- As summer continues do not forget to wear your personal flotation device while on the lake or river. In the past couple of weeks, several people have downed in the Cumberland River swimming. Even if you are a great swimmer, do not underestimate the power of the current in the waterways. If you need new PFD’s many places have them for under ten dollars.
- Don’t forget to apply for the TWRA big game quota hunts. You have until the end of the month. The drawings are free for anyone who has a sportsman’s license or you can pay a small fee to enter.
- Now is a good time to start thinking about the fall hunting season. In the next few weeks deer will start to move into the fields more in the evenings. Many times I found out what size bucks are around by watching the fields near sundown in July and August.
Beat the Summer Heat
If you were to ask my wife and kids they would say I have three seasons in my life; hunting, fishing and football (I am a teacher and coach). I would say they are pretty spot on, however, this time of year can be trying. When the heat really cranks up in the summer, I struggle to find outdoor activities. With that being said, there are a few activities that will draw me outside this time of year other than football.
One great summer activity is wade fishing. There are countless rivers and streams in our area that will allow you to chill out and fish. You only need an old pair of shoes and a fishing rod and you can get started. I love to just wade along and fish a red worm under a small bobber. In the last week, I have seen largemouth, smallmouth, catfish and bluegill all fall for this simple presentation. I like to cast back under overhanging trees. Bass and other game fish tend to like the shaded area to ambush prey.
Another way to beat the heat and enjoy outdoor activities is to go out at night. One of the simplest outdoor activities on a summer night is frog hunting. This can be done in several different ways including using a gig or bow to harvest frogs. No matter how you hunt them, it will be fun and if successful you will have a good meal for the next day. I personally think wild caught frog legs can be better than fish.
Lastly, if you own a boat or have access to one, spend and evening on a big lake or river. I prefer the lower half of Cheatham Lake. Throughout the summer the TVA and Army Corp of Engineers have to generate a good amount of hydroelectricity at the local dams. This keeps the water in the lake moving and keeps big fish actively feeding. I like to get to the lake about three hours before sundown. I search for holes that have numerous bluegill and catch ten or twelve to put in the live-well. I then look for a good ledge in a bend of the river channel and anchor. Once in position I bait up an 8/0 circle hook with one of the bluegill. I toss it out, put the rod in a rod holder, and wait. With any luck a big flathead catfish will come cruising by, take the bluegill and give you the thrill of a lifetime.