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backwatergallery
Administrator
Posts: 1115

1 nice meaty bluegill X redear hybrid, scaled, gutted, rinsed

1 morel mushroom, rinsed, chopped

2 fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

6-10 fresh thyme leaves, chopped

bread crumbs, about the same volume as mushroom

 

Combine the mushroom, herbs and bread crumbs and stuff into the body cavity of the sunfish.  Dust the sunfish with corn flour and salt. pan fry 3-4 minutes per side.

 

A crappie would have worked with this too, I kept getting nibbles drifting a micro jig in the deep water just off their usual spawning stumps, but didn't hook up - after a couple passes the nibbling stopped and I turned my attention to nesting bass.  Both Hooper and Aquahbi have some nice bass nesting in the shalllows.  Both lakes are very clear and the emergent pondweed covers the upper portions of both lakes.  Sitting on the weeds, casting to the inside weed edge got me 1 bass landed, 2 broke off in the weeds, lots more follows, head butts, missed strikes - typical nesting bass stuff, spooked a bunch where the creek coming from Hooper flows into Aquahbi.

 

 

May 2, 2015 at 11:47 PM Flag Quote & Reply

iowaflyfisher
Site Owner
Posts: 275

Sounds tasty! One of these days I will have to learn to be a morel hunter. I've never done it, and probably would end up bumbling around in the woods, looking in all the wrong places. And morel hunters tend to be a secretive lot. Got some from a friend once, who found a bucket-load and graciously shared. They were beautiful and delicious.

May 4, 2015 at 9:50 AM Flag Quote & Reply

FishnDave
Member
Posts: 1144

No pure-strain Redears yet?

May 4, 2015 at 10:57 AM Flag Quote & Reply

backwatergallery
Administrator
Posts: 1115

Dave - not yet, but I wasn't looking for them.  With the pondweed in flower now I suspect they are simply out of reach, but the weeds are the reason a pond that gets fished every day still has any fish left.  The pondweed will begin dying back by the time redear start nesting.

 

Chad - I went to Blue Heron on Sunday found more morels and did the whole thing over with several of the small crappie so numerous in there.  Keeping it brief - there are 2 species of interest locally, the morel (morchella morchella) and the half-free morel.  There are some poisonous look-alikes but the main look-alike is not completely hollow inside like the morel and is usually larger and colored a little differently.

 

Of course, the mushroom is only the "fruit" of an organism that lives underground.  This organism has basically 2 modes of existence - it can live on leaf litter and other debris while it searches for a suitable tree to partner with, fruiting of this mode (in my experience) has to do with flooding or fire the preceeding year, but it is said if you throw the mushroom rinse water on a compost pile morels may appear the following Spring from this growth mode.

The other, more predictable mode is when the fungus partners with an elm or ash tree.  It helps the tree take water and nutrients from the soil and receives sugars from the tree.  When the tree dies the fungus may fruit, or if its "network" is in contact with another partner it may "move" to that tree.  In this mode you look for a dead elm or ash tree still standing and search around the base of the tree.  Moisture and temperature have to be just right - but they definitely are popping right now.  I found around 50 here https://www.google.com/maps/@41.5459059,-93.7246179,114m/data=!3m1!1e3 on this little penninsula.  Don't check it now because I cleaned it out, but you can see a few dead ash trees still standing and there is a beaver lodge nearby, beavers kill trees. 

 

The other main concern is poison ivy - don't wear shorts, use a little bleach in the water when you wash the clothes even if you've been careful not to touch it.  Poison ivy and wild grapes also kill trees, often the morels are right in the very worst of the ivy.

May 5, 2015 at 1:32 AM Flag Quote & Reply

iowaflyfisher
Site Owner
Posts: 275

Great info. Thanks, Mark!

May 5, 2015 at 9:24 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Huntnpack
Member
Posts: 150

Yep, pay special attention to the standing dead trees when they still have most of the bark on 'em.  I usually bring a walking stick, or pick up a stick walking in to help move brush out of the way when searching (especially as thick as stuff is this year).  When you see one.  Don't rush straight for it.   Stop, and take a carefull look around.  Take the time to kneel and get a look under the surrounding brush etc.   Where there's one, there are likely more (especially with dead trees), and you don't want to trample/miss them.

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@backwater interesting spot.  I've wondered about that whole area.  Seems like it is in a good succession, etc.

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For a mini report.  I did wade the bank north of the sandpiper boat ramp on sunday afternoon.  Caught a pair of largemouths 12/13".  Otherwise pretty uneventful.

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May 6, 2015 at 1:21 AM Flag Quote & Reply

backwatergallery
Administrator
Posts: 1115

Huntnpack - the gar moved off the flats, some were busting shad out in the open water west of the powerlines, but I think they'll be back on the flats soon with it warming up the way it is.

 

How did Saylorville look as far as water clarity?

 

May 7, 2015 at 12:40 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Huntnpack
Member
Posts: 150
The water clarity was about 18"
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May 7, 2015 at 2:32 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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