Matthew Taylor and his father Shawn Taylor fish for wild rainbow and browns in the North Fork of the White River near Tecumseh, MO.

Mrs. Baker wanted to go ice fishing and read several books on the subject. Finally, after getting all the necessary equipment together, she made her way out onto the ice.

After positioning her comfy stool, she started to make a circular cut in the ice. From above a voice boomed, “There are no fish under the ice!” 

Startled and frightened, Mrs. Baker moved farther down the ice, poured herself a large coffee, and began to cut yet another hole. Again, from the heavens, the voice bellowed, “There are no fish under the ice!” 

Mrs. Baker, now very concerned, moved way down to the opposite end of the ice, set up her stool, and began again to cut a hole in the ice. The voice rang out once more, “There are no fish under the ice!” 

Mrs. Baker, stopped, looked upwards and said, “Is that you, Lord?” 

The voice replied, “No, this is the ice rink manager.” 

If you’ve had a bad day at work, just paid the bills or you’ve been listening to the national news, I hope this brought a smile to your face.

Fishing tip

Ice fishing lures come in an astonishing variety of sizes, colors and shapes and they’re great for crappie fishing in lakes that don’t freeze. Just replace the small hooks with bigger ones.

Did you know?

Did you know men are stuck by lightning seven times more often than women? Men are also struck by thrown objects 100 times more often than women. 

You got to be kidding

Researchers at a well-known, unnamed university found that caterpillars can “shoot” their feces a distance of 40 times their body length. First of all, I would like to know why it is important to do that research and what we gain by learning that. Secondly, I would like to meet the person that actually spent their day measuring the distance poop flew through the air. Thirdly, I would like to know if our tax dollars helped pay for the research. If so, the poop should really fly.

How to tickle a trout

Now I know you probably think I’m kidding but “tickling trout” dates back to the early 1800s in America, and here’s how you do it. 

Find a spot where trout may be hiding, approach slowly and carefully to avoid spooking them. A good area to try is recessed areas beneath a bank in trout waters. You can just lie on the bank above with one arm in the water. Slowly and carefully feel around for the trout. If you do make contact with one, slowly tickle its underside, just forward of the tail fin, with your forefinger. This will start to calm the fish.

Slowly tickle your way forward along the underside of the trout. This will further calm the fish, putting it into a trance-like state. When you’ve tickled your way up to the gills, you should be able to grab the trout without much trouble. If you’re strictly tickle and release, throw it back into the water.

“Tickling trout” is still done today in England, even though it is illegal there. Ticklers are fined if caught wet-handed. 

Nature quote

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”

—Rachel Carson

Larry Whiteley was born and raised in Nixa. He was inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in honor of his more than 40 years of communicating the great outdoors all over the world through his outdoor articles and radio shows.

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