"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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When the Weather Won't Let You Hunt, Fish!
Copyright © 2001 by Bill Scifres

Although many outdoor folks have stored their fishing gear to make way for guns and bows, and have placed their  outdoor emphasis on hunting, fall (the equinox of which arrived more than a month ago) offers very good fishing. As a matter of fact, there are many ways to combine hunting and fishing, and those who watch for these opportunities will reap many recreational benefits..

While many folks keep their fishing gear handy, most of them keep their eyes skinned for a beautiful, sunny days with little wind to fish, those raw days with a cold, blustery winds from the west or north can be very productive. Take, for example, a recent bone-chilling, windswept day last week when I went looking for ducks and geese on a farm pond that is often productive for mallards, wood ducks and Canada geese.

The wind was out of the west-northwest and was cold which made me  think an approach from that direction might catch the birds in the lee of the spillway and make some excellent shooting-not to mention an exquisite dinner.

But when (on my belly) I edged over the top, all I saw was whitecaps on the water. And though I couldn't see it, the wind whistled under the back of my jacket and prompted me to think my plan to wait them out until late-afternoon would not be a pleasant chore. Still, I told myself that I was there and that I might be able to find something to charge against the day and make my wait for hunting action bearable.

Returning to my car, I retrieved an ultra-light spinning outfit from the trunk and tied on one of my favorite lures for bass and bluegill. Then, with shotgun in the crook of my left arm and the spinning outfit in my right hand, I  returned to the pond at the closest point which happened to be the windswept upper end.

Leaning the shotgun against a small tree, I cast my Baby Ashley lure into the whitecap-lashed shallow water, thinking all the time that my luck might be better in the deep, quiet water (in the lee of the spillway).

I didn't have much time to think about that because a husky, 14-inchish bass nailed my lure and turned the little rod into a throbbing arc. In the next 15 or 20 minutes almost ever cast produced either a bluegill or a bass  (I kept some of the former for the skillet, but released the bass). When that action slowed, I took my scattergun and headed for the deep water (less affected by the wind), thinking that the fishing would be even better there. I whipped that part of the pond to a rich, creamy lather, without getting a bump.

Still, when the wind chased me off the pond (without a shot), I had some bluegills for the skillet.

   - - -
THE CROP HARVEST: The rains of last week slowed the harvest of corn and soybeans considerable, but worse, yet, it probably inflicted some heavy flooding losses on some farmers. The Purdue University Agricultural Harvest Reporting Service says corn was 42 percent harvested on Oct. 22 (38 percent at the corresponding time last year), and soybeans were 60 percent in the bins on that day, 55 percent at that time last year. The big rub, however, may be in the slowdown of the harvest and losses caused by last week's flooding. Some crops may never be harvested.


All columns are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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