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Column

Good time to go camping

Summer is almost over for our kids, as they are returning to school this week. The weather is good, and it would be a nice time for the family to go camping. There are several sites along the canal that would allow the family to camp and fish. It is a good time to teach the kids about camping.

Setting up the tents, gathering firewood, how to light the Coleman stove, how to get the fishing gear ready, and cooking meals safely are just some of the things that are involved. The smell of coffee or bacon as the sun was coming up was a great memory for me. I tried to involve my boys in as many things as possible. They are trying to do the same with their kids now. It takes a little preparation ahead of time, but the adventure is certainly worth it.

It’s not always a piece of cake, but the time spent is great. We always have the ever present skeeter, but if you are prepared for them, it isn’t too bad. Of course, we can have 90 degree days, but that’s Illinois weather. We could have a sudden thunderstorm, and that is OK if you have a good tent.

Sometimes the fishing is good, and it is always a thrill to see the kids’ faces when they get one. If we get enough fish, then it is time for a good fish fry. This is when the boys learned now to scale or filet the catch. Fresh fish is always a treat.

So if you find time this autumn, take the kids on a camping and fishing trip. It usually supplies them with memories of a lifetime.

• Whether its pheasants, deer or fish, Tiskilwa native Eric Paull is good at what he does. He just got back from a northern fishing trip and was very successful. His goal was big pike and muskie. Overall, 49 pike were caught and released. He also caught several muskie including a tiger muskie. They are rarer and considered a prize.

• You’d be surprised at how many activities that Starved Rock Lodge has on its agenda in a year. If you want to find out about them, email them at starvedrocklodge.com or call toll free at 800-868-7625. You are sure to find something of interest.

• River fishing has been only so-so since the high water, but canal, ponds and strip mines are doing OK. Some decent catches of bluegills, crappie and bass have been reported.

• Finally, I know it is over a month away, but the annual SVWC raffle is coming up. The funds gained go right to the walleye stocking program. Tickets are $10. For more info or to purchase some tickets, call Bill Guerrini at 815-663--6141 or email him at walleye1@ivnet.com.

Lee Wahlgren is the BCR Outdoor Columnist. Contact him at pdub52@gmail.com

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