The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

April 26, 2013

Fishing season taking a weird start so far

BY SAM VAN CAMP
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — It seems like a very strange start to the fishing season this year as temperatures rise and then fall and fish patterns get all messed up.

Many area lakes and rivers are so high and the water so stained that they are nearly impossible to fish in their present state. Lucky for us, we have plenty of clear strip mines throughout the area to take advantage of.

When I fish these murky waters for bass I use large spinner baits, usually a tandem spin, with big blades of either copper or chartreuse. These big spinners put out a lot of thump when reeled in slowly and good bass are drawn to their sound and color. I’ve taken some nice bass in some very dirty water on these.

The ponds at Kickapoo State Park make an excellent place to fish during these tough times. The water is generally clear even during these rainy times and big bass prowl the waters of Kickapoo and are there for those that know how to get them.

VCCD activities for teenagers

The Vermilion County Conservation District is offering four days full of outdoor activities for ages 12 – 15 years, June 17 – 20; 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. each day. Participants will explore numerous outdoor recreational activities such as canoeing, kayaking, geology, archeology, fishing, backpacking, archery, and work with conservation projects! They will be actively involved in field work with wildlife & fisheries biologists, foresters, and geologists.

To register, please call 662-2142, Mon. - Fri., 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and a registration form will be forwarded to you. Enrollment is limited. A fee of $75 includes everything you need to participate. For more information visit our website www.vccd.org, call 662-2142 or e-mail us at asteeples@vccd.org.

No big reports yet

I have not received many reports on either mushrooms or hummingbirds. One report of a hummingbird did come in as one was seen locally last Friday and Saturday. If anyone wants to respond to recent sightings or finds on either of these two items please send me an e-mail.

Worm stories

The recent rains have surely brought out the night crawlers. Live night crawlers are among the finest of natural baits for most any species of fish. I remember the nights I would spend as a kid collecting night crawlers with a flashlight in Garfield Park.

There are old tales about tearing a worm in half and ending up with two worms. This is definitely not true as an earthworm has a brain at only one end and cannot regenerate a new brain in the end that is missing a brain. If you accidentally pull the worm in two when pulling it out of the ground it would be best to throw it away and not put it in with the worms you intend to keep.

Earthworms absorb oxygen through the skin and into the blood stream. This process is called diffusion. In order for diffusion to work, the skin must remain moist at all times just like the inside of your lungs. Oxygen enters your lungs and is picked up by your red blood cells through the same process that the worm uses.

The cooler the worms remain, the less oxygen they need. This is why keeping them in a refrigerator with a moist substance around them will allow you to keep worms for quite some time. The worms must eat while you have them and they feed on a variety of things that are plant matter. There are some worm beddings that supply the necessary nutrients the worms need.

Worms do best in cool, moist and dark conditions with food available. Many people make an earthworm bed in their yard by digging a pit and lining the four sides with boards, etc. The worms stay in the pit and can be dug at any time. Once again, keep the pit in the shade, provide plenty of moisture and food and you can have earthworms all year long.

Reminder

There is a meeting Monday evening concerning the removal of the two dams in Danville. It is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the David S. Palmer Civic Center. If this changes I will address it in my Sunday column.

The city council members need to see a host of people in order to understand how important it is to the community not to remove the dams and retain the integrity of our river system. Please Plan to Attend! Don’t regret later what you have a chance to influence now. Attend this meeting and let everyone know where you stand!

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