Something Fishy

Something Fishy
t Doesn't Get Much Better

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tell City, Indiana, chapter of Ducks Unlimited sports Sportsmen"s Night

Sportsmen’s Night for the Tell City (Indiana) Ducks Unlimited Chapter will be Sept. 7 at the Schergen's Center. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. with dinner at 6 and an auction at 7. 
As always, the event will feature quality Ducks Unlimited and it's own unique brand of DU items that are homemade. 
This year’s auction items includes two wine carts, and corn hole game boards. All proceeds benefits wetlands conservation. The organization for years has worked to protect and enhance waterfowl and other wildlife.
For addition information and or details, call Bert at 547-2654.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Late summer, early fall fishing produces some of year's biggest catfish

Cecil Mallory of Derby, IN,  displays a large flathead catfish he caught using a trot line in the Ohio River.

Catfish in both streams and lakes like to feed during late summer and fall for the coming winter, and in cold weather they slow down, but don’t hibernate like bears.
Catfish feed heavily until water turns cold and during this eating frenzy, some of the biggest cats of the year usually are caught.
Back in late August of 1999, the late Bruce Midkiff of Owensboro caught the record blue cat from the Cannelton pool in the Ohio River. The monster cat weighed 104.5 pounds, and after getting the official weight, Bruce released it back into the river.
Bruce caught several other big fish late that month that tipped the scales over 50 pounds. Other anglers did as well, and have since during the late summer period.
Just a few weeks ago, a fisherman caught a big blue that weighed 94 pounds below the Cannelton dam.
In a recent Cabela’s King Kat tournament at Vevay on the Ohio River, big cats were caught by the first-place team of Scott Cress of Covington and Carl Crone of Villa Hills, KY.
The pair weighed-in a two-day total of 142.95 pounds. Each team is permitted to keep seven fish per day, which later are returned to the water alive.
The team fished the Markland Pool in 25-50 feet of water where the fish were scattered on the bottom in the channel and on flats. The team used skipjack and mooneyes to catch their winning limits.
Besides blue cats, anglers this time of year are after flatheads and channel cats. The flatheads also grow to monster size. 
The Kentucky record flathead was caught back in 1956 in the Green River and weighed 97 pounds.
Not all catfish are alike. Different types of catfish have different habits, including what they prefer to bulk up on as winter approaches. Blue cats and channel catfish select from a varied menu and will bite on night crawlers, chicken livers, cheese, stink baits, and minnows. 
Channel cats at times can be aggressive. I’ve caught a number of channels on bass lures. What I anticipated was a dandy largemouth turned out to have whiskers.
Flathead catfish, who earn their name from the shape of their head, prefer a diet of live fish, and among their favorites are shad, skipjack herring and bluegill.  In late summer they prefer deeper holes, but they will come up at times in search of food.
Of the big cats, most anglers agree that the flathead is the best eating.
Small channels are tasty, but a big one caught this time of year is best returned to the water. The same goes for blue cats. Not everyone agrees. It’s a matter of taste.
It seems there are almost as many ways to fish for catfish as there are cat fishermen. Some use rod and reel, others use trot lines, and still others may use limb lines. Another fun way is with bottles or jugs. 
Whatever method you use, fall is a good time to fill the freezer with catfish so you will have plenty of fish during winter months.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Labor Day no longer honors labor; today it marks holiday to end summer

Labor Day started as a day to honor laborers and the labor movement. Today, it has become the last fling of summer when people head to the lake or light up the barbecue grill for a family cookout.
There are folks who celebrate the day honoring the labor movement. A few communities still have Labor Day parades, but things have changed. While the holiday has become primarily a fun-filled last weekend of summer, even that has changed a bit.
Kids used to start school after Labor Day. Now some already have been in school nearly a month. Park swimming pools closed after Labor Day, and now many close in early August.
During a trip to Kentucky Lake, it was obvious kids had already headed back to school, and families were already in the fall routine. Many tourist related businesses had either cut back hours during the week, or closed, and were only open on the weekend.
Labor Day grew out of a parade and celebration to honor workings by the Knights of Labor in New York in 1882. Two years, later the Knights held an even larger parade in New York City. The parade was on the first Monday in September, and the Knights passed a resolution to hold it on the same Monday each year.
The first states to declare Labor Day as a state holiday were Oregon, Colorado, New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey in 1887. Then in 1894, the United States Congress passed a law recognizing Labor Day as an official national holiday.
It isn’t certain who came up with the idea of a Labor Day celebration. Some records show Peter McGuire of the Carpenters and Joiners union was the founder; however many people believe a machinist named Matthew Maguire first proposed the celebration.
The form that early leaders felt the celebration should take were outlined in the initial proposal of the holiday--a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families.
However you plan to celebrate the day, it is nearly at hand. Where has the short summer gone?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Indiana DNR offers series of venison workshops around state

        New deer hunters usually have a concern about what to do with a deer once they get it down in the woods.
      Deer (venison) is wonderful meat. It is tasty and healthy, but proper preparation is important.
      Again this year, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is offering a series of workshops around the state to help eliminate they mystery surrounding taking care of your venison.
      The DNR's news release follows:

      A venison workshop series in September will teach deer skinning, butchering and preparation.
       Participants can taste the venison, which will be prepared in a variety of ways. The workshops will also feature food safety and handling procedures and an update on deer health issues.
       The DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife and Purdue Cooperative Extension Service are sponsoring the workshops.
       Adult admission is $20; children 17 and younger are free. The workshops at Bass Pro Shops on Sept. 13 and at the Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience on Sept. 21 are free to all.
       Register by calling the appropriate number below:

       Sept. 10 — Crawford County Fairgrounds, Marengo, 6-9 p.m., (812) 338-2352.

       Sept. 12 — Wayne County Fairgrounds, Richmond, 6-9 p.m., (765) 973-9281.

       Sept. 13 — Bass Pro Shops, Clarksville, 6-9 p.m., (812) 218-5500.

       Sept. 21 — Fort Harrison State Park, Indianapolis, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.— No registration required; details are online

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dove season opens Sept. 1; hunters need plenty of ammo

Kentucky youth mentor hunts are a good way to get youngsters involved in the sport. Photo courtesy KDFWR

Upcoming is a hunting season ammunition manufacturers have to love -- dove season. It opens Sept. 1 and many times more shells will be fired than birds will be shot for dinner.
The Sept. 1 opening day for mourning doves and a number of other early migratory birds is established by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
While doves are a migratory bird, many don’t migrate and most of the ones available for hunting opening day will be local birds born and raised in the state. The migratory birds won’t pass through until later in the season when colder weather up north begins to push them south.
Doves sitting on a power line or scratching in a gravel road may look like easy targets, but they are just the opposite. They are very wary and can zig and zag like a plane trying to avoid a heat-seeking missile. Plenty of shells are required for a successful hunt.
Indiana’s dove season is separated into two parts. The first runs from Sept. 1 through Oct. 13. It reopens Nov. 5 and runs through Dec. 8  Also opening Sept. 1 is the season for sora rails and snipe. Early Canada goose season opens the same day and runs through Sept. 15.
While doves can be found throughout the state, their concentrations are found in agricultural areas, and their southern migration reaches northern areas first. However, most of the birds that have been seen in recent weeks are native doves from this year’s hatches in the Bluegrass state.
Opening weekend of dove season is part hunt, part social gathering, and part ritual for many. It is a time for renewing old friendships and making new ones. Its a time for camaraderie, tall tales, hunts remembered, and some lip smackin'’ outdoor cookin'’.
Dove season also is ideal for introducing young people to hunting. It’s still relatively inexpensive. September weather is ideally suited to the young hunter who isn’t ready to handle the cold of a duck blind or goose pit.
There also isn’t as much need to remain motionless and silent for long periods of time, although the less motion the better when birds are incoming.
There is plenty of time for snacks and moving around. There usually is considerable action. And it is just fun whether you down many doves or not. During hunts, there is ample time for conversation as you wait for the next flight of those gray bird versions of the Thunderbirds.
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 like rumaki, and cook them on a charcoal grill. They make a great meal-starter, or if you have enough, a main course themselves.
Another good recipe comes from Uncle Russ Chittenden’s book, Good Ole Boys Wild Game Cookbook or How to Cook ‘Possum and Other Varmits Good.
Russ calls for a Kentucky limit of dove breasts (or whatever you can scrounge), salt and pepper to taste, two eggs (Dominecker preferred), Italian bread crumbs, 3/4 cup cookin’ oil, Ritz crackers (or something similar).
Remove the breasts with a sharp boning knife like you would those of a duck or goose. With luck, you’ll have 30. Salt and pepper to taste. Dip in beaten egg stuff, and coat with bread crumbs.
Fry in oil until brown, turning several times. Drain for a minute or two on paper towels. Serve “hot” on crackers.
CATFISH TOURNEY -- Taking first place in the Cabela’s King Kat tourney last weekend  at Veevay, IN, on the Ohior River was the team of Scott Cress of Covington and Carl Crone of Villa Hills, KY.
The pair weighed-in a two-day total of 142.95 pounds and earned $4,300. Scott and Carl, also winners of last year's Vevay event were fishing the Markland Pool in 25-50 feet of water where the fish were scattered on the bottom in the channel and on flats. The team used skipjack and mooneyes to catch their fish.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Squirrel season opens Thursday in Indiana, Saturday in Kentucky

Doyle Coultas hunts squirrels in a Perry County woods.

A year rolls around quickly. Once again squirrel season is arriving and will be kicking off hunting for the 2013-14 season.
For me, the squirrel opener in Indiana is easy to remember. It falls on my birthday, Aug. 15. Another year more mature for the old man, but the start of a new fall Hoosier hunting season.
From all indications, this fall’s season should be a good one with plenty of squirrels to hunt.
Opening day and the early part of squirrel season in Indiana is generally a hot weather time of the year. It opens during those lazy hazy “dog” days of August. That brings problems with dehydration and insects as well as finding the bushytails in the thick, dense canopy of leaves. 
Hunting during the early days of the season requires different tactics than late in the season when the weather has cooled and leaves have fallen from the trees.
Die-hard squirrel hunters take to the woods opening day, but ticks and heat keep many southern hunters out of the field the first few weeks, while their counterparts further north in Indiana get an earlier start. Some hunters prefer to wait until leaves begin to fall from the trees, while others enjoy sitting under an umbrella of leaves. It’s a matter of choice.
Across the river in Kentucky, state biologists recently completed a study that shows most of the state’s squirrel hunting takes place in August, September and October.
One of the advantages of early season squirrel hunting, is chances are better for shooting young squirrels. That equates to tender squirrels, which are better for frying. And, that’s what I happen to prefer.
During the early  hot days of the season, squirrels seem to be most active the first hour or so of daylight, and late evening, especially in hot weather. They also seem to prefer days when the wind is calm.
Squirrels are active in the fall as they scurry to store nuts for the winter. Often they are found on the forest floor looking for nuts, but at the first sign of danger they head for the nearest den tree.
Nut rich woods are good hunting sites in late summer and fall. Squirrels seem to particularly like shagbark and other hickories, white and black oaks, beeches and black walnut trees.
The best gun for squirrel hunting again is a matter of personal preference. Most hunters use either a .22-caliber rifle or a shotgun, and many use one or the other depending on the situation.
If you use dogs and tree squirrels, a rifle is a good choice. If you stalk squirrels, then many of them may be running on the ground and a shotgun is a good selection.
Most hunters first started hunting for squirrels. It is one of the best ways to get young hunters involved in the sport.
During early squirrel season, the weather usually is good and doesn’t discourage youngsters. There also usually is plenty of action.
And the skills (safety, patience, scouting, shooting accurately, etc.) learned while squirrel hunting, apply to other forms of hunting.
Squirrel, fried crispy brown is mighty tasty, and there is nothing better than squirrel gravy made with the skillet leavings. Fried squirrel, and the gravy over mashed potatoes make a great meal, unless you are on a serious diet.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Kentucky offers Becoming an Outdoor WomanMo workshop in September

More and more women are choosing to get involved in outdoor sports.

Many outdoor sports, including archery, hunting, fishing, and others were consider “guy” sports. However today, more and more women are getting involved.
The female participation comes from a variety of reasons and they are as varied as the ladies and range from wanting to be active with their spouses to single moms wanting to involve their children, to those who just want to enjoy the great outdoors.
        A number of programs have been developed to help women learn and get involved in many outdoor sports and one of the best is the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program. The origin of BOW workshops dates back to 1990 in Wisconsin, and they now are offered in many states.
Registration for the annual Kentucky Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop in September is now open. The weekend program is designed for women 18 and older who want to learn more about the outdoors and develop skills related to the hunting, fishing and boating pastimes.
The event is being held Sept. 20-22 at the 4-H Leadership Center on Lake Cumberland in Jabez, Ky. BOW is sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
The workshop introduces women to many activities that are traditionally thought more of as male-oriented. More than 3,000 women have attended workshops since the program began.
"Our goal is simple," said Beth Spivey-Minch, volunteer coordinator of the BOW program. "We encourage women through fun, informative and hands-on education about outdoor skills and increase their comfort level and abilities in shooting, fishing, boating and numerous other wildlife-related activities."
The BOW program motto is "Learn Something New, Make a New Friend, and Have Fun."
Class choices include learning how to use a bow, rifle, pistol or shotgun. Participants can also learn basic fishing, canoeing, kayaking and motor boating skills. 
    Land-based courses cover hunting, survival, hiking, wildlife identification and game processing. There are 30 different opportunities in all.
For more information and to obtain a registration form, contact Kentucky Fish and Wildlife at 1-800-858-1549 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern time) on weekdays. Registration forms and additional information are available online on the BOW page. Due to their nature, many classes are limited in size and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
The workshop runs from noon Friday, Sept. 20, through noon Sunday, Sept. 22 (Central times). Registration includes four sessions, six meals, two nights lodging and evening activities. The cost of early bird registration is approximately $200, based on class selections. Facility capacity is limited.
"Women who have always wanted to know about hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities, but haven't had the chance, or felt intimidated should attend this event," said Spivey-Minch.
"It's a unique chance to experience these activities with other women who come for the same reason," she added. "Women can learn new skills and go home with a new confidence about spending time outdoors by themselves, or with others."

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Indiana DNR offers workshops for beginning waterfowlers

A good waterfowl dog adds to hunting pleasure. This dog is bringing in a decoy.

From all indications, this fall and winter’s waterfowl hunting seasons should be among the best in recent years. There should be plenty of birds to hunt.
Waterfowl hunters are truly passionate about their sport. Many brave cold early morning and the wetter the better, but they wouldn’t miss a morning of calling in ducks or geese.
Learning how to waterfowl hunt, including what equipment is needed and how to identify birds, can be intimidating for new hunters, so the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will offer three free workshops for novices and beginners at three different sites in August.
Similar material will be covered at each, so there is no need to attend more than one. Presentation topics will include waterfowl hunting regulations, goose and duck identification, equipment and techniques. There also will be a show-and-tell segment.
  Waterfowl hunting equipment, including blinds, waders, clothing, decoys and gadgets will be displayed and discussed. DNR Law Enforcement and Fish & Wildlife personnel will be available to answer questions. Lunch will be provided.
  All ages are welcome. Advance registration is required. Parents who already hunt waterfowl are welcome to bring children, but the material is tailored for beginners. Experienced waterfowl hunters are unlikely to learn much, according to a DNR official.
  Each workshop will occur at least partially outdoors and take place rain or shine. Participants should consider bringing a lawn chair and a jacket or raincoat.
  One workshop will be at Glenns Valley Conservation Club (Martinsville) on Saturday, Aug. 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and cover both duck and goose hunting. The address is 7115 Waverly Road, 46151. For more information, call Josh Griffin at (812) 526-8475. To register, call (765) 349-2060 or email .
  Also on Aug. 10, a workshop focusing on Canada goose hunting will take place at Kankakee Fish & Wildlife Area in North Judson, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.   
The third will be on Saturday, Aug. 24, at Sugar Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area in Winslow in Pike County, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This workshop will focus on Canada goose hunting. The address is 2310 E State Road 364, 47598. For more information call Phelps at (812) 334-1137. To register, call(812) 789-2724.
The workshops will be a good opportunity for people who may be interested in waterfowl hunting, to become aquatinted with the sport in an environment planned for newcomers.