Pictured is Hudson Kramer, age 8, holding a rainbow trout he caught at Lake Winola while fishing with his Uncles Chris and Philip Amico. Hudson is the son of Maria Amico Kramer and Herman Kramer of Bluffton, South Carolina and grandson of Marie and Phil Amico of Pittston.
How about this weather? The dog, cat and mouse days of summer are definitely upon us. Sometimes it’s easier to decide to sit in front of the air conditioner rather than get motivated to head outside. The thought of loading the car with fishing gear might seem like a lot of work compared to sitting by a swimming pool or in front of the television. I believe the key to summer fishing trips is all in the timing. Daybreak on a lake or river at this time of the year could be quite refreshing, cooling and productive. The evenings would be my second choice.
I recently spent a day on the Susquehanna River with my fishing buddy, Brian Hollingshead. We hit the river just north of Tunkhannock shortly after day break and the temperature was already in the seventies. It got so warm that by eleven o’clock it was hard to sit in the 14 foot aluminum boat. We were trolling (slowly motoring while dragging the lures behind the boat) and catching fish but the heat got to us and it was time to cool off. You must know by now that I am a diehard river fisherman with a passion for bait picking and smallmouth bass. But first things first, it was time for a swim.
We beached the boat on an island in the middle of the river and proceeded to park our butts in the flowing rift. While the river water is warm now it is cooler in the little rapids and quite enjoyable as well. This always takes me back to my childhood. I spent countless days on the river with my brother, Paul, and good friend Charlie Prula. We would fish in the morning, swim in the afternoon and head home in time to eat dinner before returning to the river for an evening fishing trip. This summer ritual was disrupted at times by summer jobs and family responsibilities but every free moment was on the river. On this particular day, I daydreamed for a while as the rushing Susquehanna River water cooled down my body. It was certainly worth getting out of bed early for.
The river is at a perfect level for sticking your hands under rocks in search of creepy, slimy or pinching critters. The primary goal was to find clippers and catties, both of which by the way make for excellent bass bait. We didn’t have to move at all from our swimming spot because the bait we were picking live under the rocks in the rifts. Armed with a bait can attached to our belt, it was time to pick bait. It didn’t take long to put a half dozen clippers in the bucket.
My fishing gear of choice is a medium action spinning rod and reel with 8 pound test line, a swivel and a number four hook. You may need to put on a little split shot for weight if the current is too strong. The clipper is hooked through the collar between the head and the body. I like fishing this bait by casting it across the river and allowing it to float down through the rocks. The conditions were perfect. The bass were right where we expected them to be and they were hungry. It’s all about the fight for us. We don’t usually keep the bass unless someone asks us for some fresh filets. It didn’t take long to empty the bait bucket which meant another dip and more picking. By stopping on the island we extended out fishing trip during the heat wave and we didn’t mind temperatures. So the next time you are trying to beat the heat without giving up on summer fun. Ask someone to go swimming, bait picking and fishing. I know you’ll enjoy it.
The County Treasurers are busy processing the 2011-12 antlerless deer license applications for round one of the process. Interested resident hunters starting applying for these licenses on July 11th and the nonresident sportsmen can apply beginning tomorrow, July 25th. The Pennsylvania Game Commission is reminding license buyers they now can check the status of their applications on the Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS).
To access the information, go to the Game Commission website ( www.pgc.state.pa.us), and click on the blue box (Buy Your License) in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. Click on the “Purchase Fishing and/or Hunting License Permit and or Application / Replace License and or Permit” option, which includes the ability to “Check on the status of an Antlerless Deer or Elk Application,” scroll down and click on the “Start Here” button at the bottom of the page. At this page simply follow the directions and fill in the necessary information. This may sound like a lot of clicking but it is quite simple once you get on the page.
You can also check and see how many licenses are left where you want to hunt by clicking on the Doe License Update click point on the Game Commission website. This is important because the first round of unsold licenses goes on sale next Monday, August 1st. The second round of unsold licenses go on sale two weeks later on August 15th. You should receive your licenses in plenty of time for the archery season. The County Treasurers have to mail regular and first round of unsold antlerless deer licenses no later than Sept. 12, and second round of unsold antlerless deer licenses no later than Sept. 26.
St. Joseph’s Summer Festival affectionately billed as the biggest backyard picnic in Northeastern Pennsylvania is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Every year during the last full weekend in July, it lives up to its billing, as thousands of people return year after year. This year it will be held next Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 29-30-21. The Festival, which is sponsored by St. Joseph’s Auxiliary, also plays host to WNEP-TV’s Telethon on Friday and Saturday evenings. The excitement at the Festival and Telethon is then enhanced with the arrival of Joe Snedeker as he completes his “Go Joe” bike ride. The Festival will once again take place on the campus at Marywood University just a few hundred yards up University Drive in a large lot just behind the Mellow Center for Athletics and Wellness. Shuttles will be available from the marked parking lots on the campus. There will be plenty of signs to guide visitors in the right direction. For more information you can go to: wnep.com.
Be sure to watch Pennsylvania Outdoor Life tonight at 6:30 p.m. We will show you how to pick clippers in the river and we will head out in search of rare wild orchids. Have a great day!