It has been hot! Not the most pleasant time to be on the water. I've had many questions recently about how to catch fish in the heat, particularly bass. Well, spinnerbaits are one of the best baits to toss at bass, especially during these summer heat spells. It is one of my favorite baits for both largemouth and smallmouth bass. I'll also use spinnerbaits on northern pike and musky when I have the opportunity. It is a very versatile lure.

One of the reasons I like these lures is that they allow me to cover a lot of water…. FAST. I can troll them, let them flutter up and down with a jigging action or let them bump along the bottom so I know what the shape of the bottom is like, and that can tell me where the fish are.

I like a smaller Colorado style blade. I believe this kind of blade makes more vibration in the water and that means more fish probably notice it. In clearer waters, the flash given off by a Colorado blade is quite noticeable to the human eye above the surface. Imagine what it must look like to a fish.

I am often asked about lure colors for different water conditions. Basically, I follow these rules:

1 - Fish bright or fluorescent colored spinnerbaits in murky or muddy water conditions.

2 - Fish duller or natural colored spinnerbaits in clear water.

When it's hot like it has been, bass tend to go deep during the day and feed in shallower water during low light conditions. A spinnerbait is a great bait to try at dawn and dusk!

It doesn't seem to matter whether you use a bent wire or in-line design, spinnerbaits catch fish. In addition to the small Colorado bent wire design I use, I also like the Yakima Rooster Tail.

The key with either bait, or any spinner bait you favor, is getting the lure to where the fish are, and I as said earlier, they tend to be deep right now. Sometimes I have to put a few pieces of split shot ahead of my bait to get it deep enough.

Another thing to keep in mind is matching the size of your spinnerbait to your quarry. If you are getting a lot of short strikes, this is often an indication that you are using too big of a bait. Take in down a couple of sizes and try it again. The next time you are out on the water, toss a spinnerbait or two. I'll bet you start catching more fish.

Dove season

It's not too early to think about dove season, which opens September 1. Dove are the most numerous game bird on the North American continent. Depending on who's population estimate you read, there are somewhere between 400 and 500 million doves. Less than five percent of the doves are estimated to be taken during the hunting seasons.

Nebraska hunters have an opportunity to harvest three different species of doves: the mourning dove, the Eurasian collared dove and the white wing dove. The last couple of years I have taken all three species on my opening day hunt. Good luck this dove season!

New Ruger

I've always liked the .357 as a hunting round, particularly in river bottoms with thick cover. Ruger just announced it is offering its famous M-77 series rifle chambered in .357 Magnum. It has a five-round rotary magazine and comes in the Ruger All-Weather configuration, which includes a stainless steel barrel, stainless steel receiver and a black composite stock. It has fully adjustable iron sights and can also be fitted with rings for a scope. I like the looks of this rifle!

Dutch oven

cook-off

Ace Hardware in North Platte will be hosting a unique Dutch oven cook-off on August 20 as part of their 50-year anniversary sale. This contest is designed to find the best overall camp cooks. Each team will have to prepare a main dish, a dessert and cook up a pot of their best camp coffee. I have never seen and contest that required camp coffee to be made, so this should be interesting. Cash prizes will be awarded: $100 for the first place team, $50 for second place and $25 for third. You can get a complete set of rules by stopping by Ace Hardware during normal business hours. See you there!

FNRA banquet

Remember to keep this date open on your calendar. September 10 will be the date of the next Friends of the National Rifle Association (FNRA). The event will be held in Ogallala at the Platte River Inn, 201 Chuckwagon Road. Doors will open at 5:30pm (that's Mountain Time), dinner will be about 7 p.m., and an auction will begin about 8 p.m. All the money raised by the FNRA goes to promote and support the shooting sports. Tickets for the event are $25/person. For more information, or to purchase your tickets, call 308-660-1937 or 308-284-8997.

Family

Fishing Night

If you are looking for a very inexpensive and fun way to share some quality family time, check out the Family Fishing Night being hosted by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) on August 10. The site will be Iron Horse Lake near the Veterans Memorial. It's free, the NGPC has tackle to loan out if you don't have your own, and they even supply the bait. How much easier can it get? Remember the date, August 10, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Iron Horse Lake.

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