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Mid-summer fishing thoughts

Another Fourth of July has come and gone. Summer is half over. Which means we still have half a summer left to chase fish. So far this spring and summer have provided some pretty good fishing when the weather cooperated. I can't remember a year when I've been rained on or blown off the water more than this year. Nonetheless, when the weather cooperated, the fishing action was good, for numbers and for size.

Spring methods for catching walleyes continued into late June. Fire-Ball jigs have been killers on walleyes throughout the Midwest. However, it really paid big dividends this year to pay attention to what you were tipping your jigs with. Some days the walleyes wanted shiners, other days they wanted fatheads.

I fished in a lot of vegetation for walleyes early this year. In this situation, Gulp! Alive three inch minnows on a Slurp! Jig were best. The Gulp! didn't get ripped off the hook in the grass as easily as live minnows.

The shallow water bass patterns held on longer this year due to colder water later in the year. Shallow bass are fun! Really fun!

There seem to be more people fishing this year. Boat ramps have been more crowded than in the past. It's good to see people fishing. Everyone using the boat ramps needs to remember to get the boat on or off the trailer, then move away from the ramp.

I've been seeing a good amount of press, good and bad, about a new blend of gas and ethanol called E15. I'm interested in our energy independence, so I did some research on E15.

One of the concerns is that E15 is not good for outboard motors. That's important: We don't want to damage our outboards. In researching this issue, I came across a website called This is a website that has lots of ethanol information. In no way do they suggest that E15 be mandated for outboards. They want us to consider E15 as an option for vehicles that can use this blend of gas and ethanol.

Contrary to some bad information being circulated, the current E10 gas/ethanol that is so popular today would not be reclassified as E15. Ethanol supporters simply want to give those who want to use it the option of fueling up with a higher blend of ethanol. Nothing will prevent gas stations from offering E10, or regular unleaded gas, or the E15 option.

And, E15 has been tested extensively, by independent testing agencies. E15 has fewer emissions than oil-based gas, it provides jobs and boosts the Midwest economy, and it helps to lessen our dependence on foreign oil, and to me, that's a good thing. And, according to that website, there are other forms of fuel being developed by the ethanol folks that will further lessen our dependence on foreign oil. Whether you fish or not, you've gotta' be in favor of clean, abundant fuel that is produced in our country.

That's all for now, it's time to get back out on the water and see if the good fishing can be maintained through the rest of the summer. We'll see you out there.

(Watch all the 2009 episodes of Fishing the Midwest television on in the video section and on