July 2020 News/Columns

The Great Outdoors, by Larry Whiteley

The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

by Larry Whiteley



 Every summer when my boys were young, I would take them on at least one night- time crappie adventure. They are grown now and with their own kids but I bet they still remember those special times. On a late summer afternoon, we would hook up the pontoon boat, load it with all our crappie fishing gear, snacks, a small tent and head for the lake. On the way, we would stop by the bait shop and buy a bucket full of minnows.

We would already be at our favorite crappie fishing hole as dark came. Lanterns were hung over the sides of the pontoon to attract the flying bugs which in turn would attract the crappie to come in and feed on them. I baited their hooks with minnows and had them lower them down through the bugs in the middle of the light reflecting on the water. It didn’t take long for a crappie to take their minnow and more often than not they reeled them in. I can still see their happy faces.

It was a great time to talk about things or answer questions they might have. If one of them got tired, caught their limit, or the mosquitoes got bad they might crawl into the tent I had erected in the middle of the boat and snack or fall asleep. Two kids, their dad, a summer night, lots of crappie and a great adventure.



 “It’s not the fishin’… It’s the time together.” ~ Author Unknown



 To help keep mosquitoes away eat an orange and then rub the inside of the peeling on exposed skin.

When you can’t find fish to catch start looking for birds like herons and kingfishers that eat fish. They know where to go to find baitfish. Where baitfish are, there should also be hungry bigger fish after the baitfish too.



Independence Day should be a time we pause to honor those who served and are serving so we might enjoy the freedoms we have today. Those who died on the beaches of Normandy, the fields of Viet Nam, the deserts of Iraq, the mountains of Afghanistan, the buildings in New York and Washington D.C. and so many other places around the world, should never be forgotten. It is because of their sacrifices and the sacrifices of those that came home that we can enjoy our great outdoors and all it offers for each of us.

To all of you men and women who served or are serving our country, we salute you and thank you. We also want to make sure we thank all our health care workers, first responders and those working to feed those struggling during this unprecedented time we are still going through. All of you are our heroes!



 God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

– Irving Berlin

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