How to Hook Live Bluegill Bait for Flathead Catfish

Fishing for flathead catfish is a great way to catch the largest fish in your local river!  However, the process of catching bait, preparing gear, and finding a good fishing spot is a time-consuming process.  With so much time invested, it is important to hook your bluegill bait correctly, so you hook and land more fish!

Below is a picture showing 3 different options to hook your bluegill bait which is indicated in red.  The green line indicates the lateral line of the fish.  The lateral line allows your bluegill to detect movement, vibration, and pressure gradients in the water.  Hitting the lateral line with your hook will likely shock your bluegill bait and not allow it swim, reducing your chances of hooking a flathead catfish. 

 

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When fishing with live bluegill bait, it is important to note that flathead catfish will first try to stun your bait, so it is easier for them to catch and swallow.  Flathead catfish will stun live bluegill bait by striking it with their large tail.  After the bluegill bait is stunned, the flathead catfish will likely swallow the bluegill headfirst. 

Good luck on your next flathead fishing adventure and feel free to send White Buffalo Outdoors pictures of your trophy fish!

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Justin J. Lind

July 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

Click or tap the images below to purchase one of these great flathead catfish fishing shirts!
Flathead Catfish Fishing Shirt
Flathead Catfish Fishing Shirt

3 Simple Recipes to Cook Morel Mushrooms

You fought the bugs, heat, and the poison ivy to pick those golden morel mushrooms.  After all that hard work it is time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor!  Well, that is after you are done cooking.  Luckily, we have 3 simple recipes sent in by 3 awesome readers of White Buffalo Outdoors that take little time and can be done with just a few dollars.

Before you begin cooking, you need to thoroughly clean your mushrooms.  Cut the mushrooms in half and inspect the tubular stem and remove any debris.  Wash the outside of the mushrooms and inside the tubular stem with cold water.  Pat dry with a paper towel after cleaning. 

Quick Tip:  Soak cut mushrooms overnight in saltwater or milk to draw out bugs, dirt, and other debris.  If you do not have the time to soak overnight, put your cut mushrooms in a bowel of saltwater or milk and gently stir with your hands for 1 minute.  Let the cut mushrooms soak for 15 minutes.  After soaking, gently pour your mushrooms in a strainer and pat dry with a paper towel. 

Eggs and Flour Recipe – Wesley Beatty

Preparation – Scramble a half dozen eggs in a bowl and let sit.  Place 2 cups of flour in a separate bowl and let sit. 

Dip an individual cut mushroom in the bowl of scrambled eggs and immediately place into the bowl of flour.  Cover mushroom on both sides with flour and shake off excess.  Place mushroom on a paper towel.  Repeat this process until you have 10 cut mushrooms ready.  Next, fry in butter until golden brown.

Eggs and Butter Recipe – Carl Small

Preparation – Melt 2 sticks of butter in a bowl and let sit until butter is cool enough to touch.  Place 2 cups of flour in a separate bowl and let sit. 

Dip an individual cut mushroom in the bowl of melted butter and immediately place into the bowl of flour.  Cover mushroom on both sides with flour and shake off excess.  Place mushroom on a paper towel.  Repeat this process until you have 10 cut mushrooms ready.  Next, fry in butter until golden brown and lightly salt.

Eggs and Saltine Crackers Recipe – Matthew Morine

Preparation – Scramble a half dozen eggs in a bowl and let sit.  Finely break up a roll of saltine crackers and place in a separate bowl. 

Dip an individual cut mushroom in the bowl of scrambled eggs and immediately place into the bowl of saltine crackers.  Cover mushroom on both sides with saltine crackers and shake off excess.  Place mushroom on a paper towel.  Repeat this process until you have 10 cut mushrooms ready.  Next, fry in butter until golden brown.

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Justin J. Lind

June 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

Contaminated Morel Mushrooms a Real Threat to the 2019 Season

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is warning all mushroom hunters to use caution when hunting in and around flooded areas. 

According to Salamanca (2019), “Flooding throughout Iowa this spring has damaged farm land, public parks and recreational spots, and has caused increased pressures on drainage systems” (p.1).

Mushroom hunters should avoid areas where animals like fish have perished and areas that likely hold chemical contaminants like pesticides and heavy metals (Salamanca, 2019, p. 1).

When picking mushrooms, avoid decaying mushrooms or mushrooms with growths.  Leave behind any mushrooms filled with insects or unidentifiable debris.    If a mushroom does not look right, do not pick it! 

Before cooking mushrooms, cut them in half and inspect the tubular stem and remove any debris.  Thoroughly wash the outside of the mushroom and inside the tubular stem with cold water.  Pat dry with a paper towel after cleaning. 

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Justin J. Lind

April 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

Reference

Salamanca, L. R. (2019, April 22). Use Caution When Morel Mushroom Hunting in Flooded Areas. Retrieved from https://www.extension.iastate.edu/scott/news/use-caution-when-morel-mushroom-hunting-flooded-areas

Iowa Deer Hunting: Blood Tracking Dog Bill Moves Forward, but with a Catch

Using a LEASHED dog to find dead or wounded deer is rapidly becoming more desirable to Iowa hunters and legislation is moving forward to make this practice a reality.  However, while moving through The House Natural Resources Committee, committee members tacked on an amendment to Bill HF657 that left many supporters of the bill frustrated.  This new amendment would require all Iowa blood tracking dogs and their handlers to be “certified” in blood tracking.

The actual certification process is uncertain and leaving many supporters of the bill wondering what the true intentions of the sudden and new amendment is.  Certifying dogs and handlers is costly, not only does it require hunters to pay a large monetary sum, but it takes a lot of time to accomplish. Certification could be done by a private group or by the state of Iowa.  Many states that require certification allow blood tracking dogs and their handlers to track WITHOUT a leash, which will NOT be allowed under the Bill HF657.

Currently, 37 states allow LEASHED blood tracking dogs to find wounded or dead deer because of the various benefits the practice provides towards conservation.  Here are a few of those benefits: 

The Benefits of Blood Tracking Dogs
  • Less game wasted. Many dog breeds were specifically bred by humans for tracking purposes.
  • Wounded deer are found quickly and efficiently.
  • Less grid walking of large groups on public and private lands. Grid walking disturbs hunters, flora, fauna, and archaeological sites.
  • The accuracy of the annual Iowa deer count would increase.
  • Lead poisoning of animals feeding on unfound deer carcasses would lessen, including avian wildlife like bald eagles.
  • Over 189,000 Iowa deer tags were bought by Iowa hunters during the 2016 season. With a large hunting community in Iowa and thousands of dogs left to live out their days in animal shelters, a lift in these regulations could give abandoned dogs new opportunities in life and a new home.
  • Hunters with physical limitations would benefit with a tracking companion.

To learn more about Blood Tracking Dogs in Iowa visit the Iowa Blood Trackers Facebook page.

To give your input on HF657, click here to find your legislator.

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Justin J. Lind

March 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

Why We Fish

We fish for one reason, a reason we can’t explain because we’re always thinking about fishing.

The intellectuals say we fish to escape life’s problems.  We reply, “Have you ever had a snag and lost a $7 hook?”

Some even think deeper and say, “They go fishing to live life, not escape it.”  We elaborate further, “There was a $3 sinker with that $7 hook.”

Don’t worry, fishermen’s personalities don’t run that dry.  We enjoy organizing tackle boxes and working on reels, every Saturday night.

Yes, we are like the rest of humankind.  We work 40 hours a week and work for “that” boss.  The only difference, our “that” boss thinks we are sick when we call in sick. 

Again, we are like the rest of human kind and tell the occasional lie, except when it comes to fishing. 

Alright, we exaggerate a little when explaining the length of the fish that got away.  One thing we can’t exaggerate are the pictures we take. 

The proof is there, right on our phones for the world to see!  Here come the critics. 

They say, “You’re holding the fish close to the phone to make it look bigger.”  We respond with dry personality, “You’re holding your head to close to my phone.”

In our community of fishermen, we have those few, the few who attempt to explain why we are different from all others.  The reality, we’re not. 

We are always recruiting new people to our world. The ones in training, always convert not because of force, but because of the personalities surrounding them while fishing. 

I will go out on a limb and try to explain why we fish.

We fish for one reason, a reason we can’t explain because we’re always thinking about fishing.

Justin J. Lind

January 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

Broaden Your Outdoor Knowledge: Trap Using Snares

Are you an outdoorsman looking to change your routine during hunting and trapping season? Try your hand at snares. This primitive and cheap way of trapping is guaranteed to put furs on your wall and teach you more about the fur bearing animals lurking around you.

I started snare trapping 9 years ago and to be honest I had no idea what I was doing. Hunting, fishing, and trapping my whole life, I started looking for alternative options to harvest fur bearing animals. Sitting in my tree stand bow hunting, I would observe foxes and coyotes moving through the woods like ghosts, making little to no noise. Overtime, I became fixated on harvesting these elusive creatures in the most primitive way possible.

Gathering a few friends, we decided to trap using snares on local farm ground. On our first day, we set only 15 snares. Checking them the following day, we were overjoyed to find 2 coyotes awaiting our arrival.

Here are a few things I learned through my experience snaring:

1. Buy Online

A simple Google search can save you a lot of time, money, and energy.

My trapping group and I contemplated making our own snares or buying them online. After extensive research we concluded buying online would meet all our needs. It costs less than $1 to buy each snare online. It would cost you much more to purchase the materials and make them ourselves. The traps were put together by professionals who made the snares legal to meet state regulations. Not to mention, being built by professionals means they are built to last.

Important! Ensure the snares you are buying have deer stops on them. Deer stops do not allow your snares to tighten completely, allowing deer hooves to pass through. It is also a violation of the law in most states to not have deer stops.

Another tip, buy your identification tags online. Tags, by law, must be on each trap you own displaying your name and address. Simply Google search “trap tags copper” and pick your business of choice to purchase from.

2. Prepare

With our snares and identification tags in hand, we now had to decide which kind of stakes we wanted to use that hold our snares to the ground. My trapping group and I decided to build the stakes ourselves. To do this, simply weld a large washer on top of a 26″ piece of rebar. Once the washer is welded, wrap a 23″ piece of 9 gage wire at the base of the washer and weld that on the rebar.

If you do not know how to weld, you can buy the stakes online or have a local welding shop do the work at a low price.

Trapping with snares does not require stakes. Snares can be nailed to solid objects including fence posts, trees, and deadwood laying on the ground.

3. Find Your Game Trails

If you have time, setup a trail camera and see what kind of fur bearing animals are utilizing your trapping area. When trapping coyotes and foxes, set snares on obvious and heavily used game trails in grasslands and woodlands. Like us humans, fur bearing animals will take the path of least resistance when headed out to their favorite hunting spot.

If you have no game trails and are trapping on private land, simply create your own by pushing down grass with your feet or vehicle tires.

4. Don’t Give Up and Don’t Be Intimidated

You will NOT harvest an animal everyday you trap. This is a reality for even the most experienced trappers in the world. Continue what you are doing and do not give up!  The size of a coyote’s home range depends on the food and cover available, but it generally averages between 8 and 12 square miles.  The home range of a coyote is a great example of the distance one fur bearing animal will travel looking for food and catching it in a small 8″ snare takes patience and luck!

Overtime, trapping with snares will teach you wildlife management, identification of animal prints, and other skills that will transition into your other outdoor sports like hunting.

Broaden your outdoor knowledge and try trapping using snares.

Justin J. Lind

September 2017
White Buffalo Outdoors

6 Words Describing the White Buffalo Outdoors Store

At the White Buffalo Outdoors store we strive to provide a style of life that you can customize. You will find several different outdoor designs and merchandise to pick from. Simply, take one of our designs and place it on your preferred product. Merchandise includes clothing, coffee mugs, cell phone cases, and so much more!

Here are 6 simple words that describe what you can expect when visiting the White Buffalo Outdoors store:

1. Unique

These great outdoor designs will not be found anywhere else! All designs found at the White Buffalo Outdoors store are created and owned by White Buffalo Outdoors. White Buffalo Outdoors posts new designs weekly so you will always have something new to choose from.

2. Positive

We pride ourselves on designing products that represent our outdoor culture in a positive way. The positive designs allow you to wear or display our merchandise almost anywhere.

3. Modern

When designing our merchandise, we aim for clean and simple designs that look good in today’s world.

4. Multi Generational

Our inventory is full of merchandise for the entire family. From adults to infants, you will find it all for your outdoor family.

5. Customizable

Do you like one of our short sleeve deer hunting shirts, but not the color? That is a simple fix. Click the Customize button and change the color to your liking. You also have the ability to move the design to other clothing like hoodies, long sleeves, cut-off shirts, and much more.

6. Affordable

Almost every day you visit the White Buffalo Outdoors store you will find daily discounts on different merchandise, saving you more money.

Visit the White Buffalo Outdoors store and customize your outdoor style today!

Justin J. Lind

January 2019
White Buffalo Outdoors

One Item You Must Pack for Duck Hunting

Duck hunters across the United States will soon brave the cold weather to chase ducks across our waters. Many of these hunters will be walking and running in chest waders, with some taking one wrong step and falling in the water.

Do not let your hunting partners get hypothermia and bring old clothing from your closet. This clothing does not need to be fancy camouflage or outrageously priced outdoor gear. Take that clothing you were going to throw out or bring to the second-hand store! Make sure you pack a few thinly layered shirts followed by a hoodie, sweat pants, hat, and socks.

Hypothermia accelerates 25 times faster when an individual is in cold water. Within seconds you can have a life and death situation on your hands.

Symptoms of hypothermia include:

  • Shivering
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow breathing
  • Clumsiness and confusion

If any of your fellow duck hunters have these symptoms after falling in the water, immediately dial 911 and have an ambulance waiting at the boat ramp. After you get off the phone, take ALL the wet clothes off the hypothermic hunter and put on the layers of old clothing. If you have several hunters with you, have the other hunters press their bodies against the hypothermic hunter as you drive towards the boat ramp.

Watching your buddy fill his waders in cold water might be entertaining at first but can quickly turn into a serious situation.

Take a few minutes before hunting season and pack those old clothes, they could save a life!

Justin J. Lind

September 2018
White Buffalo Outdoors

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