A scheduling quirk will allow pheasant hunters a chance to bag a turkey during the upland game opener on Sunday.
Pheasant, quail and rabbit seasons open on November 1, which also is the final day of the 10-day fall firearms season for wild turkey.
The multi-species opportunity has never happened before, mostly because the fall-turkey session is relatively new, thanks to an expanding population.
The same cannot be said for pheasant and quail, which have taken a beating around here in the last decade due to increased predation by coyote, hawk and nest-raiding raccoons, opossum and skunk. Fragmented farming practices don't help either.
The deer population seems fine. Veteran archers are saying bucks are on the move and the rut is near, which means there is no better time to get close to a big buck.. Experts advise spending as much time in the woods as one can. Even through the usually stagnant mid-day hours. The deer-firearms opener is Nov. 14.
I haven't heard many reports yet, but Wednesday's rain had to help the stream situation, which had become critically low and clear. A rise in water levels usually reshuffles the steelhead which are already in the creeks and may attract a fresh run of winter steelies.
There are still some coho slogging around the upper reaches of Trail.
For steelhead, spawn, spawn sacks and shrimp are top baits drifted beneath a bobber set to deliver the hook a few inches above bottom.
The same baits dunked four to seven feet beneath a float can be good at the harbor and pier, if weather allows. Might be some lakersor browns within reach of pier casters, too.
Lakers should be in at the reef outside the Port of Indiana where trollers and jiggers tie into some hefty trout each fall. Trollers pull Spin-N-Glos behind attractors (dodgers, six-packs or cowbells) set 15-feet down to skim the top of the reef. Jjg fishermen zero in on the edges and holes along the reef with blade baits or soft plastics.
Might be some hanging around the Michigan City breakwall as well.
Inland fish are still snapping.
Hardy bass anglers were taking fish casting cranks or spinnerbaits parallel to the weed edges. Bluegill were four to six feet down outside the weed lines on waxworms and ice-fishing baits tipped with waxies. Some crappie were caught suspended deep in the main parts of the LaPorte lakes.
Perch are available, too, usually tight to bottom in 12 to 20 feet of water.
Terry Lee (T.L.) Snyder of Michigan City died last Friday at the age of 73.
Former Army Ranger and successful business owner, the T.L. I knew was was an epic outdoorsman. Intense, relentless and a champion. Snyder wasn't just really good at fishing and hunting, he made himself the best.
He remains the only person I've ever heard of to simultaneously hold two Indiana state record fish (chinook and lake trout). Snyder won numerous contests aboard his charterboat "Sting," including a pair of Hoosier Coho Club Classics in the 1980s. He was also a state champion trap shooter.
Snyder introduced me to to goose hunting in the early 1980s (he was a state and regional goose calling champion), and I am forever grateful, continuing to enjoy pursuing the big birds today.
It was one of those early goose adventures which has me smiling as I write this.
Early season, September, hidden a few rows inside standing corn next to a clipped alfalfa field. Big flock coming to his call from behind us. Snyder yells "kill 'em."
Boom-boom-boom, before I can draw a bead, three Canadas are falling, the first directly at me. I never fired a shot.
"What the (expletive) are you doing?," Snyder yells. "We're not out here sightseeing, we're here to pound their (expletive) in the dirt!"
I mumbled something about getting out of the way of falling geese and he laughed. And we continued to laugh off and on for the rest of the morning.
Now, shooting a triple is a season-maker for most hunters, but it was routine for Snyder. To this day, I am not sure if rained those geese on me on purpose.