I made the cast well beyond where I knew the submerged brush pile laid. As the summer air was warm, I assumed the bass would be suspended around the structure. The water was 12 feet deep and I was finding the bass roughly eight to nine feet down.
Categories: Outdoors with Mike Roux
Tags: Beck's Blog, Beck's Hybrids, Mike Roux, Outdoors with Mike Roux, Summer Bass, CRANKBAITS
Rain is inevitable during spring turkey hunting. This can be especially frustrating if it rains on the few days you are able to hunt. If all you have is one weekend and it rains both days, you might think your season is over.
But that's not necessarily true, and I know from experience as I've had more than my share of rainy day turkey hunts over the past 50+ seasons. Here are a few ideas that might help you be more successful if you're faced with less than ideal weather this season.
The conditions that Friday at dawn were significantly different than they had been for quite some time. My best duck hunting buddy, John Caldwell, and I had spent more than a few mornings in the duck blind in the early part of the 2017 season. The vast majority of these were warm and windless trips that ended with a few ducks, if any.
The first few days of this year’s waterfowl season were not too bad. Teal and gadwall, along with a few woodies, splashed in our decoys. But the local ducks caught on quickly, and a passing shot at blue-winged bottle rockets was about all there had been lately. All that changed on Friday as temperatures hoveried around 30º F with north winds at 20 to 25 mph.
I hate deer season. No, I really do not. Anyone who knows me and/or reads this blog knows that deer hunting is a large part of my life and of my family’s heritage and tradition. In fact, I am right in the middle of one of my best seasons in a long time. However, having spent over 100 hours in the woods over the past few weeks, there are a few observations I would like to share about the frustrations, aggravations and consternations of deer season.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Beck's Hybrids, Mike Roux, deer season, Outdoors with Mike Roux
When it comes to knowing and hunting deer, most of us probably consider ourselves pretty well versed. I have found, however, that there are some whose knowledge and experience go far beyond my own on this subject. C.J. Winand is one of America's top white-tailed deer biologists. This man knows as much about deer as Jimmy Dean knows about sausage. Seriously though, he does know his stuff about deer. Much of this biological and behavioral knowledge can come in handy to those of us who hunt deer. I will do my best to accurately pass along what I have learned about deer biology from C. J. Winand.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Beck's Hybrids, Mike Roux, Outdoors with Mike Roux, White-tailed deer, C.J. Winand, deer biology
When July and August get here, I turn my bass fishing into high gear. I am a born-and-bred topwater bass angler. Not many things give me the rush like seeing a huge bass attack a surface lure. So on August 1, I was lucky enough to be in a boat bass fishing with great friend Bryan Dralle from Coatsburg, IL.
Bryan and I are both just a little bit competitive, and I was certain there would be some sort of contest that day. We were both counting on a good topwater bite, but we disagreed on which surface to use. He chose a buzzbait and I went with the old reliable Jitterbug. The rules were easy; biggest bass wins.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Illinois, Beck's Hybrids, Mike Roux, Outdoors with Mike Roux, Jitterbug, Summer Bass, Buzzbaits, Coastburg
When the topic of catching really big bass comes up, Florida and other deep-south states invariably dominate the conversation. California has monster largemouth as well. But the Midwest is often overlooked when it comes to world-class bass. The next time you plan a trip and are looking to raise your bass bar, do not forget to consider spots like Table Rock Lake, Bullshoals and Truman Lake.
In the Midwest, finding and catching big bass on a regular basis has very little to do with luck. If it did, then I would be considered very lucky. Instead, it is a matter of knowing your quarry, and adjusting your methods to meet the existing conditions. The bass are there every day. They are already home. They have not migrated south to the Gulf. Your job is to find them and figure out what they want to eat. Below is a list of tips that I think will help you catch bigger bass in America’s heartland, and catch them more often. I hope some or all of these tips make you more successful.
Tags: fishing, Mike Roux, Outdoors with Mike Roux, bass fishing, Midwest fishing, bass fishing tips, bass fishing bait
May is the month when school gets out and a lot of vacations start. For our Missouri, southern Iowa, and western Illinois customers and staff, one of the most popular destinations in the Midwest is Lake Ozark, Missouri. If you are heading there, plan to fish. Here’s why...
Tags: Beck's Blog, Mike Roux, Outdoors with Mike Roux, Missouri, Crappie fishing, Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Ozark, Crappie, May fishing, fishing spots, Coffman Beach Public Boat Ramp, Buck Creek Store and Guide Service
I have guided turkey hunters in five states. I have hunted gobblers in several more. In these hunts, I have seen just about every mistake that you could imagine. The one error that stands out most in my mind are the times that I have seen or heard about a hunter missing a gobbler with a shotgun.
There are many logical reasons that could cause us to miss these springtime targets. There are also many reasons that defy all the principles of hunting as we know it. Some of them may sound absurd, but they have cost many hunters many trophies.
I have always known that gobblers are tough birds and are very hard to bring down. However, the topic of today's discussion is not about keeping a big tom on the ground. The problem we are covering now is completely missing the shot.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Mike Roux, turkey hunting, Outdoors with Mike Roux, turkeys, gobblers, strutting toms, hunting tips, turkey hunter
As I sit down to write this, I do so with a great deal of joy and satisfaction. Along with these emotions there is also a bit of fear and trepidation. Let me start off by telling those of you who may not be familiar with FCA what this organization is all about.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is an international organization dedicated to mentoring and discipling athletic coaches in Jr. High Schools, High Schools and Colleges around the world. There are approximately 1,500 full-time FCA Staff Members in the United States. The vision of this ministry is to help bring the influence of Christ to these coaches so they can then share that with the kids they coach. This ministry has been very successful for many decades.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Mike Roux, Outdoors with Mike Roux, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, FCA Outdoors, christian ministry
You may think by the title of this article that I am going to talk about dropping your cap in the woods, but that is not the case. Instead we are going to discuss one of the fastest growing topics in the hunting world. Looking for, finding, and collecting shed antlers has become one of the most popular activities among not just hunters but the general public as well. A lot of folks are now spending their late winter days looking to bring home a pile of discarded whitetail deer antlers.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Mike Roux, hunting, outdoors, Outdoors with Mike Roux, shed antlers, deer antlers
The three-day New Year’s weekend was a good one. The weather was near perfect, my whole family was home, and the hunting was outstanding. I didn’t spend the entire holiday weekend in the field, but I did manage to sneak in a goose hunt on Saturday morning with my good friend and waterfowl-hunting expert, Kevin Brunstein.
Tags: Beck's Hybrids, fishing, Mike Roux, Mountain Screamer Game Calls, Outdoors with Mike Roux, goose hunting, Beck’s Blog, Canada geese, Speckeled Belly Geese, Winchester
Archery and gun hunters alike will have many chances at deer this season. There will be literally tons of venison ready for preparation in the Midwest over the next few months.
The processing of all of this deer meat can start to get expensive. Let’s just assume that your family gets two deer. That is pretty realistic. The processing cost will likely be in excess of $100. Now let’s say you spend that $100 almost every year. In five or six years you have spent enough on deer processing to buy a new gun or a better bow. Let me show you how to put that money to better use.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Mike Roux, Outdoors with Mike Roux, deer hunting, deer processing, ground deer, deer steaks
In recent years, more and more hunters are looking for a big buck rather than meat for the table. However, there are still many deer hunters who get as much satisfaction in harvesting a doe as they do in a nice buck. In fact, from a herd management standpoint, taking the doe is more important than taking a young buck. I can remember my Dad saying, many years ago, "If I kill a big buck it's because he's the first deer I get a shot at."
In today's hunt for big, wide, heavy-beamed antlers, deer hunting has taken on a new look. This is not a bad thing. Deer herds continue to grow from coast to coast. Herd management has taken a huge leap forward in many states. This all combines to give more hunters a crack at the buck of a lifetime each season.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Mike Roux, Outdoors with Mike Roux, deer hunting
Because the majority of deer season for most states falls during harvest, many farmers are opting for muzzleloaders and the later seasons they provide. Every year thousands of farmer-hunters purchase their first muzzleloading guns. Some of these guys have used black-powder guns in the past by borrowing them from friends. The vast majority however have no actual experience with “front-stuffers”. If you are included in this group, or know someone who is, here are few valuable tips and advice.
Tags: Beck's Hybrids, fishing, Mike Roux, Outdoors with Mike Roux, deer hunting, Harvest Season, Beck’s Blog, Muzzleloader, Muzzleloading gun
Southern Illinois is right in the heart of Beck’s territory. Anytime I get into the area around Carbondale and Murphysboro I always check-in with the top fishing guide on Kinkaid Lake, Colby Simms. Last week was one of those occasions. Colby said to get there, that the musky bite was very good.
So as not to fish alone, I called my good friend, Mike Hamski. Mike lives in Park Hills, Missouri and is substantially closer to Kinkaid than I am. He agreed to take some time off and we planned a quick trip that would allow us to fish in the evening and stay over to hit the lake again the following morning. We thought if we gave Kinkaid five or six hours in October, we might be able to hook a musky.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Beck's Hybrids, Mike Roux, Outdoors with Mike Roux, Colby Simms Outdoors, musky fishing, Kinkaid Lake
August has been hot this year. Good for the corn, ok for the soybeans, and great for fishing. I don’t know a single farmer who would turn down a walleye dinner. Think hot weather and walleyes do not mix? Think again. A walleye is cold-blooded. Like other fish, their metabolism rises along with the water temperature in summer, meaning they need to eat more, not less.
Conventional wisdom, all summer long, demands dragging leeches and minnows on Lindy rigs in deeper water for walleyes. Obviously, it works. Hundreds of thousands of walleye enthusiasts cannot be wrong, especially since it is still working after half a century.
Tags: Beck's Hybrids, fishing, Mike Roux, Outdoors with Mike Roux, Beck’s Blog, Fishing Tips, Hot weather walleye, walleye fishing
Man....it's hot! It is the middle of summer, and it feels like it. Heat and humidity are two things I have never built up a resistance to. Summer is my least favorite season. And a summer like this one, hot and dry, is a real killer. It’s so hot, yesterday I saw a dog chasin' a cat, and they were both walkin'. It is so hot even the ice cubes are sweatin'. The good thing about this time of year is that our farming friends can occasionally take a day off to catch some fish.
So much for my hot weather complaints. Summer has its good points, too. Mid-summer fishing can often be as hot as the weather. Summer patterns and habits for most game fish fluctuate drastically from day to day. There are several contributing factors that can make or break a day of summer fishing. Today we're going to look at some questions and give some advice on how to keep fresh fillets on your grill or in your skillet this summer.
Tags: Beck's Hybrids, fishing, Mike Roux, Outdoors with Mike Roux, Beck’s Blog, Mid-Summer Fishing Tips, Summer Fishing Tips, Fishing Tips
This has been a very rewarding spring turkey season for me. I only had limited time to hunt but I have turkey breast to eat and lots of new memories. Good friends like Les Semar, Bob Cowman, JD Stevenson, Collin Brunstein and Lexi Stevenson all got nice birds as well. But by far the biggest highlight of this season came back in February when longtime friend, Les Semar called me with a very special invitation.
For the past couple of years, Les and his brother Scott have been involved with the Southeast Missouri Chapter of Hope Outdoors, an organization dedicated to facilitating events and providing hunting opportunities to kids who would otherwise likely never get the chance to experience the outdoors, much less actually get to go hunting. I did some quick research on Hope Outdoors and felt like this was a worthwhile effort in which to help out. Mostly, I just trusted Les that if he supported it I should, too.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Mike Roux, hunting, youth hunting, turkey hunting, Outdoors with Mike Roux, Hope Outdoors, Southeast Missouri Chapter Hope Outdoors
Well, it’s February and the major hunting seasons have drawn to a close. The deer and geese have been processed and now it is time to turn our attention to another winter activity. Hunting cottontails has been an American tradition as long as our country has been established.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Mike Roux, rabbit hunting, Outdoors with Mike Roux, hunting rabbits, snow hunting