Summer Solstice magic
Yesterday was my favorite day of the year. It was the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. I always like fishing on the 21st of June because it feels like I’m getting more bang for my buck. I mean, with it being the longest day of the year, I can make the most casts or potentially catch the most fish. It was the same thing when I was a pup of a boy. I never knew that it had a name, but the first three weeks of June were the very best part of the summer because there was no school, there were endless baseball games to be played, and I could barely keep up with my worm digging to keep me in the panfish.
Not much has changed in all of the years that have passed since my little league and panfish days. Well, I guess I haven’t played a baseball game in a few years but I still enjoy a panfish outing now and again. Actually, I do a fair amount of bluegill and crappie fishing while I am waiting for the water to warm up for musky fishing. That also leads to one of my other favorite panfish things to do but I’ll get to that later.
On my last outing I hit up all my early season musky spots and when I was convinced that it wasn’t going to be a musky day, I pulled out the crappie gear. Switching to crappies just wasn’t something to do because the muskies weren’t biting. The intent was to bring home a mess for supper. When it comes to crappies, I’m not big into “Catch and Release” but way more apt to practice “Catch and Eat.”
The first couple of spots that I tried held fish but they weren’t very big and the wind made it hard to catch them with plastic baits. I moved around the lake to a few different spots that had the two things I was looking for: No wind and bigger crappies. When I decided to keep them, I threw them into the live well and made sure to keep a careful count. Then again, I don’t think I ever caught a limit of crappies that I didn’t have to triple count. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to count crappies when they are biting like crazy?
When I caught the last crappie that I could legally keep, I headed towards the landing and eventually home for two of my other all time favorite panfish things to do. One is that I like cook ing them. I have a small camp stove in the garage. The garage is really just an extension of the Dave Cave and the perfect place for a fish fry. The second and most favorite thing about panfish is, of course, eating them.
I have one last thought to pass along now that we have the Summer Solstice in the rearview mirror. It’s almost imperceptible right now but the days are getting shorter. You have time to plan around this but here’s the heads up. Don’t go fishing on the 21st of December, the Winter Solstice, because that’s the shortest day of the year and in theory, you catch the least number of fish.
Didn’t get enough Dave this week? Visit “Outdoor Trails and Tales with Dave Beck” on Facebook for photos and video of Dave’s adventures. You can share your own photos and video with him there as well, or by emailing him at [email protected] news Also, check out OTT content on Instagram @thepiercecountyjournal
Tales and Trails
BY DAVE BECK