The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

June 16, 2013

Finding ways to fish through the algae


DANVILLE — Many area ponds are covered in green algae. These algae mats make it tough to fish but bass can be caught in these tangled webs and some big ones lurk underneath.

It is impossible to use spinner baits or a crank baits in this mess most of the time but weedless lures work well.

I use a traditional plastic worm with no weight on a spinning rod so I can get distance.

I bury the hook deeper in the worm than I would normally as I am going to slide it across the algae mats.

Within these mats are little holes, some only as big as your fist, others bigger than a basketball.

I cast beyond these pockets and slowly drag the lure to the opening, once there I jiggle it violently and then move to the next one. Many times the fish will strike when I’m jiggling, other times immediately once the bait hits the opening.

The average angler wants to set the hook immediately but that will wedge the mouth of the fish against the algae mat and many times it will come out as it rolls over.

I like to let the fish go under, set the hook and then paddle in to get it. If you do it this way the fish will be completely covered with algae and you may or may not know that you got it until you peel it all off.

Not the most exciting way to bring a fish in, but if you want to put fish in your boat while fishing the slime; give it a try.

I asked many of my friends this weekend if they knew when their boat registration was due and none could tell me. We all wait for a reminder from the state. I didn’t know mine was due this month until I looked.

Looking for a notice

With very little notice to anyone I got a press release last week stating that you won’t be notified and you could only get your registration by calling the automated system and paying with a credit card or an e-check.

Many older people like me don’t believe in credit cards and I honestly had to ask my wife what an e-check was.

The Good Book says the borrower is a slave to the lender so I don’t like to mess with plastic. Evidently my check isn’t good with them any more and I am to remember what year (due once every three years) my boat registration is due.

According to what I read in the press release, you cannot get your boat registration without an additional $3 fee for using this convenient system as they call it.

Since when is an automated system a convenience to older adults? I look at them as a government invented stroke enhancer. Two minutes into an automated system, I somehow have hit the wrong button or said the wrong thing.

By now my blood pressure has shot up a 100 points, I’m ready to bounce the phone off the wall, I’ve already told them what to do with their convenient system and I’ve told them if I don’t get a response then I’ll find another company to deal with! Some convenience!

I’ll send my information and my check as I’ve done for over 50 years and see what happens.

I refuse to pay a $3 tax, which is all it is, with no option to avoid it. I’ve got no invoice as all my other companies send including the DMV so how do I really know it is due?

A lot of people have no idea that this is happening and the ones I’ve talked with see it as I do; another tax. Why doesn’t the IDNR tell us they need $18 to register a boat instead of $15; send us an invoice and let us pay however we want?

If they fine you they will accept your check or cash at that point.

If this is not a tax then we should be able to pay it anyway we want, avoiding the $3 levy. It’s not about the money, three dollars is a morning coffee and a doughnut.

This is about having another fee shoved down our throats and most people are tired of it!

Let’s talk about irony in nature. My wife and I toured the west and southwest last summer into fall stopping at several national parks.

In these parks were signs that read: DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS; THEY WILL BECOME DEPENDENT ON PEOPLE AND WILL FORGET HOW TO FORIAGE FOR THEMSELVES! This sign was posted by the same government that has approximately 40 percent of its population receiving assistance for food and medical services. Go figure!

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