The outdoors has special meaning to me. I caught my first fish at age 4 and shot my first duck at age 9. Nearly four decades later I still get excited when I get to spend any time outdoors. A lot has changed during that time but the anticipation and experiences are still similar and just as exciting. It’s a great place to be....Read More
These days I enjoy many different types of hunting. I’m an avid, some might say rabid, waterfowler. I love to bowhunt and have traveled the country doing so for various big game species, although I’m fairly content with Kansas whitetails and turkeys now. And when it’s not hunting season I’m usually fishing. I love to fish for walleye, crappie and channel catfish. I’m at home on the front of my boat on a big reservoir or wading a small Flint Hills stream. It’s all good.
Throw in a recent bout with the trapping bug and decades of camping with family and friends and it’s obvious I have an addiction for the outdoors.
Many of my most memorable outdoor experiences in recent years have centered on those with my children. My 18-year-old daughter and twin 12-year-old boys have been a major part of my outings. Watching their eyes light up as they realize the wonders of Mother Nature and her bounty likely has even more meaning than my own personal satisfaction. Spending quality time with them outdoors carries significant and substantial meaning, no matter what we’re doing.
In this Blog I’ll attempt to relay some of the enjoyment and satisfaction I get from being outdoors. Topics covered will be broad in scope and run the gamut. It’s all fair game. If you can sit at your computer and read a particular entry and it stirs you to try it, or helps make your experience more enjoyable, I will be pleased. And if it does nothing more than make you smile or laugh that too, will please me. The outdoors is truly a great place to be!
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Don't get me wrong, many of the things I truly enjoy happen during the winter. I love waterfowl hunting and trapping gets good when conditions chill out. And some of the best crappie fishing of the year occurs in December and January and I'm game for that, too.
This winter was particularly troublesome for me, as it was a realistic Kansas winter for a change. It was cold and snowy, off and on for a couple months. While some are fans of ice fishing, I did my share back when and don't enjoy fishing through an 8-inch hole much anymore. That's what they make boats for but it's hard to do when it kept freezing and thawing. That's normal Kansas, though, and we've been spoiled the last few winters.
But long last I think spring is here. It was only a few weeks ago and we were still breaking ice on early morning boat fishing expeditions. I'm glad when ice leaves for good. My favorite ice serves solely to keep a drink cold. Good riddance.
Late February and March can still find crappie, wipers, white bass, walleye and saugeye still roaming their winter haunts. It's been good at times, too, in the last couple weeks. Provided the wind isn't blowing 40 m.p.h. it's worth a shot.
And it's not uncommon to catch white bass or wipers in these same areas. Oftentimes you'll catch a bunch of one or the other, but seldom both as these fish tend to school up according to their own kind.
Jigs, many anglers choose 1/8-ounce, others 1/4-ounce, fished with a plastic body are good bets. Most are fished down in the brush or just above it. If there's no brush, fish near the bottom within a foot of it. And if that doesn't work, and you can mark fish with your electronics, adjust accordingly.
There's no guarantee we're done with winter as it could still snow in April. But here's hoping ol' man winter packed his bags and is gone for good.