The Great Outdoors
by Larry Whiteley
THE FASCINATING WORLD OF INSECTS
Insects! We don’t pay much attention to them unless they are biting us, stinging us, crawling on us, bugging us or interfering in some way with whatever we are doing.
Insects though are really fascinating once you get to know them. Sure grasshoppers chew up our plants, ants get in our house, flies drive us crazy and mosquitoes bite. But also remember that fireflies light up, crickets sing, caterpillars turn into beautiful butterflies and so on.
Insects are very beneficial to our world and do some incredibly important jobs. Some pollinate plants, some help remove signs of dead animals, some are eaten by other animals for survival, some even make really great fish bait. Over a million different species of insects have been discovered and scientists are discovering more new species every year. Maybe one of them will turn out to be a great crappie bait.
THAT’S THE TRUTH
“It is astonishing how much worse one mosquito can be than a swarm. A swarm can be prepared against, but one mosquito takes on a personality—a hatefulness, a sinister quality of the struggle to the death.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
DID YOU KNOW?
Adult fireflies don’t eat. Their entire function is to reproduce. Think about that the next time you’re out crappie fishing at night and fireflies are all around you.
FISHING IN THE SHADOWS
There is no better time for fishing in the shadows of bridges, docks, trees, bushes or anything else than August. Troll around the bank looking for a shadow, and then hit it three or four times before moving on. Most times you can fish in the sun 6 inches out of a shadow and never get a bite. But, cast your bait into the middle of the shadow and chances are you will get a bite.
FINGERNAIL POLISH IS GREAT FOR FISHING
Keep clear fingernail polish in your tackle box. Use it to give your old baits a hard and shiny finish, keep rod wrappings from unwinding or becoming frayed, seal a crack in a plastic bobber and apply to insect bites to relieve itching. But, tell your wife or girlfriend why you have fingernail polish in your tackle box so you don’t have to try to explain later if she finds it.
Monthly peaks in both the full and new moon are a factor definitely worth considering. When fish of all sizes are feeding infrequently due to a prolonged streak of bad local weather conditions, that small “window” of three to four days right after the actual moon peaks, full or new, may be the only time that the largest fish of any species is truly catchable. But, most experts agree that the best time to go fishing is whenever you can.
IT WON’T BE LONG NOW
Even during the sultriest, simmering days of August there are already subtle signs of fall’s approach and the promise of crisp air and colorful trees. It may still be terribly hot, but if you look up and see a monarch butterfly float by or some Virginia creeper turning red in the treetops, it’s nature’s way of telling us that August won’t last forever and the cool days of fall are worth waiting for.