Reporting live from the igloo that has become my house, I’d like to offer an idea to our friends at the local news channels. It’s evident that nothing tickles the meteorologists more than reporting live from outside in the weather, so how about we strap that microphone to the handle end of a snow shovel, and each segment can be filmed at someone else’s driveway. I could deal with a winded dialogue if it meant a clean driveway!
In all seriousness, I should give the fine folks at KFVS12 credit for nailing the forecast, at least for my house. There’s somewhere around 12-inches of snow out in my yard, and with the projected temperatures over the next week, I don’t believe it will be going anywhere. The one positive about snow is obviously playing in it, but this powdery stuff we have won’t make a good snowball, and the nearest hill is 15 miles from my house! However, the white, powdery fluff is ideal for one thing, snow cream! Here’s the recipe: 1 gallon of snow, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of vanilla, and 2 cups of milk – put it in a bowl and stir and voila!! For best results, dump a hefty portion of snow cream on top of a couple warm brownies, and drizzle chocolate sauce on top.
February is just a tough time of year in the outdoors, and being that we’ve had it fairly easy up until now, I suppose it’s only fair that we all get pinned inside for a few days. Us outdoorsmen probably watch more television this time of year than any other, and while I’m not a big proponent of wasting away in front of the TV, thank God for hunting and fishing shows! G3 Sportsman has long been a family favorite, and the new Krappie Kings TV on the World Fishing Network is awesome. I’m one large financial benefactor away from having my own show, and when that happens I’ll expect all of you to tune in!
The crappie, at least prior to Snowmageddon 2015, were biting really well at all area lakes. The long term forecast is just ugly, with Wednesday dipping down to -9 degrees!? I don’t know what exactly that will do to the crappie bite, because I can’t recall it ever getting that cold before. The next 10 days will be well below freezing at night, so much of our water will be freezing. If you’ve never been over to Lake of Egypt in Illinois, now is as good of a time as any to try it out. The lake receives hot water from the power plant and won’t freeze, making it a great (possibly the only) lake to fish during extremely cold weather.
Fishing a power plant lake is different than fishing your average water. Professional angler and guide Kyle Schoenherr said, “At Lake of Egypt, a power plant lake in Southern Illinois, black crappie chase the warm water throughout the winter. As the days grow longer in middle to late February the black crappie will start migrating towards the weedlines, and when the water reaches 50 degrees they’ll move in. Between the power plant pushing hot water out, the wind moving it around, and the tumultuous air temperature swings, the spawn is scattered throughout the lake, but once you get consistent water temps in the upper 50’s the black crappie are done, and the whites are starting the same pattern.”
Chasing water temperature, a novel idea! Crappie are just like you and I though, they will stay where it is most comfortable to them. If someone heated one room of your house to 70 and left the rest at 50, you and your family would migrate to that room. If that temperature alternated around to other rooms in your house, you’d chase the most comfortable air temperature too. It makes sense that fish would do the same thing.
Spider-rigging, casting a jig or minnow under a float, and just casting and retrieving a jig are all viable methods of fishing at Egypt. Be sure to take your net and set your drag, as the lake is loaded with big largemouth bass too!