Outdoor extras, including a recipe for whole fried bluegills
Lure of the week
Lure name: Frog Spinner
Company: Uncle Buck’s (basspro.com)
Lure type: Spinner
Sizes and colors: Available in a 1-inch, 1/16-ounce model. The blade is silver, the frog body a natural green frog color.
Technique: Though anyone can use them, these baits are good for youngsters and other newcomers who perhaps haven’t fished with artificial before. They spin pretty reliably at any speed and work when reeled in at a constant pace, so there’s not much in the way of technique to learn before they start working. They’re best fished around weedlines, along the edges of timber, above deeper grass and around rocky edges, be it riprap in a lake or boulders in a stream.
Sugg. retail price: $1.99 for one spinner and two frog bodies.
Notable: These Uncle Buck’s lures are available with a variety of soft bodies. If the frog doesn’t interest you, there are versions featuring crawfish, hellgrammites, minnows, dragonflies, grubs and more.
Tip of the week
We hear all the time about getting in shape for hunting season. And it’s good advice. But what about your eyes? You can exercise them to serve you better in the field, too. One simple thing you can do is train your eyes to adjust from focusing on one object close to hand to another further away. Cut one letter from a newspaper headline and tape it to a wall at eye level. Then, cut one advertisement from the classifieds. Move 10 feet away from the wall and hold the classified ad in front of you. Focus on it, then switch to the letter on the wall, then go back to the ad. Practice that over and over. When the time comes to quickly switch from focusing on the sight pin in a bow or the bead on a shotgun and a deer or pheasant, your eyes will be ready.
Recipe of the week
- 8 bluegills
- 2 cups cornmeal
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
There are all kinds of fried bluegill recipes out there. This is one I found years ago that works well when you keep the fish whole.
Clean the fish and remove the heads. Make a slice along the backbone — not too deep, maybe one-quarter inch — to allow some hot oil to penetrate. That makes it easier to pick the meat off the bones easier later.
Put the corn meal in a shallow pan — a pie pan works well — and season with the salt and pepper (you can add some cayenne if you want to spice things up). Either way, lightly dredge the fish in the mixture.
Add the fish to your hot oil, cooking until a golden crust develops. Flip the fish over and repeat for the other side.
When done, place the bluegills on paper towels to drain. Then, either eat them right away or keep them warm in the oven until all the fish are done.