My Facebook pages

Robert Montgomery

Why We Fish

Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies

Pippa's Canine Corner 

 

 

Loading..
Loading..
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Loading..
Loading..
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Loading..
Loading..
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Loading..
Loading..
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Get Updates! and Search
No RSS feeds have been linked to this section.

 

 

 

 

Entries in night fishing (4)

Friday
Dec012017

Why We Fish: Time Travel

I fish almost exclusively with artificial baits for bass and other game fish.

But once a year, I dig some worms, clean the dust off my catfish gear, pack some hotdogs and marshmallows, and spend the night tightlining for catfish on a lake or river. In recent years, mostly I go down to the little lake behind my house.  No chance of catching flatheads there, but, in my mature years, watching moonlight dance on the still water more than makes up for that. It doesn’t hurt either that the channel catfish usually are cooperative.

I never thought much about why I was doing this until this latest trip. I was alone for a change and watching the yellow flames of my campfire burn into blue when, suddenly, I was transported.

(Excerpt from "Time Travel" in Why We Fish: Reel Wisdom From Reel Fishermen.)

Tuesday
Aug022016

Summer Fishing and Campfires

Summer is prime time for campfires. Here's a memory of my first, when I was 12 and on my first overnight fishing, which included my first time in a boat and my first time drinking coffee:

Until then, I had been allowed to “camp out” only in our back yard and only when the temperature was predicted to stay above 70 degrees. But when I was twelve, my father’s friend took me to fish for catfish below Bagnell Dam at Lake of the Ozarks.

We didn’t do much catching.  In the cool, early morning hours below the dam, I managed to boat a small white catfish and Joe didn’t catch anything. The coffee seemed bitter to taste buds accustomed to the sweet taste of Coca Cola, but I welcomed its heat on my insides as I shivered in the mist and watched for a bite.

We arrived the night before and Joe immediately built a fire to ward off the chill of air cooled by water cascading through the hydropower dam. I don’t recall anything about how he did it or whether I helped. But I do remember how warm and cozy the fire made me feel as I lay in my sleeping bag and drifted off to sleep, listening to the nearby turbulence.

And I remember what I saw when I awakened sometime in the pre-dawn: A mother skunk and two little ones. With tails held high, they strolled brazenly between me and the dying embers. Like window shoppers, they inspected rocks, fishing tackle, and even my shoes . . .

*     *     *     *

What happened? Find out by reading "Campfire Cooking" in Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies: Growing Up with Nature.


Wednesday
Jun182014

Night Ban Imposed to Protect Sagging Walleye Fishery at Mille Lacs

Removal of the minimum length requirements for bass is but one of the new regulations recently implemented at Minnesota’s Mille Lacs Lake in hopes of bolstering the sagging walleye fishery.

But it is the extension of the nighttime fishing ban until Dec. 1, instead of lifting it in mid-June, that has stirred the most controversy. That’s because summer anglers like to pursue walleyes after dark.

“It’s like a dagger to the economy up here,” said Bill Eno of Twin Pines Resort.

Guide Jason Hamemick added, “They’re going to have to figure something else out because this is blowing up right now.”

Others think that the “bad publicity” generated by the change in regulations is worse than the reality.

The reality, meanwhile, is that walleye numbers are at a 40-year low, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“The current walleye regulation and extended night fishing ban will protect upcoming year classes of young walleye, adult spawning stock, and help ensure the harvest stays within the safe harvest level,” said Don Pereira, fisheries chief.

By contrast, northern pike numbers are at record highs, and the smallmouth bass population has been increasing since the 1990s.  But populations of tullibee and perch, both important forage species, are relatively low.

“The new regulations reflect our commitment to improving the walleye fishery as quickly as possible with as little harm to the local economy as possible,” Pereira added.

“More liberal northern pike and smallmouth bass regulations speak to the fact these species can withstand additional pressures because their populations are at or near record highs.”

For bass, the creel limit remains at six, with no minimum size. Only one can be longer than 18 inches.

Previously, smallmouths had to be between 17 and 20 inches, with one longer than 20 permitted. Additionally, Mille Lacs will be exempt from the statewide catch-and-release smallmouth rule that goes into effect in mid-September.

The northern pike limit has been increased from 3 to 10, with one of more than 30 inches allowed.

For walleyes, daily and possession limits remain unchanged at two fish of 18 to 20 inches, with one of more than 28 inches allowed.

Monday
Jul092012

Anglers Argue Fishing Better by Light of Full Moon

Shamelessly exploitative image of fishing by moonlight. From the Fantasy Within Collection by Lorlei.

Many bass fishermen will tell you that fish bite better at night just before, during, and just after a full moon. Others like the new moon. Little evidence, however, supports the notion that bass eat more at night during certain phases of the moon.

Little evidence, that is, except angler success. And who’s to argue with that?

“It’s definitely not a coincidence that a lot of big fish are caught three days before and after a full moon,” according to C.B. Bowlin, a legendary Illinois guide and tournament fisherman.

Secret: Just before, during, and after a full moon, you’re more likely to catch bass, especially largemouths, by fishing from dusk until midnight, when the moon is high. With a new moon, your best bet will be from midnight until dawn.

Still, the fact remains that bass don’t see well at night, even under a full moon in a clear sky. If they are biting better during this time, perhaps it is because insects, at the base of the food chain, are more active and this, in turn, triggers heightened activity all the way up to the top predators.

“It’s my gut feeling that changes in the weather, whether temperature, pressure, day length, or light, may be affecting lower things on the food chain. These are things we can’t measure, but they have a profound influence on bass behavior,” says Gene Gilliland, a fisheries biologist and tournament angler.

Put some clouds over a full moon, though, and you darken the theory that more insect activity is occurring because of increased light. On the other hand, if the water is clear, it makes sense that aquatic life will be more active than it would be in murky water, because moonlight can better penetrate--- even when filtered by clouds. Perhaps that is why night fishing is most popular on clear-water impoundments.

In saltwater, no question exists that the moon affects when and how well fish will bite. That’s because the moon determines the length and strength of tides, and this tidal flow turns fish on and off. Typically, fish bite better on incoming tides, as they wash in food and allow predators to move into previously inaccessible shallows.

But high tides also can provide good fishing in some waters, as can outgoing tides. Outgoing tides, though, will send fish in the other direction, and anglers must act accordingly if they want to catch them.

You can learn more about how the moon and weather affect bass fishing by reading my book, Better Bass Fishing. Buy it from me, Amazon, or other booksellers.