• OUTDOOR TALES: Alabama rig legal for now

    Since the Alabama rig burst onto the bass scene last year, winning tournaments and attracting fish as well as fishermen, it has been somewhat controversial.

    The rig has five spines or wires which can pull five hooks or baits. It has been ruled illegal in a few places and has been prohibited from the Bassmaster Elite bass tour and Bassmaster Classic tournament.

    However, Kentucky natural resources officials as well as those in Indiana have given the rig an OK, at least temporarily.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Sucker fishing fun, tasty eating

    Sure, you can catch fish anytime of the year, even through the ice. However, some times are better than others, and some certainly are more pleasant than others.

    Spring kicks off fishing season for most folks, and one sign of spring is sucker fishing. Yes, there is a sucker fish. (Not talking about fishermen who buy far too many fancy lures.)

    Sauger fishing is slowing. Crappie and bass can be taken early, but their numbers usually don’t pick up until later in the spring.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Top angler offers tips

    With a name like Whitey Outlaw, he might be suited to be a country-western star, or maybe a World Wrestling fighter, but to those who know the name, know he is one of the top crappie fishing pros in the country.

    Whitey has been fishing crappie tournaments since he was 15, when he won his first tournament on his home lake, Santee Cooper in South Carolina.

    He has fished every CrappieMasters major tourney since, and he and his partner, Mike Parrott, won the organization’s Classic three years ago.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Alabama rig new hot bass catcher

    Remember the craze about the Big O bass lure? There were tales of them being rented on a day-to-day basis.

    Everybody wanted one back in 1967. Founder Fred Young couldn’t make them fast enough. They were handcrafted from balsa wood.

    Eventually, Cotton Cordell’s company obtained the rights to the lure and began mass-producing it, which caught lots of big fish.

    There have been other lure crazes, but that was the biggest I recall until maybe now. Now, it’s the Alabama rig. It’s a bass catching sensation.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Snow brings back ice cream memories

    Although snow has been scarce this winter, snow still has been on my mind, and snow brought to mind something I really enjoyed in my younger years  — snow ice cream. The fact is, I still enjoy it.

    Sometimes March produces some big snows. They don’t last long, but long enough for ice cream.

    Growing up, ice cream was a real treat. It was something very special. 

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Cold nights, mild days good for syrup

    There still are people who make maple syrup. It’s tasty, a sign of spring, and a lot of work.

    Maple syrup time is time when the wonderful aroma of cooking syrup can wafts its way down the valleys from sugar camp hills.

    Making maple syrup is almost a lost art.  Most people who make the sweet, tasty syrup in this part of the country do it for the enjoyment and make enough to earn a few bucks and provide a supply for family and friends.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: The truth about boat extended warranties

    Often people have described a boat as a hole in the water in which to throw money — or something like that. And, there is considerable truth in the saying.

    As I sit at the computer writing this column, the boat repair guy is due on Monday to work on my old 60-horse motor. There’s always something to repair, to spend money on.

    But, on the flip side, my boats have always given me lots of pleasure fishing the Ohio River, skiing, exploring river banks for a picnic spot, watching birds, or just enjoying the scenery at Kentucky Lake or Green River.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Sports show offers escape from winter

    It’s outdoor sports show time again. An opportunity to get out of the cold, look at the latest goodies available for outdoor people, and plan some outings and vacations.

    The 55th annual Progressive Insurance Louisville Boat, RV & Sport Show is scheduled for the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, Jan. 25-29, and will have available hundreds of new boats and recreational vehicles, and outdoor gadgets and gear.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Big bear, eagle threat found

    As the new year races out of the starting gate headlong into the Mayan calendar’s 2012, we need to make sure we have caught our share of fish, bagged our share of squirrels and hiked our share of trails.

    While obviously the Mayans were a pretty bright bunch, only a few of them made it to 2012. But their famous calendar — which claims this year will be our last — gives us cause to enjoy it.

  • OUTDOOR TALES: Winter great for hiking

    Winter has just started and already some folks are suffering from the cold-weather blahs. Sports shows aren’t yet in full-swing, and there isn’t enough ice for solid-water fishing. So what’s a person to do to deal with the blahs?

    Winter is a good time for many outdoor activities, including hiking. In fact, it is one of the best times for a walk in the woods, for getting outdoors.