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Mushrooms on the menu soon

Published: Saturday, April 19, 2014 12:23 a.m. CDT

So let’s take a quick trip back in time at the week that was:

First there’s Saturday, and I’m in the boat with my lovely little daughter Taya, and we are fishing a tournament. It’s 80 degrees and we are in T-shirts. Other than a fierce wind from the south, it is absolutely beautiful.

Forty-eight hours later, I am again with my daughter Taya and girlfriend Michelle, and we are en route to Cabela’s. Only this time, it is cold, dreary, and snowing like all get-out.

Now, going to Cabela’s usually trumps out any bad that happens in a day. But really watching it snow some 2 inches that day was just absolutely depressing. Even as I was picking up my last-minute flathead catfishing items, I’m seeing the snow through the windows and just wondering when the insanity is ever going to end.

It did get better Tuesday when I woke up; much better weather, and no snow on the ground here in Prophetstown. Don’t get me wrong, we needed the moisture and all, and by Thursday, things were back to being … well, pretty dang good.

Now for those of you wondering about morel mushroom season, here goes: judging by the current ground temperature in the mid-40s, and then throwing in the current extended forecast – then considering how wet or dry the ground is, and what rain is in the forecast – I am thinking we are 7 to 10 days away from a little morel mania.

It may be the best excuse you will ever have to get out and get some exercise in the cleanest, freshest air of the year, while all the time enjoying the awesomeness of spring in the outdoors. Get the walking stick out and start limbering up a bit, ‘cause it is officially time to flush the body clean of the longest winter ever.

I am wondering, as I know a lot of you are, as to how hard this past winter has been on the deer herd. Did the harshness take many from the herd? How many pregnancies were affected by the tough, tough conditions? I have seen some just OK numbers of deer yarded up together over the past couple months, and I am really hoping the momma does made it through unscathed.

Does are hard to find a lot of times, period, since the DNR here in Illinois tries to find every reason under God to kill more of them. Hard to imagine what our herd looked like some 5 years ago.

I am hearing reports of the walleye fishing really turning on, and I know soon that the crappie will be showing up, as well. I am either going to have to make time to catch some, or finagle some out of one of my buddies, because let me tell you, frying up fresh crappie and walleye – alongside a mess of morel mushrooms – well, to those who know, they’re thinking, “You go, Catmatt!”

To those who don’t know: you need to find out. Take my word for it.

Anyway, I’d like to thank you all for continuing to read my rantings. I am glad we made it through the winter together, and I am looking forward to sharing a terrific summer with you all. Let’s make sure we all step out of our comfort zone this year and try something different.

But mainly, let’s enjoy the out-of-doors more than ever. We are all a year closer to meeting our maker.

Go Catfish! 

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