The Herald Bulletin

April 10, 2013

Rick Bramwell: Local anglers bring home crappie prize


For The Herald Bulletin

— On March 29 and 30, Crappie USA held its Lake Cumberland $10,000 Super Event at Somerset, Ky. Some 98 anglers from 14 states were competing for not only cash and prizes but a chance to advance to the prestigious Cabela’s Crappie USA Classic.

This year’s classic will be held October 23 to 26 on Kentucky Lake at Paris, Tenn., an area I enjoy fishing. A couple of local anglers had their hands deep in the cookie jar.

Taking first place was the team of Thomas Hankins of Indianapolis and Ron Bilbry of Anderson with a two-day total weight of 20.95 pounds, earning them $2,500. The team also earned an additional $120 for second-biggest crappie of the event which weighed in at 2.21 pounds.

Hankins and Bilbry were spider rigging 3 to 5 feet of water in Caney Creek using glow/chartreuse jigs. Bilbry said, “The bite got much better as the sun got up.”

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As of this writing, Tuesday evening, the wood was dry and needing rain to bring forth morels. Hopefully, you and I are finding some by today.

There is something else I am waiting for and that needs the same moisture as morels, wild asparagus. Last fall, I wrapped bread ties on fences above the wild asparagus. I have been checking those spots, but there are as yet no signs of life.

Once they take off, one can wait too long. Cut the tender shoots a little above ground. Keep going back, the asparagus will regenerate. Fried morels and steamed wild asparagus go very well together. Add fresh caught bluegill and you really have a treat.

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Last November, I jumped two covey of quail — one behind my barn, the other a mile down the road. I never saw them again and wondered if they survived the winter. I put shelled grain along the fence rows after deer season, hoping all wildlife in need will take advantage. Unfortunately, I have not heard the familiar bob white whistle all spring.

Late Tuesday evening, I took Daisy for a walk down the road. It had been windy all day, but was beginning to lay.

On the way back, something caught my ear. I concentrated, trying to separate the wind from the sound coming 300 yards from a fence row. There it was again, bob, bob, white. The narrow slice of cover, running through a picked cornfield, was alive with quail calling to roost.

I first heard the quail at 8:15 p.m. By 8:24, all was quiet.

The 17 years I have lived in South Madison County have been blessed with quail. There never seems to be an abundance, and I wish there was more I could do, but maybe I have done just enough.

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The 18th annual Becoming an Outdoors-Woman is May 3 through 5 at Ross Camp in West Lafayette. The workshop is open to women ages 18 and older and limited to 100 participants.

Registration is on now at IndianaBOW.com and costs $185.

The program is designed for women to learn outdoor skills in a relaxed, low-pressure environment.