Something Fishy

Something Fishy
t Doesn't Get Much Better

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pro angler Mark Davis says slow fishing is wise for catching big bass

Mark Davis shows one his favorite rigs for big bass.

Catching big bass in winter’s cold water equates to fishing lures slow, very slow. However, the same slow action applies to hot summer bass angling as well, according to Yamaha fishing pro Mark Davis.
In an interview provided by Yamaha’s media folks, Davis says slow fishing is a key anytime of the year, but especially when the water is really cold or hot.
“It will probably surprise a lot of anglers, but right now is one of my favorite times to go after a really big fish,” notes Davis, who caught his heaviest largemouth ever, a 12-6 giant, 
“On many lakes, the bass are still in a type of transition and haven’t completed their move to deep summer structure (June and early July). 
The real key to catching big bass anytime of year, however, emphasizes Davis, is fishing extremely slowly, which takes not only patience but also confidence. In fact, when Davis is really looking for a trophy bass, he fishes slower than he does during the winter months when bass tend to be more lethargic.
“Big bass will never be far from deep water, even in the spring when they’re coming to shallow flats to spawn,” continues the Yamaha Pro, “so that’s the first thing I look for. I like to find creek channels or ditches leading from deep water into the shallows, or points and ledges that have steep drops into deeper water.
“Then I look for cover like logs, stumps, bushes, or vegetation around those depth changes, because these are objects that bass use, and if they’re present, the fish will stay longer in that area.”
Davis prefers fishing soft plastic lures like creature baits, big worms, and stick baits on a Carolina rig when he’s hunting big fish. The reason is because these types of plastic lures are still extremely effective when fished slowly. He rigs them Texas-style, with the hook imbedded to make them weedless.
“When I feel my Carolina rig weight hit a piece of cover as I make my retrieve, I stop and let the lure sit there from 10 to perhaps 30 seconds,” he says, “because I want to keep the lure in that area as long as possible. Even if I’m fishing vegetation and feel the sinker hit it, I’ll still let the lure sit there a long time.
“I may be fishing with a leader as long as six feet, so I’ll shake my rod a time or two, let the lure sit there again, then crawl it into the vegetation. I know the bass know my lure is down there, and I want it to look as tempting to them as I possibly can.”
Depending on the type of lake and the water clarity where he’s fishing, Davis gradually works deeper water as the summer progresses. Instead of concentrating in eight to 12 foot depths like he might in May, for example, in June he works his way out to about 15 feet. The more off-colored the water, the shallower bass will be.
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HUNTING NOTES -- Squirrel season is almost here. Indiana’s season open Aug. 15 and continues through Jan. 31, 2014.
Kentucky’s fall squirrel season starts Aug. 16 and runs through Feb. 26, 2015.
Indiana’s early goose season is again scheduled for Sept. 1-15, and is designed to reduce the number of resident geese.
The daily bag limit: is five and and possession limit: is 15.. Shooting hours: half-hour before sunrise to sunset. HIP Registration Required  
The is no early season goose hunting on Kankakee FWA and Hovey Lake FWA., near Mt. Vernon.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Granddaughter, lightning bugs give hope of fun without electronics

Nine-year-old Molly holds a container used to catch lightning bugs.

There is hope. Hope that some young people won’t become slaves to electronic gizmos.
The electronic gizmos and apps aren’t going away. I use a few myself, but it seems like many folks, especially the young, can’t live without cell phones, Twitter, I-pads (I admit I don’t even known most of the terminology). I’ve seen youngsters sitting a dozen feet apart texting each other. And, I’ve seen women talking on their phones throughout their shopping trip at the big box stires, even the checkout line.
I was fortunate growing up. There were no cell phones and video games. The only twitter came from the birds each morning and evening. We didn’t have TV until sometime while I was in high school. Believe it or not, we listened to the Cardinals and Cubs on the radio.
We entertained ourselves. We enjoyed the outdoors. During summer months, we played outdoors until dark and after. There were lightning bugs to catch and kick the can (It was a game). On Friday night’s we went to the band concert on the courthouse square. Popcorn was a special treat available at the popcorn wagon.
Back to today.
Recently, granddaughters Molly and Kennedy came for a visit. They, like their older brother, Denver, have always seemed to enjoy the outdoors.
During the recent visit, I noticed nine-year-old Molly outside on the deck with a soft drink clup, which still had a plastic lid. I wondered why she had picked it up, but didn’t think much about it. I knew it was empty and either had been in or was headed for the trash.
As darkness approached, Molly was still outside with the container. Finally, she came into the sun room and posed a question. “What do lightning bugs eat?”
Grandpa didn’t have a good answer.
Mollly then proceeded to tell me she had caught three lightning bugs and was hunting more.
“I gave them some grass,” she explained, showing me the grass inside the cup.
The lightning bugs weren’t the only creatures captured by Molly. The next evening she added a grasshopper and a couple inch worms.
Grandpa was happy. Molly didn’t need electronics to be entertained. She entertained herself the old fashioned way.
Despite the escape of several fireflies in the house overnight, the hunt continued.
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A bit more about lightning bugs or fireflies...I caught them as a kid and still enjoy watching them on summer evenings...
Lightning bugs actually are beetles. They are  nocturnal members of the family Lampyridae.
Most fireflies or lightning bugs are winged. There are approximately 2,000 species of the insects. They live in a variety of warm climates and love moisture and humid environments.
The bugs produce their glow from light organs which are located under their abdomens. They take in oxygen and inside special cells, combine it with a substance called luciferin. It makes the light with almost no heat.
Most produce a blinking light which apparently is unique to each species. The blinking light serves several purposes. It serves as a warning signal or defense mechanism, alerting predators that the bugs have a nasty taste. But for other lightning bugs, it serves to help attract a mate.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Indiana DNR reports few campsites available for July 4 weekend

A news release from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources indicates there aren't many campsites available at state facilities, however there are some.

According to the release, those looking to celebrate Independence Day weekend in the great outdoors can still find available campsites at a few DNR properties. 

If you prefer primitive or non-electric camping, check out Lincoln and Shakamak state parks in southwest Indiana.  Or, if you want electricity on your campsite, a handful of sites can be found at Charlestown State Park and Deam Lake, both in Clark County.

For horse owners, there are several equestrian campsites available at Brown County, O’Bannon Woods, Potato Creek, Salamonie Lake, Tippecanoe River and Whitewater state parks.

Because July 4 is a holiday, a three-night minimum is required for campsites (July 3, 4 and 5).

Campsite reservations for the holiday weekend must be made by 11:59 p.m. EDT this evening, so visit Camp.IN.Gov(available 24 hours) or call 1-866-6CAMPIN (1-866-622-6746) between noon-8 p.m. today to make your reservation. 

If you’re looking for a road trip but not sure where to go, find property maps and facility information at Many new features are ready to enhance your experience no matter when or where you visit. 

If you can’t fit camping into your Independence Day weekend plans, don't miss out on Labor Day or any other time this summer. Cabins and campsites are still available for many weekends, including Labor Day weekend, but will go quickly. 

Campers must follow DNR’s rule on firewood. For more information, visit Fireworks are prohibited. 

It's been a family secret, well, just something we didn't talk about

For years it has been a family secret. Well, maybe not a secret, just something we didn’t talk about much.
The secret is that for years our dogs have been sleeping with us. Not our big coon dog, Mutley. He was just too big, but the the rat terriers -- Augie, Buddy and later Tyler found their way under the covers.
Over the years, I learned we weren’t that unusual (at least related to our dogs and their sleeping habits). More and more friends confided that they also sometimes felt they were being pushed out of their beds by the canine friends.
While our dogs spend much of their time in the house, they also spend considerable time outdoors--including in the woods hiking or squirrel hunting. However, I have never found a tick or other nasty in the bed traced back to the dogs.
We are fortunate to have two wonderful vets who help care for our dogs--Dr. Frank Stokes, and when we are in Florida, Dr. Carol Thompson of Lake Wales provides the care.
In this brave new world of electronic technology, Dr. Thompson regularly sends us an email newsletter called VetStreet (, and an item in the current issue caught my attention. Dogs or pets in the family bed.
“It's a topic so divisive that it has been known to be a significant factor in choosing a spouse: Do you let your pet sleep in your bed with you?,’ reads the lead paragraph in the newsletter.
“In some households, it's the norm. All pets are allowed everywhere, all the time. In others, it's no pets on any furniture, ever. But in many, the answer lies somewhere in between: Perhaps the cat or small dog is given a spot to snuggle, but the Great Dane has to remain on the floor.”
Surprisingly -- at least to this old writer -- many of the vets permit pets to curl up with them.
Some people are allergic to close interaction with pets, so there is good reason to keep your pet at some distance, especially when curling up after turning off Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show.
According to the writer of the newsletter, the publication polled VetStreet readers and veterinary professionals (such as veterinarians, veterinary technicians and office managers). The results indicate sleeping with an animal friend is not as unusual as one might think. 
Of those polled, more than four out of five readers and three out of four veterinary pros said they would permit a pet to share a bed with them.
In my retirement years, when an alarm clock is rarely used, the dogs have served to let me know it is time to rise and shine and turn on the coffee maker. When Tyler jumped off the bed, it was the signal for my feet to hit the floor.
Unfortunately, Tyler slipped out the door and was hit by a car several weeks ago. Our hearts were broken, and now we a rescue dog, Missy, part terrier with maybe a mix of beagle and dachshund.
She is very content spend the night in her kennel in the sun room, so I don’t anticipate her migrating to the bed. But, recently she jumped on the bed to join me for a nap. Time will tell.