Itís early August ó typically the dog days of summer in Arkansas.
The forecast calls for temperatures in the low to mid-90s next weekend, which seems about right.
This past weekend, however, was a different story. The weather was much cooler and absolutely beautiful, and I took full advantage.
One of my favorite ways to spend a summer evening is at George Pond, either on a bench or in my lawnchair, fishing for bluegill. This is the perfect time of year for it, too.
I like bluegill fishing because when theyíre biting, itís pretty much nonstop action. Thereís no casting a line out and watching it for 10 minutes or constant casting and retrieving waiting on a bass to strike.
When the bluegill are hot, my bobber hardly seems to hit the water before Iíve got a fish on the line.
I keep things very simple when Iím fishing for bluegill. I use a long cane pole with light line, a bobber and a hook. I prefer fishing with crickets, but havenít found a convenient place to buy them in Carroll County without driving a bit. Redworms are good bluegill bait, too, but this summer Iíve been using something different. I used diced ham for a while with decent results until that ran out. This past weekend, I cut up a couple of hot dogs. I donít remember ever trying that before, but it turns out the bluegill love a good dog and they donít even need mustard or relish.
I like the cane pole and the simple setup for two reasons. No. 1, itís super easy and convenient. No. 2, it reminds me of fishing as a kid. Thereís an air of nostalgia to it. Growing up, my brothers and I fished fairly often with our parents. I remember Mom never wanting to leave until she caught one more fish. Then, after she caught that one, she didnít want to leave right after sheíd just caught a fish.
I also distinctly remember fishing for bluegill once with my Uncle Sammie. He brought along an old bucket and I remember him catching fish one right after another, never missing a single one.
Iím admittedly not that skilled. Sometimes I feel like I miss more fish than I catch, but I suppose thatís only fair. The fish should win some too, right?
On Saturday, I got to the pond to find a couple fishing close to my favorite bench but not on it. They said they didnít mind me fishing fairly close to them, so I settled in and caught several nice bluegill along with a couple of small bass. I left shortly after 7 so I could get home in time to watch my beloved Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Cubs played an afternoon game Sunday ó they won again to finish a three-game sweep ó so I cooked some amazing steaks from Harter House after the game, then headed back to the pond.
This time, there were several folks fishing from the bench I like, so I settled in on the little pier. The temperature was in the mid-70s, the sky was perfect, and Iím not sure Iíve ever seen fish bite so well. The only thing slowing me down was the time it took to put new bait on the hook. As always, I missed several fish. But I caught more than I missed for nearly three hours.
There are so many reasons why I love living in Berryville and Carroll County. The chance to spend a lazy summer night doing something I love in such a beautiful place ranks pretty high on that list.
As I said, this coming weekend is expected to be quite a bit warmer. But my son and his family are coming to visit and I plan to be at the pond again, making some good memories with my grandsons.