Outdoors Xtras: Some Melee, biking tips and a syrupy recipe
Lure of the week
Lure name: Melee
Company: Booyah (booyahbaits.com)
Lure type: Bladed jig
Sizes and colors: Available in two sizes — 3/8- and ½-ounce — in black/blue, brush fire, green pumpkin, river killer, royal pumpkin, white and white/chartreuse.
Target species: Largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Technique: The Melee is a lure meant to be banged around. Anglers should fish it anywhere they might throw a spinnerbait or squarebill crankbait. The idea is to make it deflect off wood and other cover, something it’s said to do with ease given its head. It always strikes that cover first, prompting the hook to move up and away from that structure. In the process, the Melee “clacks” courtesy of a lead core inside that head. It’s promised to sound different from any other bladed jig.
Sugg. retail price: $8.99.
Notable: The blade on this bait is intentionally very thin. That’s to produce maximum vibration. The long shank hook, meanwhile, is fitted with a plastic keeper.
Tip of the week
Warmer weather is on the way, which will bring with it the start of bicycling season. Bikes are great fun to ride on their own or as a way to explore the woods, get to secret fishing holes or even camp. That’s assuming, of course, the bike works as advertised. Sometimes they don’t. Like all mechanical devices, failures happen. Prepare by packing a basic repair kit. A spare tie tube or at least a patch kit, a tire pump and a set of Allen wrenches that fit your hardware is a good place to start.
Recipe of the week
Blueberry maple oat squares
2¼ cups rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
3½ cups frozen or fresh blueberries
½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
It’s that sweetest time of year: maple syrup season. Folks all over have been collecting sap and boiling it down to make all kinds of wonderful treats.
This is a good one, courtesy of Food Network.
Start by making the blueberry filling. Put the blueberries, syrup and 3 tablespoons of the orange juice into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the berries are tender.
In a separate bowl, mix the cornstarch with the remaining orange juice and the lemon juice. Whisk and add to the berries.
Simmer that for a minute or so, until the mixture thickens. Next, put it in a bowl and refrigerate it, stirring occasionally, for 20 minute or until cool.
Turn to the oat squares. Whisk the oats (not the instant kind), flour, sugar and salt, then stir in the butter a bit at a time until it’s combined.
Spread half of that into an 8-inch baking pan lined with parchment paper. Pour the blueberry filling in, then cover everything with the other half of the oat mixture. Press it down lightly.
Bake at 350 degrees for roughly 35 to 40 minutes — just long enough for the oats to get golden brown and the filling to get bubbly.
Let that cool, then refrigerate it. Cut into squares and serve.