BY SAM VAN CAMP
Both Lake Vermilion and Lake Mingo have some decent color back after the recent rains that muddied these lakes and made fishing difficult. In fact, Lake Vermilion looks great!
The weather has settled in to a more normal pattern and it is getting very late in the spring to take a really big bass. The real lunker (bass in the 8 or 9 pound class) bass tend to show up in the early spring and very late fall in this area but, fishing deep water in the summer gets an angler down where the big ones hang out.
I found a lure that I really liked late last summer and it turned out to be a real crappie catching lure in the fall. The lure is a Berkley Frenzie and they come in a variety of colors.
Changing colors to meet the needs of the fish seemed to put some nice crappie in the boat. Several of my friends found this lure as exciting as I did so you might want to try several this fishing seasons.
Bluegills go deeper in the summer as well and I like to get down there where the big bluegill and redears live. I use a roadrunner with a bee moth to get down into the area where I need to be. A roadrunner is a lead headed jig with a small spinner attached to the front of the bait. These come in various colors and generally have a feather or plastic attachment to the hook. Simply place a bee moth on the hook and work it slow to get into the areas you want the lure to go.
I’ve been asked several times lately about putting on new line on a spinning reel. There is definitely a better way to put your line on a closed face or an open face reel. You want to wind the line so that it comes off the spool in a clockwise manner to avoid the dreaded tangling of the line. Many of the older reels such as Zebco’s had those instructions in their owners manual.
If I mention the word hummingbirds in my column, my computer and phone line light up. I was overwhelmed at the number of people that responded via e-mail, telephone and simply stopping me on the street.
The numbers were very one-sided toward the fact that most are seeing very few hummingbirds at their feeders. Only one person responded with a positive response and offered to send me some. Everyone else seemed to be like my wife and me in that they are not sure what happened to them this year.
One reader suggested that many of the hummingbirds left very late last fall and may have frozen which would be hard to believe being they are governed by instinct. Yet the theory is not impossible by any means.
My thought is that they may have been affected by the serious drought and, once they left Illinois may not have found enough food to sustain them until they got into their winter regions.
It takes a tremendous amount of energy to sustain a hummingbird since they are moving constantly. The nectar producing flowers may have been adversely affected by the drought. This still would be difficult to believe since there are so many hummingbird feeders along the way.
We may possibly still have hummingbirds this year once the young are ready to join the group. Keep a close eye out and let me know.
Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Fridays and Sundays. Call him at 662-6559. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org