The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

June 28, 2013

ICP to crack down on boaters

BY SAM VAN CAMP
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Illinois Conservation Police will be increasing enforcement on public lakes and rivers over the 4th of July holiday weekend looking for impaired boaters. During last year’s 4th of July holiday enforcement period, Conservation Police issued over 450 citations to boaters on public waters.

Make sure you are legal and leave the alcohol alone if you are the driver of the watercraft and you will be able to enjoy the summer’s festive weekend.

Fourth of July

Memories


The Fourth of July Weekend brings back a lot of memories. I spent many weekends playing baseball somewhere on the Fourth of July and then, after the game I would head to a secluded lake and fish late into the night.

I remember one Fourth of July I headed out late in the evening to enjoy a night on the water after dark. The place I chose was bubbling with activity when I got on the water just as the sun was setting. I knew, once dark had surrounded the lake, I would be alone and once everything settled down I might have a shot at a good bass.

The wind kicked up just after dark and I had my boat positioned just off a submerged island where I knew the fish would move to once everyone went to sleep.

About midnight the place was like a graveyard, fish were moving under my fish finder and toward the island, it was just perfect!

It was pitch dark, no moon or stars because the wind brought in a good cloud cover and I could see lightning way off in the west; I knew the bass would move late.

I hit one fish, then another followed by a big one about six pounds.

Just when everything was looking as good as it possibly could a family on the bank decided to have their own fireworks display. From where I was sitting in the boat it looked like the bombardment of a fort.

The sky would light up and show all the campers and homes around the lake. I looked at my fish finder and not a fish could be seen anywhere on the screen.

Since that night I seldom go fishing on the Fourth of July as I found out how quickly a great night can be ruined. Pick your spots wisely this holiday and enjoy the mid part of summer.

Hummingbird update

If you Google “Lack of Hummingbirds this year” you will find a lot of interesting reading material. I’ve had a lot of response to this question but still haven’t gotten an answer that I am comfortable with.

Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Fridays and Sundays. Call him at 662-6559. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail: pamnsam@nwcable.net