With our weather so uncomfortably hot with the coming of our typical summer temperatures, it's time to pass by the daytime heat for fishing at night with its bit of coolness to keep us at the water. Even getting to the water in the very early morning hours when it's still a bit on the cool side will give us decent fishing opportunities until the morning heat arrives to chase us away. Just be sure to take along plenty of drinking water and stay wet.
Game and Fish reminds us a lot of boat anglers like to use crappie lights to attract fish. The light attracts the photoplankton (microscopic organisms) which in turn attract shad (bait fish), and the shad attract the larger predatory fish such as largemouth and crappie, bluegill or sunfish as well. “Just watching the plankton, shad and fish that hang around the light can be mesmerizing. When you see largemouth and crappie attack the shad in the light, it gets downright exciting,” said public information officer Rory Aikens, in an article he wrote years back that is still true today.
For night-time anglers using minnows, use light line (no more than six pounds), a number 6 hook, and a small split shot. Some like to use a bobber or slip bobber. “With youngsters, using a bobber or slip bobber is an especially good idea because they can often see when a fish takes the bait,” Aikens said.
If you fish with a two-pole stamp, fishing at different depths using minnows, or using two different types of fishing techniques works well. One pole can be set-up with live minnows for bass and crappie, while the other is set-up with liver or stinkbait for catfish, or corn for catfish and carp.
Because of the heat, bass will most times bury up in the brush and weeds in shallow water. To catch them, you must present your bait right in the heavy stuff. As it gets light, bass will be in the shady areas. To be successful, you must put your bait as close to them as possible.
Like crawdads? If you like to catch and eat crawdads, Game and Fish suggests they can be cooked in the water you've used for cooking corn on the cob (you can also add a packet of crab boil to the water). Boil the water, then take the pot off the heat and put in the crawdads. They're done when bright red in color. It takes about 5 minutes. Crack with crab crackers or pliers (most times, the best meat is in the tail). A very tasty treat!
• Desert Bass Anglers “The Fun Way to Fish”: Even with it being breezy and overcast along with our typical 114 degree heat, 21 boats braved the weather to have a good day on the water taking 17 limits for their effort. First place honors for most pounds and big fish went to Jim Waits, fishing by himself, with a total of 19.88 along with his whopping big bass weighing 8.57. Brenton Lute/Ryan Diener placed second with 18.09 followed by father and son team Steven and Kalib Lund in third place with 17.78 as well as the number 2 big fish 5.85. Placing fourth was Burton Lewis Jr./Shawn Gillespie with 15.11. Winning the junk fish option was Jerry Janda/Joe Estrada with a 3.58 catfish. Stay in practice for the Aug. 3 Colorado River Team Tournament. New anglers with tournament approved boats are welcome to fish the first time with the club as a non-member, after that annual dues are $15 ($10 each additional family member). Details will be forthcoming or call Mac or Bobbi McDermott at 726-1984.
• Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club: July 13-14 Combo Bass/Catfish Derby is open to the public. Entry $10 per species with fishing at any legal waters — lakes, rivers, canals, etc. Sign-up at Sportsman's Hideaway from now until 5 p.m. Friday. Begin at safe light Saturday with weigh-in at 7 a.m. sharp — 1 bass, 1 catfish — at Fisher's Landing by the boat ramp July 14. Call Billy Morgan 210-2478 with questions.
• Yuma Pro Am Draw Team Series: Sign-up online is open now for the July 28 Bass Tournament launching out of Fisher's Landing with the draw meeting at Baron Fuels July 27. Visit Bob La Londe at YumaProAm.com. A good way for beginners as well as experienced fisherman to get together to learn and share the tricks of catching bass at local waters. Results of the June tournament will be forthcoming.
• Wednesday Jackpot Derby: Sign-up $5 at Fisher's Landing boat dock at 8 a.m. each Wednesday with the biggest fish weighed in, any species, taking the pot. To fish the Swede Ferguson Monthly Memorial Bass Derby, sign-up $10 anytime during the month and weigh-in at Fisher's gas dock. The winner is determined the last day each month. Call Jimmy Phipps at 782-2207 about these as well as the annual Slim Evans Memorial Catfish Derby also held this time of year.
• Bass Class on the Water: Learn how, when and where to catch bass at Yuma area waters along with all the tricks of the trade by calling Dave Willhide at 726-2621 for a day on the water with bass boat and all gear provided. Ask about bass fishing seminars for RV parks and home groups.
• American Bass night series: If you'd like to get in some fishing in the (cooler) San Diego area, call Jim Sleight at 1-619-447-0244 or visit email@example.com or www.sdteamseries.com.
• Renegade Archers of Yuma: All archers are welcome to shoot the trail of 3D animals a 8 a.m. Sunday at the Foothills Archery Range. Because of the summer heat, when planning to shoot with bow and arrows, it's a good idea to bring along plenty of drinking water and wear a hat. Adult shoot fees are very reasonable and youngsters always shoot free. Call Jean Wilson at 247-4450 or Kevin Wilson at 726-0953. Equipment is available with the use, also free, by contacting Jean prior to the Sunday shoot.
• Yuma Trap and Skeet Club: Open trap and skeet 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Sundays at Adair Park. Call Gary Knight at 329-0960. Keep checking on this column for news of the annual turkey shoot at the range in August to help us get ready for dove season beginning Sept. 1.
• Yuma Territorial Longrifles Club: Open black powder matches 1st and 3rd Saturdays at Adair Park with the monthly meeting proceeding the match on the 1st Saturday. Call Dennis Hansel at 342-7573.
• Cholla Gun Club: Matches will resume at the Adair Park metallic silhouette range this fall with the range open now to shooters for practice during daylight hours.
• Yuma Rifle and Pistol Club: Matches at the Adair Park big bore range will begin again this fall with the first long-range Palma Match Sept. 15. Call Paul Lerma at 783-6766 or Gerald Brooker at 305-9681.
• Yuma Matchmasters: Open matches at the Adair Park small bore range will sign-up shooters at 6:30 a.m. the 1st Saturday for the Steel Challenge Match, the 2nd Sunday for IPSC Combat Matches. Cowboy Matches on the 4th Sunday will sign-up at 7:30 a.m. Safety meetings proceed each match. Call Bob Wiles at 920-2157 or Joanne Schickle at 502-1298.
• Southwest Bowhunters Archery Club: Open archery shoots at 8 a.m. Sundays at Adair Park with the practice range open all week. Call Wayne Wittenberg at 314-0140 or Uschi House at 345-3770.
• HAHWG summer meeting: Hunting and Angling Heritage Work Group will meet July 13-14 at the Flagstaff Nordic Center, 15 miles northwest of Flagstaff, off Highway 180 at Mile Marker 232 beginning at noon Saturday and ending at noon July 14. Attendees will need a camp chair. There is plenty of room for camping tents, trailers ad RVs. Bring your own beverages (soda and water provided). The Nordic Center does have some cabins and yurts on site for rent, available on a first-come, first-served basis at 220-0550 and the location is just a short drive north of Flagstaff for those who wish to stay in town. You are welcome to show up on Friday afternoon. The area is great for hiking, relaxing and exploring. The agenda is really great including sessions on successes, tools, resources, upcoming activities, spring turkey camps, pintail slough duck hunt, junior's trapping camp, women's javelina HAM hunt, retail and industry partners, Local Sportsman's Group Grant Program with breakout sessions on Quail 101 and 102, Elk 201 and 202 among others. Participants will include angling and hunting clubs, conservation organizations, individuals, youth development, trapping clubs and outdoor writers. A get-together well worth attending. Call Doug Burt, AZGFD at 1-602-531-7578 with questions.
• Sprague's Sports: First shots class 9 a.m. to noon Saturday; AZ CCE class 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 20; NRA basic pistol class 6 to 9 p.m. July 24-27. Call 726-0022 for details.
• Outdoor Program Grants: Local sportsmen's groups can apply now for grant funding for programs that promote activities and events for hunter, angler, shooter and trapper recruitment and retention. The Arizona Game and Fish Department is offering $75,000 in grant funding this year. Applications must be received by the department by 5 p.m. (MST) by Aug. 12. For a grant application packet, call Robyn Beck at 1-623-236-7530. Visit www.azgfd.gov/outdoorskills for a complete listing of current events scheduled.
Contact Jean Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 247-4450.