THE GREAT OUTDOORS
by Larry Whiteley
A SUMMER EVENING
The summer evening is dark, the air is warm, and I drift into a secluded cove. Swallows dip and swoop, crickets chirp madly, bats dive at insects in the night sky, frogs croak their chorus of songs, and the sun sets the sky is ablaze with red, pink and violet.
I drop my topwater bait between an old stump and a small patch of grass. It lay’s there for a moment while I breath in air laden with the pungent scents of summer like honeysuckle and new mown hay.
I twitch the rod tip and the water explodes. The bass tail walks to deeper water, trying to pitch that nasty tasting thing out of its mouth. Then he dives, taking my drag out as he goes deep. He gains a little and then I get it back until finally I lift him out of the water, admire him for a moment, and then slip him back into his watery home.
I hope there are a lot more summer evenings like this in my life before the good Lord calls me home.
If your wife asks if you are planning on going fishing this weekend, do not laugh and say, “That’s a good one honey”. If she doesn’t smile, looks at you with squinted eyes and says “It’s either me or fishing” do not hesitate while you stand there and make a prolonged humming sound.
A TIP TO TRY
If fishing action is slow, try slapping and splashing the water with your boat paddle. That may seem kind of crazy but the commotion sounds like feeding fish and could attract nearby crappies and white bass to come in and take your bait.
WATCH OUT FOR SUMMER LIGHTNING
Summertime means a lot of people are spending more time in the great outdoors. Summer is also the peak season for a deadly weather occurrence– lightning. We average 51 lightning fatalities per year in the U.S.
If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you so get off the water and stay there at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.
There are actual laws still on the books in cities and states across America that are just a little bit looney and here are just a few of them.
In Tennessee it is illegal to use a lasso to catch fish. It is illegal to get a fish drunk in Oklahoma. In Chicago it is illegal to fish in your pajamas.
One of the many looney laws in Washington D.C. says it is illegal to catch fish while on horseback. Of course laws aren’t the only thing looney in Washington.
Philosophers, poets, and wise men of all times have always promoted the rejuvenating and creative qualities of a few moments of solitude spent in the outdoors. Most hunters and anglers know this whether they can verbally express it or not.
Staying connected to the natural world is vital to many of us, and that’s as good of an excuse as any to grab the rod and reel, the gun or bow and go get connected in our great outdoors.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
“In every walk in with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
– John Muir