It is hard to believe that, by the time you read this, there will be only three weeks of summer left, but it’s true. There is already a hard to describe feeling in the air, and if you look closely, the leaves are just not quite as green as they were earlier. Night sounds are different now, too.
You know, there are very, and I mean very, few good things about the end of summer. One of those rarities, however, is the fast and furious fishing for panfish that autumn often brings about. For some reason, the little critters go on a feeding frenzy as the water temperatures begin to cool in the fall. This is one of the best times of the whole year to fill the freezer with tasty filets. When you thaw out and eat some fresh panfish in the dead of winter, it sort of transports you, if only momentarily, back to the joys of summer. This week, let’s take a little look at some of these panfishing opportunities.
As the waters begin to cool, the panfish often move to the warmer shallow areas where they were so plentiful in the spring. These are the areas on which to focus your autumn efforts. In area lakes, like Arthur, Kahle, Wilhelm, and Pymatuning, the catches can be truly fantastic. The action normally lasts right through the month of October, especially if the weather stays on the warm side. Since we’ve looked at baits and techniques for these tasty scrappers in the past, it’s not necessary to go over them again. One side though; fall is the best time of all to fish for perch in Lake Erie. Lots of perch charters are available at reasonable prices. In fact, my son and I have one coming up this week. I’ll let you know how it turns out. You can also go out in your own boat. Fishing from the many piers in Erie is also really hot in the fall. If you’ve never fished Lake Erie, here is your chance. Don’t miss out.
Recently, I came across an advertisement for the “ultimate bluegill bait.” I sent off and bought some, but I have yet to try it. Due to so much rain, water conditions have been terrible, in both the river and the bluegill ponds.
Now, for a fish recipe, which works really well with panfish filets, although just about any fish will do. Chowder is nothing less than an American tradition, and here is a simple recipe. It’s a combination of a number of recipes I’ve seen over the years, with some little additions from yours truly. The quantities I’ll list here will produce about six servings. You can vary the amounts to suit your situation.
Start off with five medium potatoes, diced. Next, dice up six or seven baby carrots and four green onions, greens, and all. Boil ‘em until they’re tender, then add chunks of fish of your choice. When the fish is done, add about a pint of milk, two tablespoons of olive oil, and about a quarter stick of butter. Then, pour in a can of whole kernel corn. Warm it back up, but be careful not to boil the milk. Salt and pepper to taste and serve with oyster crackers. This is a meal in itself. You don’t really need anything else to go with it.
This brings me to my final point for this week. As I have often stated in the past, I find it disgusting that senior hunters are not exempt from antler restrictions when it comes to deer hunting. If junior license holders and little kids who do not even have a license are exempt, why not those of us who paid for licenses for all those years