"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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Morel Theory
Copyright © 2007 by Bill Scifres

To say this is an odd spring morel wise is putting it mildly. The thing that makes it look very strange (and act accordingly) can be laid mostly to the weather. 

For example, we have been getting ample rain to create ideal spring morel conditions, but the weather, otherwise, has been nothing short of hideous, especially so far as air temperatures is concerned. Still, I think, conditions are fairly good for spring morels. The only problem with this kind of thinking is nobody seems to be finding many morels, and, proportionately, they don’t seem to be looking. The weatherman seems to have our number.

I have had reports of only a few morel finds this year, and they--or the lack of hunters--can be traced to the chilly, (downright frigid) weather. But I am inclined to believe any temperature above 40 degrees will get things rolling.

One report from the central part of the state showed wildflowers in good numbers, and species, as if the development of spring was right in line. The little blacks should have been out during the warm weather streak we experienced earlier. I think they probably were there. If the little blacks stage another fruiting my theory may be all wet. But I think the little blacks were out in better numbers than we anticipated.

 I have had prairie trillium up (and ready to bloom in better weather) for more than 10 days. That, of course, is a story in itself. I have nursed a single prairie trillium in my front yard for some five years. My work paid some kind of dividends last year when three little ones made their appearance, but no more beautiful wine red blooms. This year the offspring are back and bigger, and there is a second bloom. Sweet success. 

My own observances have shown less wildflower development, and most of my morel thinking is based on wildflowers, and the development of leaves on trees. I would say that foliage in the southern part of the state--say at about the Mooresville level--is offering some kind of dividing line between the southern part of the state and the central part. Thus, I would think the above scenario would be more accurate there.

The weathermen are predicting a slight warm-up later in the week, and that should be a “wake-up call” for both morels and morel hunters. It also will grade my theory on the matter.

Remembering plucking morels from snow banks, I will not wait for balmy days.

CRAPPIE REPORT--Crappies of good size were being taken in good numbers from one end of the state to the other during the warm spell. The spring run is expected to continue when the temperature gets more favorable at the end of the week.

Live minnows and small jigs were the best bet for bait in the Lake Wawasee channels in the northeast, and on Patoka Reservoir down south. Lick Creek fork was producing well.

Of course, no water produces good crappies unless they are there. Knowing the waters--or the way crappie are doing--in any water you will fish is a prerequisite.

Crappies aren’t always cyclic, but knowing of a good spawn is a good place to start in selecting waters to be fished. The cycles varv from one lake (or standing water) to another, so the “proof of the pudding,” is in the checking various waters that have been good in the past. A good way to find crappie water and a modus operandi is to do as the Romans do. 

All columns, essays, and photos 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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