Michael Pearce

Spots remain for The Eagle’s Kids Fishing Clinic

Michael Pearce


Update: The Fishing Clinic has been postponed until June 20

There is still time to register kids 12 and under for our June 13 kids fishing clinic at Chisolm Creek Park. The clinic is again in conjunction with the Great Plains Nature Center’s s annual Walk With Wildlife.

All equipment is furnished, and volunteers will be available to help beginning anglers. Kids are assigned 30-minute time slots, and receive a gift bag that includes a small tackle box. All fish are released after photos are taken.

To register, send an e-mail to psmith@wichitaeagle.com, with the child’s name, mailing address, and preference for a morning or afternoon time slot. Such preferences will be filled first-come, first-served.

More updates

Darrell Allen, of Ninnescah Bowhunters, wants the public to know that 3-D shoots rained out in May will be made up June 6-7, at the club range near Clearwater. For information, call him at 316-706-5846.

Not a lot of recent fishing reports, largely because of high water on most lakes and rivers. Some nice catfish were caught while the water was on the rise, and from waters that didn’t get too out of hand.

There is quite a bit of concern that recent rains may have washed out a lot of wild turkey nests, especially those nesting in riparian areas. As long as none of the eggs had hatched, such hens should nest again.

I have gotten several reports of young turkeys already being seen behind hens, and a friend sent some neat video of a pronghorn fawn only a few days old getting up and sprinting away when my friend was within a few yards.

All of the rains could be good news for this year’s pheasant hatch as weeds will be more prevalent in cropfields and grassy areas. As often happens, what’s good news for wildlife is bad news for agriculture. Sorry farmers. I know several have reported diseases in their wheat and others are concerned if they’ll be able to get soybeans planted in time.

Upcoming coverage

Sunday’s Outdoors page will have a feature on Ned Kehde, and a simple fishing rig he’s been promoting for the past several years. Named “the Ned rig,” by some professional anglers, the popularity of the lures that feature a mushroom jighead and special plastic body has grown from coast to coast. Some top-end anglers are ranking them as the most productive bass lures ever. I’ve talked with some real professional heavies for the article. They have some pretty impressive insight.

Down the road I’m planning on a feature on catching smallmouth bass in a location that’s really going to surprise a lot of people. I’m also looking forward to an article on what’s probably Kansas’ only full-service resort on a federal reservoir. I’m also hoping to get a story on the great fishing a father and his two young children find during the channel catfish spawn every June. They’re also using a bait that’s not normally associated with fishing during the spawn.

I’m also hoping for a feature on a sleeper of a bass reservoir, and what state fisheries biologists do try to improve the future of public fishing in Kansas.

There will also be updates on how things are looking per possible duck zone boundary changes for the 2016-17 waterfowl seasons.

Michael’s world

Wow, we have a lot of catching up to do. Sorry I’ve missed a few newsletters.

First, and most importantly, I’m now proud to say I’m a father-in-law. Jerrod and Carilyn’s wedding weekend earlier this month was a fantastic experience from start to finish. We were up in the Kansas City area Wednesday-Sunday, beginning with a great dinner “the kids” took both sets of parents to at a great steak place downtown.

The rehearsal dinner went off without a snag or a complaint at a nice restaurant, and despite scattered storms on May 9, the wedding was held outdoors that evening. The rains didn’t start until everyone was inside for the reception. The entire evening seemed to pass way too quickly.

Oh, one unexpected pleasure happened just as the wedding was beginning, when a pair of A-10 Warthog “tank killer” jets flew low over the location. I tried to take credit for the fly over. Of course we really had just gotten lucky we were in the flight path for the Kansas Speedway, where there was a big race that weekend.

As a parent, it was satisfying to see how really happy Jerrod and Carilyn were through the entire weekend, and to watch how all of the planning and work they’d both put into the event paid off for them. It’s also good to see how well Carilyn’s family treats Jerrod, and to see the obvious love they already have for him. She, of course, gets the same from our side, too.

It’s just a great deal for both families, really.

OK, last week we did our annual family vacation on Kauai. Jerrod and Carilyn had gone down the week before. When we arrived, Jerrod said something like, “Well, the honeymoon’s over...so now it’s time for a vacation.”

It was a heck of a trip, our fourth to the island. Kathy’s sister, Barbara and her husband, Larry, are great enough to share some time-share condos with us. Their grown son, Brian, was there, as was our daughter, Lindsey, and her boyfriend, Lance.

We’ve been there enough to have a list of our favorite beaches and places to see and eat. Though the place is best known for it’s sand and saltwater, the mountains on the island that’s about the size of Butler County rise to more than 5,000 feet and are stunning to see.

Kathy and I agree that Ke-e Beach, on the island’s north shore, is our favorite place in the world. On one side are the nearly vertical cliffs of the gorgeous Napoli Coast, on the other is the wide-open Pacific and in between is one of our favorite swimming and snorkeling beaches.

You know, I still think I enjoy snorkeling at least as much as I do hunting and fishing. The colors and variety of fish are so much brighter and diverse than what we have in Kansas. It can be a pretty good work out and it’s something everyone in my family enjoys, too.

Kathy seems to enjoy it more and more every trip to the tropics. There are far worse things than swimming along beside your spouse/best friend, watching schools or neon-bright fish swimming about, and maybe a sea turtle the size of a small bath tub. Then, when you raise your head above water you’re looking at some of the most stunning mountains in the world.

We’re very fortunate to be able to share such times, and I surely never take them for granted.

Finally, I’m up very early on Thursday morning and up in Iowa as I finish this, picking up Cade, our new Lab puppy. I got in late yesterday so I could spend an hour or so he could get somewhat of a connection with me. We’ll do the same this morning before we head back to Kansas, stopping every hour or so for some exercise and to stretch our legs.

Yes, there will be some interrupted sleep at nights, some messes and somebody’s probably going to get a shoe ruined through this, but it’s all part of the package. Kathy and I both enjoy puppies, a lot, and know what to expect.

So far he’s coming when called, doesn’t fight the leash, retrieves and is flat crazy about chasing wing-clipped pigeons. That’s pretty nice for seven weeks.

Stay tuned for updates.


Michael Pearce