August is normally the month that outdoor activities lean toward the more laid-back approach and primarily consist of less strenuous and less serious endeavors. It’s the month that sees the most barbecues and clambakes scheduled. Lakeside camp owners are enjoying what is traditionally the winding down of their properties’ peak annual usage. With the return to school looming nearer, it’s the month many youngsters spend more time fishing for eager-to-cooperate sunfish with their parents or grandparents. But there are a couple other activities for those in the know that can get as hot as an August day.
Because of their tolerance for warmer water temperatures, largemouth bass remain active right through the hottest weeks of the summer. While other gamefish species tend to spend the bulk of the daylight hours being inactive, largemouths will continue to be opportunistic when it comes to feeding and will attack any unfortunate prey that comes too close to the bass’ shaded cover structure.
The surprising thing about largemouths during the peak summer water temperatures is where they’ll often be located. They’re as apt to be found in a foot of water close to shore as in the ten-foot depths farther out. For this reason, surface lures cast within a foot of the shore can often produce excellent results. And few experiences in angling are more exciting than having a large bass explode on a surface lure in ultra shallow water. For fishing in the deeper waters, plastic worms and jig-and-pigs, worked very slowly along bottom are usually effective.
Another heat-of-summer angling opportunity involves one of the more unlikely gamefish candidates – trout. Specifically, rainbow trout living in lakes. This is nighttime fishing and the most successful technique also involves a very unlikely approach, seemingly more applicable to bullheads than trout. It consists of fishing from an anchored boat in the deeper portions of the lake where the trout retreat to during the heat of summer. Normally the depth being fished will be one of the deepest sections, at least 30 feet, and a sonar unit is very helpful in locating the prime trout concentrations.
Usually within an hour or two after full darkness sets in, the trout, normally swimming in schools, will begin to rise from the bottom and suspend somewhere between bottom and the surface, where they’ll begin to feed. The angler simply lowers his bait, the most popular being a hooked worm with a few kernels of whole corn added, down to the same level as the school of trout are holding, and then waits for one to bite.
Generally speaking, the favored depth for catching nighttime rainbow trout is 20-30 feet, but sometimes the school will be deeper or shallower, which is why a sonar is so helpful. If the bait is just a few feet above or below the school’s holding depth, fewer fish will be caught. So experienced anglers keep close track of the exact depth the trout are and adjust their bait depths accordingly.
Many of our local lakes and ponds harbor good populations of largemouths. Chenango Lake, Balsam Pond, Guilford Lake, Long Pond, Jackson Pond, Hunts Pond and Millbrook Reservoir being a few. The Madison County reservoirs of Eatonbrook, Bradleybook, Tuscarora and Hatch also contain largemouths. Rainbow trout can be found in Guilford Lake, Millbrook Reservoir, Bowman Lake, Eatonbrook and Bradleybrook reservoirs.
Did You Know ...?
The Internet continues to open whole new worlds on the information highway. Looking for information about a certain subject? Just “Google it” and let the search engine ferret out potential web sites that contain information on the subject. That’s the good news. The bad is that so much of what appears on the Net is downright garbage – falsehoods, misinformation or downright lies. It’s estimated that less than 70 percent of the “factual” information posted is truly factual. So be careful. That said, here are some relatively accurate and entertaining tidbits, mostly pertaining to the outdoors, that I found both interesting and, with some, humorous
Mosquito repellents don’t repel. They hide you. The spray blocks the mosquito’s sensors so they don’t know you’re there.
Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are 50 years of age or older.
Turtles can breathe through their butts, and butterflies taste with their feet.
A snail can sleep for three years.
A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death.
The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It’s like a human jumping the length of a football field...