|Wade fishing is a good way to beat the heat. It's fun and it produces fish.|
Monday, July 16, 2012
|Bill Braswell (left) and partner Dan Dannemueller won the Crappie Master Angler Team of the Year for the second straight year.|
They did it again. Pro angler Bill Braswell from Hazard and his partner, Dan Dannenmueller of Wetumpka, Al, won the Crappie Master “Angler Team of the Year” award. They also won the award in 2011.
Braswell is a retired Kentucky conservation officer and has become one of the country’s top crappie anglers. Besides being an excellent fisherman, he loves to pass along information and techniques related to the sport to youngsters. He also is a wonderful story teller, related to his outdoor experiences.
Bill and Dan comprise the Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits pro staff team and concluded the 2012 Crappie Masters tournament season and secured their victory following the recent event at Truman Lake, MO.
After a great start back in February on the Harris Chain of Lakes located at Tavares FL, the team remained in the top three places for the first five tournaments. Following the Lake Dardanelle, AR, tournament, the team moved into first place and remained there for the rest of the season.
Braswell says; “We competed in 10 Crappie Masters tournaments this year in nine different states”. “We are extremely proud to be able to repeat this title with back to back wins.
Braswell and Dannenmueller will be crowned as the 2012 “Angler Team of the Year” national points champions at the Crappie Masters “Classic” national championship tournament at Columbus, MS, in early October.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Monday, July 9, 2012
Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources recently issued a news release pointing out that not all of the news about our current drought is all bad. That’s good to know. However, I’ve had about as much good bad news as I need.
It is interesting that there are some positives related to the extremely hot, dry weather. The DNR says if you look hard, here is a sampling of some good things...
Anglers have reason for optimism.
– In the Wabash River, the drought is killing invasive Asian carp, which are a threat to native species. Asian carp prefer living in oxbows and backwater areas, which are drying up and leaving the fish stranded without adequate water. “At least Asian carp may not gain an additional competitive advantage over native species this year,” said Bill James, chief of fisheries for Indiana DNR. “It might be a year where things kind of hold their own. Species like smallmouth bass tend to have higher reproductive success during low flow years.”
– The drought has created favorable fishing conditions for many species. For example, low water in Indiana’s streams and rivers has concentrated fish in pockets of deeper water, making them easier to find. In Lake Michigan, summer-run steelhead are hesitant to return to warmer-than-normal streams and are concentrating in near-shore water, resulting in excellent fishing.
– The good news with a warning: As water heats, its capacity to hold oxygen diminishes, and could result in fish kills.
Wildlife in general:
– While wildlife will be stressed and there may be some lower survival of young and mortality of older, weaker animals, and increased predation as prey and predators congregate on limited resources, wildlife species have ways of adapting as they have in previous drought years. Wildlife will reduce their activities or change the timing of their activities, thus they may not be as visible to us. When the rains return we may be surprised by the wildlife that appear as conditions improve.
Good news on some bugs:
– The raining of honeydew from tulip trees has stopped or slowed. Starting in May, tulip tree scale began “raining” honeydew, a sticky waste product of the scale, on people and property near such trees. That “rain” has slowed as the trees adjust to a lack of real rain. The scale epidemic was a result of mild winter weather and early spring weather. Reduced honeydew “rain” is good, clean news, short-term, for humans; however, the current reduction is also due to the scale’s maturing.
Although the trees are still releasing some honeydew, tulip tree leaves are turning yellow, then will turn brown and fall off, a method of surviving both the scale and the drought.
People with tulip trees should consider switching from using insecticide to battle the scale to watering their tree, if affordable. More on scale at:
– If you like hearing the annual cicadas’ singing, you may be hearing their tune sooner this year because of the early spring. Their singing period also may be longer because of the dry soil prolonging emergence.
From State Parks & Reservoirs:
– Nature centers, found at many state parks & reservoirs, are usually air-conditioned. The educational opportunities provided may seem even “cooler” than usual under these extreme heat conditions. Many properties offer refreshing treats like boat rentals, snack bars, lakes and swimming pools. Please note that some reservoir beaches are closed due to low water. See InterpretiveServices.IN.gov and StateParks.IN.gov for more information.
– Lower water allows waterfront property owners to check manmade features around streams, rivers and lakes for problems that are otherwise typically hidden underwater. Repair or maintenance projects already underway may have a longer work window.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
(I wrote this column several years ago, but thought it was worth dusting off and passing along again...phil)
We are truly blessed in the country in which we live. And, our Fourth of July holiday is a time for reflection and appreciation for what we have.
Most of us we head out for some sort of celebration this weekend, whether a simple gathering with family and friends or a big fireworks extravaganza. We’ll do that without the worry of being attacked somewhere along the road or caught in the midst of a rebel ambush.
Yes, we still have and may always have in the future threats of terrorist attacks and other unlawfulness, but compared to most of the rest of the world, we are truly blessed and free to enjoy our lives with little or no fear. This is especially true in the part of the country where we live.
From my days as a youngster, I have always looked forward to the Fourth of July. It meant summer had really arrived. It was a time for celebration -- fireworks and good food. Whatever we did earlier in the day, at night we headed to the fairgrounds where I grew up in eastern Illinois. There the American Legion would set off a wonderful evening display of fireworks, ending with an American flag and beautiful aerial finale.
Private fireworks were illegal in Illinois, but most everyone had a few. Sometimes folks would stop and buy them in Tennessee when coming back from the south. Most kids purchased them bootleg from an older boy in the south of the town. We’d ride our bikes to his house, and he would take us inside and show us the inventory, which he kept in the inside (underneath) of a hide-a-bed. His stash was mostly firecrackers.
Money was something usually in short supply, but I saved a few bucks from my chores for my purchases. In my early fireworks years, I concentrated on purchasing Lady Fingers. They were tiny little firecrackers. Think I paid a dime for a package of about 100. The only problem with the Lady Fingers was the little crackers were packed so tightly in the packages, I pulled out about a third of the fuses from the crackers when trying to get them out of the packages.
Today, with the world situation as it is, and many of our young men and women abroad protecting our freedom, is a time to reflect on that first Fourth of July or Independence Day.
I found text from a famous letter written by John Adams on July 3, 1776, to his wife Abigail about his thoughts on celebrating the Fourth. James Heintze, librarian and faculty member at American University, says the letter often is misquoted, but claims the following paragraphs are accurate.
“The Second Day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and illuminations from one End of the Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
“You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light of Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall night.”
Adams was truly a man of vision as were our other founding fathers. He could foresee that more than 200 years later vigilance still is need to protect our freedom, our independence.
Take time to remember those who have gone on before; those who protected us in the past, and are no longer with us. We also need to remember those who are protecting our freedom today, including those area active and Guard personnel serving in this country and abroad.
We owe our forefathers, and our protectors today, a great debt of gratitude. Remember, give thanks, enjoy the celebration, and have a great Fourth of July.