Friday, June 28, 2013

Game Commission Launches Interactive Mapping Center

HARRISBURG – Looking to spend some time outdoors, but don’t know where to go?

New online feature helps with locating, exploring state game lands.

A new offering from the Pennsylvania Game Commission might hold the answer.
The Game Commission has launched on its website a new Mapping Center that will help users to locate state game lands and other hunting grounds, view topography and aerial photos for tracts, and even find a place to park when they arrive.
Those searching for outdoor-recreation opportunities can search by game lands number, county, region or wildlife management unit. Users also can click on any game lands defined on the map to see a more detailed layout of access roads, parking areas and buildings there. The map can also be set to show hunter access points on private lands.
Outdoor enthusiasts can customize their own maps and bookmark their favorites, and print them out to use afield or to leave directions for where they’ll be.
“The new Mapping Center represents a big upgrade in terms of the quantity and quality of information available,” said Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. “Anyone interested in spending time on state game lands, or other public-access properties, will find it useful.”
A short video on how to use the Mapping Center is available at the, and can be found by clicking on the icon titled “State Game Lands Mapping Center.”  The Mapping Center can be accessed directly at
The Mapping Center was developed in partnership with GeoDecisions.  
This Mapping Center is part of a larger three-year initiative for the Game Commission to improve GIS mapping for state game lands.
“The Mapping Center allows the public to view all the latest information on game lands, as well as locations of hunter access cooperators.” said David B. Gilbert, project manager for GeoDecisions.  “The overlay of Wildlife Management Units allows sportsmen to plan their next day in the field.”

Sunday, June 23, 2013

5th Annual Bull Creek Youth Rifle Tournament Coming In August!

The 5th annual Bull Creek Youth Rifle Tournament will be held Sunday, August 11th, 2013 beginning at 10:00 AM. We will have three age brackets with trophies awarded for first, second and third place in each bracket. The entry fee is $5.00 per entrant.  The age brackets are 8-10, 11-13, 14-16.

Every entrant will in receive a prize bag with items donated by many sponsors who help support this great activity and promote the teaching of safe firearm handling, shooting and marksmanship.

This tournament is open to the public. If you have a son or daughter in any of the age brackets (see entry form) you may print out the the entry form (see below) and either bring it to a monthly club meeting or mail it to the address listed (Do not send money, pay only at the event).

This event has been very successful and offers a great opportunity to learn gun and range safety as well as compete in a structured yet fun atmosphere!  REGISTRATION MUST BE IN BY AUGUST 1st - do not pay until day of the event. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies will be awarded in each age group.

Here is a 3 minute video from the 2011 event:

Click on this form to enlarge and print
Click on this form to enlarge and print

New Smartgun Technology Help Hunters Make Accurate Shots At Extreme Ranges

The firearms industry of the past has had a hard time catching up with the tech revolution of the future. But with the recent launch of a radical new line of sporting arms, the future is now.
At two new product expos this year, an Austin-based start-up company unveiled high-tech sporting arms that enable hunters and recreational shooters to make accurate shots at more than 1,000 yards -- more than a half mile. It even takes photos or video of the shot that can be shared via social media.

Welcome, hunters, to the 21st century. TrackingPoint's smartguns put jet fighter weapons technology in a sporting arm. It's extremely expensive, revolutionary in concept and design, on the cusp of the U.S. gun rights debate and begs philosophical questions regarding sport hunting ethics.

"We're allowing [shooters] to increase their confidence at long ranges," said TrackingPoint CEO Jason Schauble, a former Marine captain who was wounded in Iraq. "It allows you to make ethical shot placement at longer distances. If I can sell you a rifle capable of shooting accurately at 1,000 yards, then at 200 yards it can double or triple your accuracy at that range."

Available so far only from the manufacturer, the smartguns cost $27,500, including ammunition and accessories. They started shipping in May. Schauble says he has at least one customer in Pennsylvania.

The company recently inked a deal to market less expensive versions of the smartguns through Remington, where they'll sell for about $5,000. TrackingPoint is expected to bring in about $10 million this year.

Neither the gun itself nor its ammunition are groundbreaking. It's a .300 or .338 caliber bolt action rifle with a five-round magazine. What's different is that the firing mechanism is hard-wired to the scope -- an optics system that includes a range finder, GPS and camera linked through an embedded Wi-Fi Internet connection to an Ipad.

Like a jet fighter pilot, the shooter views a color display and optically selects, or "paints" and "locks onto," the target. The computer automatically calculates for range, muzzle velocity, drop, cant, spin drift, rotation of the Earth, inclination, pressure, temperature, relative humidity, ballistic and drag coefficients and other variables including tracking moving targets and determining how much to lead.

"The shooter remains in control and manually inputs the windage," said Schauble. "We left windage out [of computer calculations] because this is a sporting arm. We're not guaranteeing the shot -- we're increasing your ability to make it."

When the trigger is pulled, the firing pin is not released until the muzzle is precisely where it needs to be to make the shot.

Schauble says because the smartguns are more accurate at long ranges, they are safer in hunting situations and greatly increase the chances of an ethical clean kill.

"We're using technology to make the mathematical calculations that a marksman would make, enhancing human capabilities so that just about anyone could make an accurate shot at 1,000 yards," said Schauble.

In an interview on Fox News, correspondent Stewart Varney questioned Schauble about the smartgun's role in the national gun safety debate.

"This would put in the hands of a nut the ability to knock someone off at a half mile," said Varney. "...You could turn the population into a population of snipers."

Schauble said he believes most hunters are law abiding, and TrackingPoint customers go through the same vetting process as buyers of other rifles. A computer passcode locks out the shooting system's enhanced functions, permitting their use only with the consent of the gun's owner.

In 2012, the U.S. government requested and was given a demonstration of TrackingPoint smartguns at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia. Schauble said the Department of Homeland Security has expressed no concerns that his products present a greater threat than traditional firearms.
Schauble said TrackingPoint shooting systems are legal for hunting in 47 states. That determination has not been made in Pennsylvania. Game Commission spokesman Travis Lau said there's a general prohibition against any electronic device or contrivance used in the direct taking of an animal. While the agency permitted the use of electronic range finders, lighted arrow knocks and an ignition system for trigger mechanisms, it banned a motion detector hunter alert perimeter system.

To win a thumbs-up, electronic hunting products must be submitted to the Bureau of Wildlife Protection for product evaluation.

"The bureau will recommend to authorize or not authorize the device based upon several factors, but primarily if the product negatively affects the principle of fair chase, humane taking, etc.," said Lau.

If TrackingPoint safely enables a hunter to make a clean, quick kill, it's OK by Jim Tantillo, newly installed as executive director of Orion: The Hunter's Institute. Tantillo is a lecturer in environmental history and ethics for Cornell University; Orion is a non-profit organization that provides viewpoints on ethical and philosophical issues related to fair chase and responsible hunting.

"You could say telescopic sights take out some of the guesswork of open iron sights. Compound bows take less draw than recurve bows. Range finders use electronics to give hunters more information. But all of those things are considered ethical," he said. "On the far end of the spectrum, if we called in drone strikes on animals, that would be unethical."
Tantillo said in most cases when new technology meets hunting, it's a judgement call.
"At Orion we stress the democracy of hunting," he said. "What's better, a switch that prevents wounding an animal or a clean, quick kill? As long as there's fair chase and a humane treatment of the animal, we think individual hunters should decide what's right for them."

Recreational shooting presents a different set of ethical standards, but Keith Savage of Braverman Arms in Wilkinsburg said reducing the skill reduces the thrill.

"I don't see anything ethically wrong with [the TrackingPoint shooting system], but once I made a couple of shots at 1,000 yards I'd probably put it away," he said. "I mean, what's the challenge?"

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Measures Taken To Reduce Invasive Sea Lampreys' Great Lakes Population

Since 1830, sea lampreys have been a menace to the fish populating the Great Lakes. Native to the Atlantic Ocean, they stowed away in the ballast of ocean-going ships where they found their way to Lake Ontario and eventually infested all five of the Great Lakes. Sea lampreys wreaked havoc on fish populations and in some cases nearly wiped them out.

Lakes Ontario, Michigan and Superior are holding at sea lampreys target levels -- numbers authorities believe the lake can tolerate. The target level for Lake Ontario is 40,000 to 50,000 lampreys. "We'd like it to be at zero, but the naked truth is that lampreys are in the lake to stay," Gaden said.

Using their suction like mouths, sea lampreys latch onto the sides of fish and feed off their blood. Marc Gaden, communications director of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC), describes them as "incredibly destructive predators."

In the Great Lakes, sea lampreys prefer to feed on lake trout, steelhead, whitefish and burbot, and are believed to be impacting the populations of those popular angling species. In Lake Erie's Pennsylvania waters, sea lampreys are known to spawn in three popular Erie County steelhead streams.

Earlier this month, the GLFC announced that in New York, a sea lamprey barrier and trap was built was on Orwell Brooke, a tributary that feeds into Lake Ontario's Salmon River. The barrier is one of 70 sea lamprey barriers in all of the great lakes.

The barrier, which was placed as close to Lake Ontario as possible, stops sea lampreys before they can spawn in Orwell Brook. It is designed to allow other migratory fish to go on as normal, and has aluminum stop logs that will be removed outside of the sea lamprey's migratory period.

In its lifespan, one adult sea lamprey can kill 40 pounds of fish. A female sea lamprey can lay 100,000 eggs. Once these eggs have hatched, the larvae burrow into the bottom of stream beds where they stay for three years until they mature into full grown adults and swim into the Great Lakes to wreak their havoc.

Orwell Brook is one of the largest contributors to the sea lamprey population in Lake Ontario. It is downstream from Pekin Brook, another contributor to the sea lamprey population.
Now that the barrier is in place, hundreds of thousands of dollars in treatment will be saved and redirected to other lamprey infected areas of the Great Lakes. One effective lamprey control method is to spray the affected area with TFM, a lampricide that specifically targets lampreys while preserving other fish in the area. This treatment alone costs tens of thousands of dollars.

Orwell Brook will need to be treated one last time before it will remain lamprey free, said Gaden. The strategic location of the barrier ensures that Peking Brook also will be reclaimed from lampreys. Some 15 percent to 20 percent of suitable lamprey habitats have been taken away from the sea lampreys because of the barriers, Gaden said.

Lake Huron is the most problematic of all of the Great Lakes in regards to lampreys. At 280,000 lampreys, it is 200,000 lampreys above target.

Lake Erie also is another problem spot with 10 tributaries in which sea lampreys spawn, including Conneaut, Raccoon and Crooked creeks.

Following a dramatic spike in the number of sea lampreys in the lake, it was treated with lampricide in 2009 and 2010. The expectation that all of the lampreys would be destroyed was dashed when an assessment revealed that lamprey levels were still very high.

The puzzling thing was that no lampreys were found in the tributaries. The Great Lakes Fishery Commission concluded that the lampreys might be coming from St. Clair and Detroit rivers between Lake Huron and Lake Erie. Today lamprey levels in the Lake Erie are higher than they were before lamprey control measures were taken in the lake in the 1960s.
"We will find where they're coming from and we will get them," Gaden said. "We just have to find the source, zero in on it and verify it."

Anglers rarely see the lampreys but sense their impact in diminished quantities of game species. Ed Kissell, vice president of the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie sportsmen's club, said his brother caught a walleye that had a 17-inch lamprey attached to it. Lamprey's generally don't go for walleyes because they have hard scales.

"There could be an increase, possibly, in the population of the lampreys," Kissell said, adding that another possibility was that a large population of walleye might have been targeted by the lampreys because they were easier to get.

In the meantime, sea lampreys are getting in the way of lake trout rehabilitation in the eastern part of Lake Erie. Lake trout usually live for 7 to 8 years and spawn late in life. Many lake trout are killed by lampreys before they have a chance to mature, dramatically reducing the lake trout population.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

PA State Parks Offer Opportunities To Camp Where Bass Are Plentiful

By Bob Frye, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

What's better than a day spent fishing?

Why, two days spent fishing, of course. Any angler who's ever muttered the phrase, “OK, one more cast,” when told it was time to leave the water knows that.

The good news is that with bass season set to open statewide Saturday — anglers will be allowed to harvest six largemouths, smallmouths or spotteds, combined — there's a way to extend your fishing on waters with good numbers of fish.
A number of the region's most productive bass waters are located within or adjacent to state parks where you can spend the night. Moraine, Yellow Creek, Pymatuning, Raccoon Creek, Keystone and Laurel Hill state parks all offer camping around lakes known to hold good populations of bass. Cook Forest and Clear Creek state parks offer access to smallmouth bass on the Clarion River, while Ohiopyle puts you near smallmouth on the Yough and Casselman.
All get their share of campers.
About 160,000 people spent more than 400,000 nights camping in state parks last year, said Department of Conservation and Natural Resources spokesman Terry Brady. In region 2, which takes in the western quarter of Pennsylvania, more than 40,000 people spent about 104,000 nights under the stars.
“Once school's out, most of our campsites, cottages, yurts and cabins are at or near capacity on weekends,” said Kris Baker, manager of Keystone State Park in Westmoreland County.
Which park is best for you depends on what experience you're looking for and just how far you're willing to go to “rough it.”
Some parks accommodate only tents and recreational vehicles. Some have only cabins, cottages and/or yurts. Some have everything.
The Crawford County-based Pymatuning — which accounted for about 25 percent of all camp nights in Western Pennsylvania parks last year — is one of those with traditional camp sites for tents and RVs. Some are on the lake shore, some are in grassy areas and some are in the woods. Cost per night ranges from $19 to $32 per site, based on a variety of factors.
Often, campers choose their site based not so much on cost as the chance to take along everyone in the “family.”
“The electric, pet-friendly sites are the first to go,” said Jason Baker, assistant park manager at Pymatuning. “They're the most expensive, but they're the first to go.”
Sixteen other parks, including Keystone, get tent campers participating in the system's “first-time camper” program. Under its guidelines, people new to sleeping out can rent a site that comes with a tent, sleeping pads, camp chairs, flashlights, lantern, camp stove, and hot dog and marshmallow cookers, among other things, for $20 per night.
Park rangers sometimes help first-timers erect their tents and get started. But as a general rule, most prefer to go it alone, Baker said.
“A lot of people seem to want to experience things on their own. That seems to be part of the appeal of it all,” he said.
The park system's modern cabins, yurts and cottages all offer something different. The cabins are the most home-like, offering indoor bathrooms and showers, appliances, including microwaves, and other comforts. Campers need to bring only their own bedding and cookware.
Yurts and cottages are a step down but hardly primitive.
“They provide sort of a continuum for people not interested in tent camping but who want something a little more rustic than a modern cabin,” said Ken Bisbee, manager of Yellow Creek State Park in Indiana County.
Yurts are round, Mongolian-style canvas tents stretched around wooden frames. There's no indoor plumbing, but they do have stoves, refrigerators and more.
“People love them,” Bisbee said. “You think you're walking into a tent, but they have hardwood floors, doors, countertops, a stove top. They're kind of a neat thing.”
Cottages are like large, fancy one-room sheds. They have heat, bunkbeds, sometimes a table and chairs, and have covered porches, but you have to cook outside.
How long you can or must stay varies by camping option. Modern cabins have to be rented for a week at a time in summer; cottages and yurts usually have a two-night minimum. Tent and RV sites can be rented for as little as one night.
The maximum stay is one week in some cases, two in others.
So even when it comes to combining camping and fishing, you'll have to go home sometime.
But there are sure worse ways to spend time — such as Father's Day weekend — than camping out and fishing for bass.
“I can't think of a better way for grandfathers and fathers to spend their weekend than outside fishing with their sons, daughters and grandkids,” said John Arway, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Pennsylvania Hunting Licenses To Go On Sale June 10th

Hunters, trappers can purchase new tags beginning June 10.

It’s that time again.
Hunting and furtaker licenses for Pennsylvania’s 2013-14 seasons go on sale Monday, June 10. And once again in the 2013-14 license year, all license fees remain unchanged since 1999.
Licenses can be purchased online through the Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS) website,
Licenses also can be purchased over the counter at all Game Commission region offices and the Harrisburg headquarters, as well as through more than 600 in-state and out-of-state issuing agents.
 A list of issuing agents is available at the Game Commission’s website, 2013-14 hunting and furtaker licenses are effective July 1, when the licenses that now are valid expire. The new licenses are valid through June 30, 2014.
The launch of license sales for the upcoming seasons also serves as a reminder for Pennsylvania hunters who hold senior lifetime hunting or furtaker licenses, or combinations of those licenses. While those hunters need not pay a license or transaction fee, they must pick up new licenses and harvest tags.
Licenses purchased through PALS are subject to a 70-cent transaction fee for each license or permit, and that fee is paid directly to the Nashville-based company that runs PALS.
Through PALS, hunters can purchase not only their general hunting and furtaker licenses, but add-on licenses needed for archery or muzzleloader hunting, specialty licenses to hunt bears or set out after second spring gobbler, permits to hunt and trap bobcats and fishers, and more.
In short, what can be purchased from an issuing agent, can be purchased online.
Hunters also can use PALS to apply for the elk-license drawing or purchase Deer Management Assistance Program permits.
Many specialty licenses or permits have application or purchase deadlines, or launch dates for sales.
Fast approaching is the launch date for the sale of antlerless deer licenses. Applications for antlerless deer licenses must be sent by mail using official pink envelopes available from issuing agents or Game Commission offices.
County treasurers statewide on July 8 will begin accepting antlerless license applications from Pennsylvania residents. Nonresidents can apply starting July 29. Beginning Aug. 5, treasurers will begin selling the remaining unsold licenses for any wildlife-management unit for which licenses remain available. A second round of unsold license sales will begin Aug. 19.
Except in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 2B, 5C and 5D, hunters may only apply for one license during each application period. In those WMUs, hunters may apply for an unlimited number of licenses, however, the longstanding tradition of limiting applications to three per envelope remains in place for all applicants.
Over-the-counter antlerless license sales in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D begin Aug. 26.
Meanwhile, the deadline to apply for a 2013 elk license is Aug. 25. Those wishing to hunt bears during the early seasons must purchase licenses by Nov. 22, with bear licenses going back on sale from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1. The deadline to purchase a bobcat or fisher permit is Dec. 20. And those wishing to purchase a second spring gobbler license must do so by May 2, 2014.
Harvest permits through the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) will be available for sale beginning June 10, but hunters should be advised that permits for some properties might not become available until after that date.
DMAP permits will be available once landowner applications are approved and landowners are notified by the Game Commission. If permits for a particular DMAP unit have not gone on sale, hunters can continue to check back until sales begin.
Hunters purchasing their licenses early also might not be able immediately to get a copy of the 2013-14 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest regulations booklet. Some issuing agents won’t receive the booklets until late June. A complete version of the publication is posted on the agency’s website.  And hunters who don’t receive a printed copy of the booklet initially may return to the issuing agent and pick one up after the booklets are delivered.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

2013 Could Be A Big Year For Lyme Disease In Western Pennsylvania

If personal experience and reader reports are reliable indicators, this summer could be a bad one for ticks and Lyme disease in Western Pennsylvania. Since early April, I've removed countless ticks from my clothing. Likewise, I've heard from many readers since late winter who have returned from hunting trips with dogs covered with ticks.
Effective tick prevention medications for dogs are readily available from veterinarians. I can't remember the last time I removed an attached tick from my dog.
We humans, on the other hand, must be more proactive and check for ticks after every outdoor adventure. Fortunately, blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis, formerly called deer ticks) must be attached for at least 24 to 48 hours for the Lyme disease bacterium (Borrelia burgdorferi) to be transmitted.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. In 2011, there were 4,739 confirmed cases in Pennsylvania and 24,364 nationwide. Though Lyme disease can be prevented by vaccination, it is prohibitively expensive and less than 100 percent effective.
The best treatment for Lyme disease is prevention. Avoid tall grass and dense woody vegetation. Wear a 20 to 30 percent DEET-based repellent on clothes and exposed skin. Or wear clothing treated with long-lasting tick repellents. Tuck pant legs into socks and wrap in duct tape. Do frequent tick checks, even while in your own backyard.
If you find an attached tick, here's advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( Do not squeeze the tick and pull it out with your fingers. This will only force possibly contaminated blood into the bite site.
Instead, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. If the mouthparts break off, remove them with the tweezers.
Then clean the area with rubbing alcohol and soap and water.
If a few days later, you find a telltale bull's-eye rash or develop symptoms such as chills, fever, headache, achy muscles, swollen lymph nodes and/or fatigue, see a physician.

Bluegills Provide Fishermen A Guilty Pleasure

By Bob Frye, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Consider the plight of the bluegill.
They're abundant, populating everything from your local farm pond to the mighty Susquehanna River. They're feisty on light tackle. They taste good on the table. And they're aggressive, willing biters: Everyone who's ever dunked a worm has caught one.
Tons of people fish for them, too. More than a quarter of all American freshwater fishermen, about 7.3 million people nationwide, targeted panfish — meaning bluegills and pumpkinseeds — in 2011, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They spent more than 97 million days angling.
Only bass put more people on the water more often.
“They're the unexpected star of fishing,” said Richard Aiken, an economist with the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Yet, for all that, the species is the finny equivalent of Rodney Dangerfield, sans the plaid “Caddyshack” jacket. They get no respect.
“I've always liked them. But to say that is like revealing a dirty little secret,” said Ryan McCaw of Iowa, author of the book “Secrets to Catching More and Bigger Bluegill.”
“Everyone fishes for them. They just don't want to admit it.”
Size may be the issue.
Bluegills can get big. Pennsylvania's state record is an almost unimaginable fish. Pulled from Keystone Lake in Armstrong County in 1983 by Tom Twincheck of Blairsville, it weighed 2 pounds, 9 ounces. A replica of it hangs in the lobby of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's headquarters in Harrisburg.
It looks like a soccer ball with fins and a tail.
“It does look like a fake bluegill, it's so big,” said Bob Lorantas, warmwater unit leader for the commission, with a laugh. “It's huge.”
But the standard for a nice bluegill is considerably smaller. Commission biologists generally call a 7-inch fish a “quality” one. A 9-incher is a real dandy, and anything over 10 is a certifiable whopper.
Ah, but don't be fooled.
“Everybody kind of thinks that panfish like bluegills are easy to catch. And that can be true,” said Greg Martin of McElhatten, director of the Northeast Panfish League, a Pennsylvania-based tournament trail. “But to get the big ones, that's another thing.”
Like bass or any other game fish, bluegills have seasonal patterns.
Once near-shore water temperatures hit about 70 degrees, bluegills start to spawn. They excavate shallow, dinner plate-shaped nests near the bank. They'll be obvious. Bluegills are “colonial” nesters, so if you find one, you'll usually find dozens, Lorantas said.
Bluegills, and especially males, called “bulls,” can be aggressive and easy to catch then, as angler catch-rate data suggests. Fishermen land as many bluegills per hour in June as at any time of year, according to the commission. Catch rates stay high into fall.
But if you're after big fish rather than sheer numbers, it pays to expand your thinking, McCaw said.
Sometimes that means moving away from shore, especially after the spawn ends, he said.
“Once a bluegill gets to eight or 10 inches, most bass can't do them much harm, so they move into that deeper open water. They just cruise. I'll often catch my biggest ones out in the middle of a pond,” McCaw said.
Turning to bigger lures is also important.
“I've found that using bigger baits, almost like you'd use for crappies, gets me more big bluegills,” McCaw added.
He prefers something 1- to 2-inches long. Sometimes that means a crankbait like a Yo-Zuri snap bean. More often he uses a soft plastic bait, tipped with Crappie Nibbles if it's not already scented, on 4-pound monofilament or 6-pound Berkley NanoFil line.
His specialty, though, is his “Iowa tube rig,” which is a tube jig rigged backwards, so that the hook point comes out near the head.
“The more legs the bait seems to have, the more the bluegills seem to like it,” McCaw said.
Martin also likes bigger, unusual baits. He fishes jigs that he and friends tie and often uses more than one at a time.
“If fish have been caught and thrown back a time or two, they can get shy about one particular lure profile. So sometimes, if you can show them something they haven't see yet, that can be a big plus,” Martin said.
“And sometimes we double up, with a dropper or multiple lures on one line. It's not like the fish can count, but if it looks like there's more bait in the area, it may seem like a bait pod and that might trigger them to start feeding.”
No matter the technique, though, bluegills are a great fish, and lots of fun to catch, Lorantas said. Opportunities to get into them right now are “phenomenal,” he added.
McCaw is a fan and not afraid to admit it.
“When they get to 10 or 12 inches, bluegills are as tough to catch as anything,” he said. “And smallmouth bass are the only other fish I know that fights as hard.”