Displaying items by tag: Nick Short

West Kentucky Wild: Early Season Squirrels

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (8/28/13) – The 2013 squirrel season opened up on Saturday, August 17th. Rain had come sometime during the night and lightning flashes were receding in the distance. Daylight was still over an hour away, giving me a chance to stop in town, grab cup of hot coffee, and a sausage biscuit, while still having enough time to drive to the Muhlenberg County farm before daylight. The rain during the night, along with the calm winds, left ideal hunting conditions.

For reasons unknown, I decided to take my .22 rifle at the last minute, which is tough enough anyway, but especially so in the early part of the season with all the green leaves. To make matters worse, the 3 X 9 scope that is usually mounted on this rifle was moved to the .50 caliber, black powder muzzle loader last fall to help short up my aim for deer season. I suppose if I had really wanted a mess of squirrels, I would have taken a shotgun. Sometimes it’s just about the hunting part and the chance to get out in the woods. After all, it was a beautiful morning—even the mosquitoes and gnats weren’t too bad.

The hardwood ridges on the farm are filled with many varieties of trees that attract squirrels, including beeches, black gums, and oaks, but I knew it was the hickory trees that would give me the best chance. The tight barks, pignuts, and scaly barks are usually the first to hold concentrations in the early days. Later on, the oaks bearing acorns take over. With the abundance of nuts this year, it seemed all species of hickory were full.

The squirrels seemed to be scattered, too, with no one area better. While the rain drops falling from the still-wet leaves masked the sound of nut cuttings hitting the forest floor, there was still quite a racket when a squirrel jumped from one limb to another.

The final results were definitely in the squirrel's favor on this day. There will be other days—hopefully when some the green leaves have fallen. And you can bet a scope will be attached to the .22 rifle a on the next trip.

And don’t be fooled; Duck Dynasty's Robertson family isn't the only place fried squirrel can be found. There are still kitchens in this part of Kentucky where you can find platters of fried squirrel, along with milk gravy, fresh-sliced garden tomatoes, and hot biscuits. If you’re looking for a recipe for fried squirrel, I’d be willing to bet that your grandmother, or maybe even your mother, has one.

Sugg Street Post
Written by Nick Short

Read more...

West Kentucky Wild: Bass at Night

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (8/15/13)—Problem: summertime doldrums. Extreme heat, lots of sun, water temperatures in the high 80s, and a lack of current caused by an absence of wind or very little water being pulled through the dam. Not to mention the big lakes that can accommodate all the summertime traffic of ski boats, jet skis, pontoons, etc. Throw in an occasional barge along with a slow bite and you’ve got a challenge on your hands. Maybe it’s time to start getting ready for deer season. 

Too hot to fish?
There is no such thing. You just have to adjust to either a few hours at dawn or a few hours at dusk. (I will admit that fishing all day in this summer heat should be one of the official stages of the Iron Man contest, though) Perhaps it’s time to take a serious look at nighttime fishing.  

There is no question that bass, as well as some giants, feed at night, especially during hot weather periods. Summer nighttime fishing for bass works as good on local lakes as it does on bigger waters like Kentucky Lake. It is especially effective on clear water lakes and strip pits.   

Moon vs. dark: Which is the best?
While the experts say couple of days before and couple of days after the full moon is best, experiment and come to your own conclusion. While it’s certainly easier to see and get around, many anglers still swear by the dark. Personally, I prefer nights with very little moon and plenty of stars.  

With the specialty night lights available now—a favorite of mine is the one with lights built into the bill of the cap, which frees up your hands for retying and netting—there is no reason to let the dark hold you back. If you desire more light, there are some really good black lights available too, which will help you see shorelines and obstacles in the water. An added bonus: fluorescent mono line is magnified by black light, so you can see movements and twitches clearly. 

Lures
While nighttime fishing has sold millions of black Jitterbugs (and rightfully so), there are nights where top-water lures are not the best option. Some conditions, such as excessive moss or grass, will limit the selections. Try spinnerbaits in dark colors. Plastic worms and jigs will work, too.  

Final Word
It’s a good idea to get on the water prior to dark. Remember that it’s going to be cooler, lots quieter, and the fish will bite. Be sure and take your life jacket and your mosquito repellent, watch out for the summertime storms, and be sure and take a net. That big bass just might let his guard down. 

Required Listening
Edgar Winter’s third studio album, They Only Come Out at Night, which was released in November, 1972. Listen to the album in its entirety by clicking the YouTube player below this article. 

____________________________________________________

A former Kentucky State BASS Federation Champ and longtime outdoorsman, Nick Short has spent over five decades learning the ins and outs of the hunting and fishing world. From coon-hunting as a youth, to hanging with fishing pros as an adult, Nick knows a thing or two about how it’s done outdoors. Want to know his secrets? Check out his latest installment of “West Kentucky Wild.”

To read other “West Kentucky Wild” installments, visit Nick’s Sugg Street Post blog page by clicking the following link: http://www.suggstreetpost.com/index.php/outdoors-west-kentucky-wild 

Sugg Street Post
Written by Nick Short

Read more...

West Kentucky Wild: Finding Late Winter, Early Spring Bass and Crappie

freedigitalphotos.net

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (3/4/13) - A former Kentucky State BASS Federation Champ and longtime outdoorsman, Nick Short has spent over five decades learning the "ins and outs" of the hunting and fishing world. From coon-hunting as a youth, to hanging with fishing pros as an adult, Nick knows a thing or two about how it’s done outdoors. Want to know his secrets? Check out his latest installment of “West Kentucky Wild.”

The pre-spawn period, which is currently underway, offers some of the best fishing of the entire year. From now until the time the fish actually move onto their spawning beds can be excellent for both crappie and bass.

But where should you start looking?

Location, location, location...

For many businesses, getting the right location can make the difference between success and failure. This also applies to finding late winter to early, early spring fishing. If you fish a small pond, start anywhere.

But what if you fish in larger bodies of water?

North by Northwest is not only a 1959 American thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, it's also a specific geographic description of the banks you need to be concentrating on in your favorite lakes as winter slowly releases her grip.

As the year begins to evolve from the short, wintry days of February, we merge into March and the the length of daylight (sunlight) gradually increases. During this time, the sun is positioned at an angle where the maximum amount of sunlight warms these northern and northwest banks first. Fish are cold-blooded and will seek this warmer water. As a result, it's during this time of year that water that's even just a few degrees warmer makes a great deal of difference in where the fish are located.

As the prevailing winds begin to shift and start blowing from a southerly direction, you will see additional warmer water being pushed onto these banks. However, while this does help, continue to look on these banks for any coves, cuts, indentations, or points of land that block off the wind. These areas allow the sun's rays to quickly warm the calmer water. Clear water will always warm up faster than stained or muddy water.

As the water temperatures leave the 40's and begin their upward climb through the 50's, all species of fish will become more active as they begin to increase their feeding habits in preparation for the spawning ritual, which is also triggered by water temp's and moon phases.

With these facts in mind, it's clear that now is the time to begin your quest for some of the best fishing of the year. Good luck and be safe. 

Final Word:  Spring surely can't be that far away? Any day now, I expect to hear the "spring peepers" croaking, and to hear the sound of the red-winged black bird announcing their official declaration of spring. Welcome back...

With these tips in-tow, you should also be better prepared for Winding Creek Bait & Tackle's seasonal Crappie Tournament, which is currently underway. Who knows, you may just snag that $250 cash prize for the biggest (weight-wise) crappie - but don't forget to register beforehand. For more information on the tournament and registration, click here.

Sugg Street Post
Written by Nick Short

Read more...

West Kentucky Wild: Bass Club Nets Award

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (2/27/13)—A former Kentucky State BASS Federation Champ and longtime outdoorsman, Nick Short has spent over five decades learning the ins and outs of the hunting and fishing world. From coon-hunting as a youth, to hanging with fishing pros as an adult, Nick knows a thing or two about how it’s done outdoors. Want to know his secrets? Check out his latest installment of “West Kentucky Wild.”

It seems as if the Hopkins County Bass Club has been around forever. Some of its more senior members even remember when it was the “Madisonville Angler’s Club” - back when most of the fishing was done from Jon-boats at local lakes, strip-pits, and ponds. Regular monthly meetings were held at the former Tucker Schoolhouse Road location.

In the late ‘70s to early ‘80s, the club transitioned from Jon-Boats and local lakes to bass boats and big lakes like Barkley, Kentucky Lake, and many others. It was also during this time that the club changed its name to the Hopkins County Bass Club. The club became a B.A.S.S. (Bass Anglers Sportsman Society) affiliated club that participated, and still participates, in Kentucky BASS Federation events.

Although club bylaws state that the purpose of the organization is “to stimulate a proper public attitude and appreciation regarding the art of bass fishing, and to encourage the participation of young people,” another says that the purposes of the club are purely social, educational, and charitable. The HCBC has especially taken the part of giving back to the community to heart.

By hosting the annual “Hopkins County Fall Bass Classic” each September on Kentucky/Barkley Lake for the past 20 years, the club has been able to give back almost $70,000 to families or groups in need, especially over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season.

During this time, the staff and faculty at Madisonville’s West Broadway Elementary School have been instrumental in helping the club find those who may have been overlooked.

In a recent ceremony held at West Broadway, Club President Mike Cartwright, as well as other HCBC members (including myself), were presented with an official “Thank You” from Kentucky Governor, Steve Beshear, who recognized the club’s charitable contributions to the community.

Needless to say, we were honored to accept the prestigious award, and the response we got from the children in attendance during the ceremony, which included my granddaughter, Lucy, was overwhelming.

If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor for the Fall Bass Classic, or if you’re just interested in becoming a member of the HCBC, simply email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call President Mike Cartwright at (270) 836-2562.

Sugg Street Post
Written by Nick Short
Photos courtesy of the Hopkins County Bass Club

Read more...

West Kentucky Wild: Cold Water Bass

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (1/22/13)—A former Kentucky State BASS Federation Champ and longtime outdoorsman, Nick Short has spent over five decades learning the ins and outs of the hunting and fishing world. From coon-hunting as a youth, to hanging with fishing pros as an adult, Nick knows a thing or two about how it’s done outdoors. Want to know his secrets? Check out his latest installment of “West Kentucky Wild.”

Let’s face it, all that new fishing gear you got for Christmas is just sitting there waiting—and it’s driving you crazy! You’re fired up and ready to go, only there’s a couple problems. For one, it’s colder than heck, and there’s even a thin film of ice in some places on your favorite lake. That brings out the second problem: water temperatures stuck in the low 40’s.

Though I can’t help much in the way of fixing either one, I can tell you that the fish will bite if you can get around that whole “ice thing.”

What to Throw?

1.) Rubber-Skirted Bass Jigs

As far as color, stick with black, brown, or a black and blue combo. Start with a ¼ ounce weight and go as high as a ½ ounce. An old-school #11 Uncle Josh “Pork Frog” will complete this big fish killer. Fish it slow, then even slower; make sure to keep it touching the bottom. Strikes will range from a “mushy” feeling to a distinctive thump. If you think you got a bite, a “jerk” style hook set is free.

2.) Suspending Minnow Jerk Baits (Long, slender minnow imitators)

The choices are endless as practically every lure manufacturer makes one. Prices will vary from relatively reasonable to $20 or more per lure. Some good, affordable choices include Smithwick’s “Rogue,” Strike King’s “Wild Shiner,” or any models by Luck “E” Strike. Those that are four to five inches in length seem to work best, and they perform at their peak in deeper, “clear” water. For these, stick with shad or minnow color.

These lures are not hard to learn about or use. Simply make a long cast (usually with a mono or fluorocarbon line that’s 12lbs or less), crank it five or six turns, let the bait just sit, twitch it a couple times, and repeat the process. Don’t be afraid to vary the length of time you let it sit; in the end, the fish will tell you how long. In colder water, fish will often swipe at this lure while it’s sitting still, so watch your line.

Local angler, Wayne Adams, shows proof that cold water bass will bite! This fish, along with several others, were taken during an outing on January 20th with fellow angler, Daniel Davis. As Daniel noted, most of the damage was done with suspending minnow jerk baits. Daniel also said the bites got better as it warmed up and that he got plenty of experience netting. Thanks for the pics and info.

PHOTO: Local angler, Wayne Adams, shows proof that cold water bass will bite! This fish, along with several others, were taken during an outing on January 20th with fellow angler, Daniel Davis. Most of the damage was done with suspending minnow jerk baits. Daniel said the bites got better as it warmed up, and that he got plenty of experience netting. Thanks for the pics and info, Daniel.

3.) Crank Baits

Grab some Rapala “Shad Raps,” models SR5 or SR7, in crawfish or shad color. These are cold water standards. Additionally, any flat-sided cranks, such as Bomber “Flat A’s” in fire-tiger—or any of the crawfish colors—should also work. With these, smaller to mid-size seems to work best in colder water. Just remember that the water is cold. Slow your retrieve and don’t expect it to get a ton of bites.

FINAL WORD: Dress warm, be extremely cautious, and, if at all possible, take somebody with you. From there, give these lures and techniques a shot—you might just be in for a surprise!

If you need any of the lures mentioned, or any others, go see Barbara Wiles of Winding Creek Bait & Tackle at 1635 Eastview Dr. in Madisonville (270-825-9997) or visit her website by clicking here. And remember, if she doesn’t have it, she will get it for you!

Sugg Street Post
Written by Nick Short
Column logo/photo by Jeff Harp

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed
Visit www.betroll.co.uk the best bookies

© 2013 Sugg Street Post LLC:
All Rights Reserved
Based in Madisonville, Ky 42431
info@suggstreetpost.com | 270-871-2147

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram