Something Fishy

Something Fishy
t Doesn't Get Much Better

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Doves make a good meal-starter

       Dove season opened Tuesday, Sept. 1, in both Indiana and Kentucky, and it appears there should be a plenty of birds for hunters.
        If you are lucky or a good enough shot to bag some doves, they can provide good eating.
        Doves are a dark meat with a flavor somewhat like liver. Some people say they don’t like the meat, but properly prepared, doves are great eating.
My favorite way to prepare them is to marinate the breasts overnight. You can make your own or buy a commercial marinade.
The next day, wrap them in in bacon to make them like rumaki, and cook them on a charcoal grill. They make a great meal-starter, or if you have enough, a main course themselves.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Indiana's dove hunting season opens Sept. 1; there should be plenty of doves

        Dove hunters should have plenty of birds when they take to the field this fall.
Although the weather this summer was one of the wettest on record in many areas, it appears the dove population is in good shape. 
Despite the heavy rains, corn fields look good, pastures are green, and soybean fields have pretty much survived the excess rain. This all points to good conditions for the dove season opener Sept. 1 in both Indiana and Kentucky.
Indiana’s dove upcoming dove season is broken into three parts. The first runs from Sept. 1 through Oct. 18. A second one week portion is slated Nov. 1 through Nov. 8, and the third will be Dec. 12 through Jan 10 of next year.
Fields have been designated and planted for dove hunting at a number of state-owned properties, including land at Patoka Lake. These field will offer controlled hunts on a drawing basis Sept. 1 and 2, and then will be opened to all of the public on Sept. 3,.
Five fields are at check station 17 (Jordan Branch). The other two are at check station 6 (Tillery Hill State Recreation Area). 
A drawing will be held at 6:45 a.m. EDT each hunt day at the scheduled fields’ check station. There is a maximum of two hunters per stake (assigned location) period. 
      Hunting hours will be 7:15 a.m.-noon EDT each day of the controlled hunts.  All fields surrounding controlled sunflower fields will be subject to similar time restrictions on Sept. 1 and 2.
  Non-toxic shot size will be limited to 6 or smaller, with a three-shell maximum capability per firearm.
  There will be no “stand-by” or refilling of shooting stations for early departures.
  According to a Department of Natural Resources news release, fields will be “open hunting” starting Sept. 3.  Shooting hours will be 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset. Non-toxic shot will be required for dove hunting throughout the season.
      If hunters require additional information, they can call the Patoka office at (812) 685-2464. The office is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
Patoka Lake is at 3084 N. Dillard Road, Birdseye, IN 47513.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Boaters less than happy about possible increase in ethanol in gasoline

One's perspective on use of ethanol in gasoline may vary depending on perspective.

How you think and feel about ethanol in your gasoline probably varies depending on your perspective of the fuel additive.
If you are a grain farmer, you likely have a different view than that of a boat owner, especially the perspective of  a boat owner with an older engine.
The media relations folks at Yamaha recently put out information from their perspective about the current use of ethanol in gas and the desire of the feds to add even more per gallon.
The Yamaha release said, “Unless you haven’t put fuel in your car in the past ten years, you’re probably familiar with the term E10. It refers to the 10 percent ethanol that is blended into the gasoline you buy at the pump. If you’ve owned an outboard-powered boat during that same time period, you are far more familiar with E10 than your over-the-road counterparts. 
“The introduction of ethanol into the U.S. gasoline supply was the result of an EPA regulation called the Renewable Fuel Standard, and it caused a lot of costly headaches for boaters at the 10 percent level. 
“Now, the EPA is doubling down under intense pressure from the agri-industry’s ethanol lobby in Washington, increasing the mandated amount of ethanol in gasoline to 15 percent, a move dreaded by boaters and marine engine manufacturers alike. 
“Ethanol is derived from plant sources, mostly corn, and the government mandate has been a major boon to farmers and refiners. Basically, it is a fermented and refined grain alcohol that is denatured and then blended with gasoline. It initially found its way into the nation’s fuel supply as a replacement for a chemical additive called MTBE, which was used to increase octane and reduce emissions. 
However, the use of ethanol in fuel came with a host of problems for marine engines and fuel systems as I learned first hand with my old boat and 60-hp Mariner engine.
“Not long after the introduction of E10 gasoline, boats using it began experiencing problems. Almost immediately mysterious substances began clogging fuel filters that were later identified as a byproduct of mixing fuel still in the tank containing MTBE with ethanol-blended gasoline, but that was only a harbinger of things to come. 
In my case, it took nearly two years to determine why my boat wouldn’t run properly, and why my carburetor would be dirty with little specks of material just shortly after it had been cleaned.
  Also in some boats, any sludge deposits in older fuel tanks began dissolving and were pumped into the fuel system, damaging components and making a mess of filters. 
As in my case, ethanol-blended fuel can also be responsible for the decomposition of rubber gaskets and fuel lines that heretofore had been approved for use in gasoline fuel systems. Finally, again cleaning the fuel system and replacing the fuel line with a new ethanol resistant line appears to have solved the problem. I also now use fuel (which I can still buy) which contains no ethanol. It is more expensive, but worth it.
Yamaha has available a brochure titled “Maintenance Matters – A Simple Guide for the Longevity of Your Outboard”, which makes a number of recommendations for avoiding the potentially damaging effects of burning ethanol fuel in your outboard engine. It contains good advice for dealing with the ethanol problem.
According to Yamaha, the problems created by the initial introduction of ethanol into the fuel supply were widespread and costly to both individuals and the marine industry. The increase to 15 percent will have far-reaching consequences.
Yamaha has gone on record opposing an increase to 15 percent ethanol. It says it could build motors to deal with the increase, but it also will increase motor cost to the consumer, however there also will be a significant problem with 10 million existing motors whether they are made by Yamaha or other manufacturers.
“There are more than 10 million outboards currently in service that would be destroyed by the damaging effects of E15. As an industry, we cannot allow this to happen to consumers.
“We strongly urge consumers and members of the marine industry to make their voices heard and stop the EPA from going forward with a plan to increase the amount of ethanol in the fuel supply,” said a Yamaha spokesperson.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Can't pass up offer to fish

Look grandpa, we caught a bluegill.

        Granddaughters Molly and Kennedy arrived for an overnight stay. Despite the hot summer evening, they were ready for some time outdoors.
The backyard deck had just been painted a couple hours before the girls arrived, so it needed to be avoided to provide more drying time before use by the girls and our dog, Missy.
I suggested a ride on the ATV (all terrain vehicle) and the girls enthusiastically endorsed the idea. Missy always is ready for a ride.
With the girls and an excited Missy safely on board we headed off to a small nearby lake. There is a shaded trail atop the dam, just right for a hot Saturday evening.
Missy loves the trail. She loves to walk or run  on her leash with the cart, stopping to sniff where other dogs and animals have explored. While she checks the woods side of the dam trail, I watch the water for bass and bluegill lounging or feeding along the dam. Polaroid sunglasses help in spotting fish.
On this trip, a young man and woman were fishing from the dam. That prompted an immediate response and question from granddaughter Molly. “Can we go fishing back at your house?”
“Well, maybe tomorrow, but I’ll have to get some bait. We probably can fish a while tomorrow,” I responded.
This grandfather has a built in positive response to grandchildren who want to fish.
We finished our ride and headed back to the house where grandma Phyllis and the girls had a plan for baking chocolate chip cookies.
The next morning, I hardly had the sleep out of my eyes before Molly again was asking about fishing. So, the next item on the agenda was a trip for bait. Red worms were selected as I figured they offered the best chance at producing some bites from bluegill and a chance to hook a fish.
We picked up the fishing bucket, rod and reel, and a chair from the mini-barn and walked down to the lake bank. The bucket contains some spare tackle, hand rags, knife and other fishing gear.
Grandpa needs a chair, but the girls are always to excited to sit.
While many girls may want to fish, they have no interest in get up close and personal with fishing worms. That’s not the case with Molly and Kennedy, especially Kennedy. At times they are very feminine young ladies, but both have no fear of handling the worms. In fact, they immediately wanted ot check them out.
We baited the hook, and rather quickly a nice bluegill became interested in the bait. I set the hook, and handed the rod to Kennedy who after a brief battle landed the fish. After a careful examination by both girls, the bluegill was returned to the lake.
Next, Molly landed a gill, and then Kennedy had another. First thing I knew, she was taking the fish off the hook. That’s aanother thing, many youngster would prefer not to do. 
We then heard a honking sound announcing the arrival of five Canada geese. They flew in and landed about 30 yards in front of us. It was a nice show for the girls.
We caught a couple more bluegill, and the girls became more interested in exploring the lake bank with its rocks and sticks than fish. That’s OK.
Fishing with youngsters should be simple and fun for the kids. It need not be a chore.
In this case, the girls had fun. It was obvious. But, grandpa had more.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Summer almost over before it starts

Once tiger lillys have bloomed. school has started,
and many people are ready for fall.

These days, once the last Fourth of July fireworks have exploded, it seems summer is over, even though there are probably numerous 90-degree days ahead. 
Somehow, we've managed to nearly kill off half much of summer. It seems many people are anxious to end summer early, even before squirrel season opens.
Labor Day used to be the time we seriously began thinking about fall. Kids returned to school, football started, fishing picked up, and in a few weeks temperatures started to cool. 
After Labor Day weekend swimming pools and beaches closed. Now, during the hottest time of the summer, the pools close a month before Labor Day.
Schools start in early to mid-August, so there aren’t youngsters around to swim in the pools or at the beaches, or serve as lifeguards. 
A few year back while camping at Kentucky Lake in mid-August, the change related to summer really hit home. There were few people around the lake, especially in the parks and resorts. The only kids at midweek naturalist programs were out-of-state youngsters who still had a week or two of vacation before starting the fall semester.
I haven’t figured out the big rush to start school so early. Administrators say state regulations require more days in the classroom. Apparently, the kids need more study time and instruction so state test scores can be raised. 
This testing itself has me wondering about the process. More testing appeared to be a good idea, but now it seems as if the educational objective is on the tests with the teaching directed at passing the tests, and not broader learning. That’s another whole subject. It has nothing to do with the great outdoors and the early demise of summer.
With kids back in school early, some amusement parks, other recreational facilities, and summer theaters also end their seasons early. Many depend on youngsters as part of their work force.
High school football starts during some of the hottest time of the year. In Kentucky, if the heat index is above 104 degrees, games can’t be played. That makes sense, but when the first game wasn’t until after Labor Day there wasn’t a problem. However, cold at the other end of the schedule sometimes was an issue.
Today, when it is really hot, most of us want to sit next to the air conditioner, however during warm days and nights, there still is good opportunities for catfishing and casting a lure while wading a nearby stream.
Fall is a wonderful time of the year, but it will wait its turn. Whether it is Daylight Saving Time or the seasons, it seems everyone these days is always trying to rush everything. 
Remember those days as a youngster in late summer,, walking barefoot down a dusty path or playing outside after dark and catching fireflies.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sunglasses important to the outdoors person; don't leave them at home

Every angler has at one time or another has forgotten something in their rush to leave for a fishing trip. Once,this old writer started a fishing trip to Canada without my tackle box. 
Fortunately, my daughter called alerting me to the tackle box, and met me to save the day, even if there was a brief delay.
A recent news release about forgetting sunglasses, caught my attention. I admit a sunglass dependency. I even wear them while driving on cloudy days.
According to the news release from the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, It’s disheartening when that something you forget is sunglasses. Squinting and shielding your eyes for hours takes some of the fun out of the experience.
“More than just the damage or discomfort from the bright light, you start getting eye strain because you’re squinting to make your pupil even smaller because your pupil doesn’t get small enough naturally,” said Dr. Seema Capoor, an associate professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Kentucky. “The squinting causes brow ache and tension headaches. It’s much more comfortable and safer with sunglasses.”
However, not all sunglasses are created equal. The best cut glare and make it easier to see into the water but also block the sun’s harmful rays.
Amid a sea of brands and styles and lens types and colors at a wide range of prices, Like mattresses, it seems there always are sunglass sales. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the choices, so stick to some basic criteria when selecting a pair, says Capoor.
“For something like fishing where you’ve got a lot of reflection off the surface of the water and you’re out in direct sunlight my recommendation would be to go with more of the wraparound style of sunglasses,” Capoor said. “Get the good UV filter in the lenses and polarization. The anti-reflective coating or mirror coating on the outside surface is also very helpful.”
Look for sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of ultraviolet rays. Ultraviolet radiation can affect different layers of the eye and continued exposure without protection may lead to permanent eye damage. Regular use of sunglasses can slow down cataract formation and lessen the risks of macular degeneration.  
Children and people with light-colored eyes should be particularly mindful about wearing sunglasses.
“Times have changed and there’s more penetration of ultraviolet light from the atmosphere than there was 30 years ago,” Capoor said. “It is advisable for children, especially blue-eyed or light-eyed children, to be wearing protective sunglasses now.”
Composite lenses made from impact-resistant polycarbonate material are lighter than glass and ideal for anglers. Polycarbonate also is the preferred lens material for shooting glasses. Protective eye wear is required at all shooting ranges on Wildlife Management Areas in Kentucky.
On the water, polarized lenses are highly recommended for anglers because they sharpen vision by reducing glare from the sun’s reflection. Darker lenses don’t necessarily block more UV rays although they may be preferred by people who are extremely sensitive to light. The environmental conditions can dictate the right lens color.
Gray, brown and green tints are best at providing maximum contrast while maintaining clarity and offering the most sun protection, Capoor said.
Gray is a good all-purpose lens tint that cuts down on extremely bright conditions and won’t distort colors. Green also limits color distortion, reduces glare and improves contrast in bright sun. Brown and amber are versatile tints that cut glare and filter out blue light, increasing contrast and sharpness, especially on cloudy days.
Yellow reduces glare and enhances depth perception and contrast in low light or hazy conditions. It is considered a better option for shooters than anglers.
We’re taught to apply sunscreen liberally and often to protect our skin from overexposure to the sun. Sunglasses and shooting glasses are just as important. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pond are good place to fish anytime, but especially when conditions poor

What started out as a good spring for outdoors folks, turned into lousy weather condition in late spring and early summer.
Rain, rain and more rain not only discouraged people from enjoying the outdoors just because of the crummy conditions, but because of high and in some cases dangerous water in streams and lakes.
Among fishing spots that usually remain safe and dependable are farm ponds and small lakes. 
Ponds often are good places to fish during high water, and also a good getaway during hot weather, or anytime for that matter--even through the ice in midwinter ponds can offer fishing action and some fresh fish for the dinner table.
When people fish ponds, it usually is for bluegill. Some ponds also produce largemouth bass, crappie, redear, and catfish. 
Ponds can be found on state and forest service land, and many private ponds exist. However, if you decide to fish a private pond, make sure you have landowner permission.
Ponds usually are quiet places. There isn’t much happening other than a little wind, bugs and an occasional frog or bird whistle. Shadows are unusual also, so when a pond is approached for fishing, it should be done quietly. Be sneaky. Wear clothing similar to to the appearance of the surroundings and keep a low profile.
On a smaller scale, ponds are like larger lakes. Look for structure such as points, weed beds, drop offs and weed lines. Outside weed lines around points are a good place to try. Don’t overlook underwater structure like downed trees. Fish relate to these places.
Use as light or small size line and equipment as feasible and still catch fish under the conditions. Also, use bait or lures similar to natural bait found in the area.
When in comes to live bait, bee moths are good, but many anglers have success with worms and crickets. And, minnows work well for crappie.
Many anglers like using artificial baits. Around ponds where there are crawfish, the Rebel mini-crawfish lure is an excellent bait. Most anything will hit them.
Beetle spins are good baits as well, and you can catch anything on them. Small jigs fished under a bobber, which is slowly twitched and retrieved is good at attracting crappie.
The farther you can cast your lure or bait from where you are standing the better, especially at clear water ponds.
Often you can catch more fish from a pond than a larger body of water. And, it is a great place for a youngster to learn fishing. It is much easier to teach a five year old on how to fish on a pond bank, rather than explaining how to cast from a boat. It’s also more fun and safer.
# # # #
BATTLE CONTINUES -- Wanted, dead not alive! Asian carp have been the scourge of America’s lakes and rivers for nearly a century. 
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) recently partnered with Wildlife Forever reminding anglers to Trash Unused Bait to help stop the spread of these and other aquatic invasive species (AIS). 
Highway billboards, wanted posters and soon to be released ads in local papers distributed throughout the state advising anglers how they can help.
“Asian carp are on the door step to the Great Lakes. As juvenile fish, Asian carp look very similar to Gizzard Shad and other baitfish so it’s critical that anglers put unused bait in the trash to prevent further spread,” said John Navarro, AIS Program Administrator for the ODNR Division of Wildlife. 
Both Bighead and Silver Carp are established in the Ohio River watershed but have not been detected in the Lake Erie watershed.