Something Fishy

Something Fishy
t Doesn't Get Much Better

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.

Monday, July 13, 2015

No boat required; for many the river bank or lake shore will do just fine

Jerry Phelps lands a crappie while fishing from the bank at Kentucky Lake.

        Bank fishing is the way the majority of anglers pursue their sport, however there are people who say they can't fish because they don't have a boat.
A few years ago, I met Jerry Phelps at Kentucky Lake. At the time, he had a relatively new bass boat, but hadn’t used it for two years. He’d rather fish from the bank, and says he catches more fish.
Not only does Phelps catch fish from the bank, there are plenty of other good examples. Currently, anglers are are pulling in nice catches of sauger from the banks below Ohio River dams. In Europe bank fishing where anglers are assigned a fishing spot tournaments are popular. 
However, with the advent of the bass boat, bank fishing in this country has become an almost lost form of fishing. Boats are great, but the lack of one doesn't curtail the ability to catch a stringer of fish.
While there are plenty of places to fish from the bank, some locations are much better than others. Bank fishing isn’t as simple as walking down to the water and throwing in your line. It may produce fish, and it may not. Just like from fishing from a boat, may or not result in fish.
Watching and talking with Phelps bank fishing, you can learn a lot about catching fish from the bank. He works at bank fishing just like a good boat fisherman works the water of any lake or stream.
When Phelps bank fishes, he takes structure, weather, water temperature, season, and the phase of the moon just like any accomplished boat angler. He primarily fishes Kentucky and Barkley Lakes, and often fishes the shoreline of Land Between the Lakes where there is public land available to all anglers. However, he fishes other lakes as well.
No matter where he goes, he notes structure and other important information about the location. When he decides to fish, he considers the conditions and then selects the spot he will travel to fish.
Cold weather doesn't stop him either. “Once on Feb. 2, the temperature dropped to three degrees. We had to use a heater to keep our reels thawed, but we caught our limits of crappie, and big ones too. Most of them went over a pound,” said Phelps.
Another benefit to winter fishing is the water level at most lakes is lower. Anglers can walk the bank easier and also locate structure which will be underwater when the level comes up in the spring. These will be ideal spring and summer fishing spots.
Phelps says he learned everything he knows about fishing from his mother, who didn’t miss many days bank fishing. “I learned everything from Momma,” he says with a big grin.
Most of Phelp’s fishing is for crappie, although he also catches his share of bluegill and bass. He fishes with jigs and uses bobbers. The bobber is used to keep the jig at the depth he wants, and with the bobber he call pull the jig over submerged structure.
Crappie and bass are just two kinds of fish which can be caught from the bank. More types of fish than hopeful 2016 Presidential candidates are possible.
You may not have a boat, but that isn’t a valid excuse for not fishing or catching fish. 
Maybe I'm just lazy as I tack the years onto my old body, but I spend much more time fishing from the bank behind the house, even though a boat is leaning against the walnut tree a few feet away.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Proud moment when grandson receives Eagle Scout award; also brings back many fond memories

Grandson Denver receives Eagle Scout award, the Boy Scout's  highest honor

Many youngsters first experienced camping and the many wonders of the great outdoors through Scouting, which started back in 1911 and continues today.
Back more than a half century this old writer was first involved in Scouting and later was an adult leader. My wife, Phyllis, was a Girl Scout leader, and son, Erik and daughter, Michelle, both were Scouts. Michelle advanced to a Gold Bar, the highest rank or award in Girl Scouts.
So, it was a proud day Sunday, when grandson, Denver, was honored with the Eagle Scout award.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges and demonstrating Scout Spirit through the Boy Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership. This includes an extensive service project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages. 
Eagle Scouts are presented with a medal and a badge that visibly recognizes the accomplishments of the Scout. Additional recognition can be earned through Eagle Palms, awarded for completing additional tenure, leadership, and merit badge requirements.
Historically, the BSA's highest award was originally conceived as the Wolf Scout, as shown in the June 1911 Official Handbook for Boys. The August 1911 version of the handbook changed this to Eagle Scout. 
Although more than two million young men have earned the Eagle award, that is just slightly over two percent of those who begin the Scout journey.
Scouting is much more than obtaining badges. It is about learning leadership, becoming self-reliant, and also learning about the importance of community, nation and the world.
And while Scouting has changed over the years to involve a broader range of interests and skills, the Boy Scouts still have a heavy involvement in the outdoors and related activities.
Grandson Denver was awarded Eagle during ceremonies conducted for him by his Troop 306 in Hendricks County, In. He joined the troop in August of 2010.
Denver, who will be a senior this fall at Danville High School, attained the rank of troop Quartermaster for several terms as well as patrol leader and assistant senior patrol leader.
Currently, he is a member of the Firecraft organization (involves learning in-depth outdoor skills), and has achieved the Order of the Arrow, and has attended summer camp at four different camps as well as Philmont Camp in New Mexico.
Although Eagle Scout requires 21 badges, including 15 mandatory, Denver now has completed 27 badges, and will qualify for Eagle Palms.
My Scouting experience only took me to the rank of Second Class Scout (maybe First Class) before I moved on to Sea Scouts, which I think no longer exists. It was an early type of Explorers, which comes for older youth interested in continuing their Scouting experience.
And while I never rose far in the Scouting ranks, the memories of Scouting days are still numerous and in my old head. It was there I obtained my first camping experience and learned campfire cooking at a campout at Frazier’s Farm.
I still can’t tie knots, but don’t think those memories will ever slip away.