The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

September 1, 2013

Fall brings the good and bad in fishing


The Commercial-News

---- — September is a great month for fishing and I always look forward to the cooling down of both the temperature and the water temperature. This is the month when the big crappies come out of hiding, the bluegills become more active and fishing patterns often change in a particular body of water.

The fall also brings on my worst time of the year with the pesky mosquitoes so don’t go to the water or into the woods without some good insect repellent. Be prepared when you go outdoors and don’t forget to bring your spray!

The Illinois waterfowl zone maps are available on the IDNR website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/waterfowl/Pages/MapsApprovedWaterfowlZoneLines.aspx

The September 2013 early Canada goose season is Sept.1-15 with a daily limit of five (5) and a possession limit of 15 geese in the North and Central zones, and a daily limit of two and a possession limit of six geese in the South Central and South zones.

Illinois’ 16-day 2013 statewide teal hunting season is Sept. 7-22 with a daily limit of six and a possession limit of 18. Shooting hours for the September teal season are different from the regular season, starting at sunrise (a half-hour later than regular season) until sunset. The 2013 Illinois Digest of Waterfowl Hunting Regulations, available in September.

Passing a love of fishing on to your kids can be difficult to do when casting into a lake all day and waiting for a bite seems like one of the most boring activities in the world for their high energy output. A new game is making it easier by adding an element of competition. The Fishing Camp game is a trivia board game that teaches new fisherman and challenges seasoned veterans as they race around the game board. Fishing Camp is designed to grow with the player.

Starting at level one, the questions are primarily identification of fish and fishing tackle. As the players increase in their knowledge about Fishing, they grow into the higher level questions. This game can be found at Gander Mountain and Cabelas. This would be a great Christmas gift.

Results from the annual Illinois Archery Deer Hunter Survey, which tracks observations of wildlife by volunteers while hunting deer from Oct. 1-Nov. 15, showed indices similar to the previous year for all species.

In 2012, a total of 896 bow hunters participated in the survey and logged more than 55,000 hours afield. Tracking long-term changes in relative abundance of wildlife is the main value of the survey. Numbers of bobcat, coyote, white-tailed deer, wild turkey and squirrels observed per 1,000 hours increased since the survey began in 1992.

The most striking change is a 10-fold increase in the number of bobcats observed by hunters between 1992 and 2013. Declines in observations of red and gray fox are probably related to changes in habitat and greater abundance of coyotes. The 2012 Archery Deer Hunter Survey is available on the IDNR website at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Documents/adhs2013report.pdf.

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