind difficult. Adversity is the focus of this little piece; it’s how we as angler’s overcome or sub-come to those conditions during the tournament day that decide the outcome on the stage and on the scales at the end of the day. I’ve heard it many times before, “The winners read the fish.” I whole heartedly agree, but it’s not just the bass that determine outcome; many times it is the outside conditions. I turned out today at o-dark thirty to fish Okeechobee one last time on this visit before returning home to Georgia. Even in years past while driving to the “Big O” from Fort Pierce on route 70 I was really never excited to fish this lake. After all it’s so BIG, but for the last several months most of it has been fishing quite small. Yes, small-rather shallow I mean; after all the lake is just at 10’ over sea level. Which relays into very skinny water; much of which I remember fishing is now out of my reach via my bass boat. How skinny you ask? Much of the areas I historically fished are just barely wet about 18” wet. The ramps are mostly very steep to unload and load up on, and once you leave the ramps you had better know just where the bottom is, because a lot of this lake bottom is hard rock- hard. I had just last week ventured out of Harney Pond where I promptly grounded my boat just yards outside of the end of the canal. Fortunately, the bottom was soft muck enabling the trolling motor to pull me clear. Did I quit? No, I cleaned out the water intake of muck, and chunks of Hydrilla motored down the canal zipped up on plane this time swinging hard left at the end out towards the main lake. I ended up that day with two nice limits, but also a broken trolling motor transducer mount from bumping the bottom once too often. Today, I decided not to challenge the hard bottom and soft muck flats instead deciding to fish the Kissimmee River. Thick heavy fog limited visibility but not the early morning top water bite, later in the morning a couple of more nice fish on a jig. Not a monster bag by any means, but at the end of the day and I mean the witching hour of two P.M. the wind picked up. Not, just a little but it blew 30 M.P.H. hard into the mouth of river. I ran down the river settling the boat into the end the channel directly into the wind and pointed towards three and four foot waves coming in off the main lake. I tied on an old loca stylel spinner bait from years past throwing it head long into the wind off the last point. I was reward with three nice fish one being in the photograph at the top of the page. All well before three typically the end of the tournament day. I went from a so-so bag of fish, to a really nice limit. So, it’s not just the fish you have to read it is also how to work around or with the conditions on any given tournament day that will fill both your live-well and the scales on stage.