July’s Outdoor Column

Here we are in July and it sure has been hot.  One would never know that we are only a month away from the beginning of the squirrel hunting season. The season starts the first of August in Illinois and August 15th in Indiana.  It just doesn’t seem possible that we are this close to the start of hunting season and, if this hot weather continues, your squirrel might be already cooked before it hits the ground.

There are many theories on how to take a big bass during the heat of summer.

All fish have to feed but the really big bass feed less often especially in this heat. Fish are like people; they like to be comfortable during the hot days.  Just like we seek out air conditioning in the summer, fish seek out cooler water during the summer and that cooler water is in the deeper parts of lakes and ponds.  Fish also seek out water where there is plenty of oxygen as well.

Perfect conditions are not always at the bottom of the lake as the actual bottom may have less oxygen, therefore fish suspend.  Fish suspend in water that offers them the proper amounts of both temperature and oxygen. Trolling often becomes a popular way to fish during the heat of summer.  Trolling allows an angler to find suspended fish. Lures that suspend at certain depths are used for just this purpose.

Many of these suspended fish can be found with a good fish locator.  Even if you find fish at a certain depth this doesn’t mean they will bite! The technique is very important in catching suspended fish.  Sometimes you can just run your lure through a group of suspended fish and catch one right after another.  Other times they won’t even look at your lure unless it is doing something that will make them strike such as momentarily stopping it or jerking it once you get it down to the perfect depth.

Color is also a very important factor in taking suspended fish.  Choose a color that resembles a food source in the lake; shad, perch, bass, and crayfish are just several you have to start with. The heat of summer allows you to experiment with new ideas to take fish during the heat.

There is still a lot of summertime left to fish and the fall fishing around Illinois and Indiana is normally a great time to get out. Your local Big R Store carries all the supplies you need for hunting and fishing as well as many items for preparing your catch or your game.  Stop in your local store to see what all is there to help you this summer and fall.


About Sam Van Camp

Born: Danville, Illinois | Married: Pam Van | Lives: Georgetown, Illinois | High School: Danville High School | College: Danville Area Community College, Eastern Illinois University | Degree: Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology with Minor in Botany | Specialties Areas: Master’s Degree – Fisheries Biology, Mammalogy, Herpetology | Previous Jobs: School Teacher – Basic Biology 36 years Outdoor Writer – 38 years (1 Book Published “Jitterbug Collector’s Guide State and Federally Licensed Taxidermist – 35 yearsWood Carver specializing in song birds, birds of prey and waterfowl 46 years | Hobbies: Bass Fishing, Hunting, Collecting Fishing Lures