John Abbott holds a largemouth he caught at Lake Perry. Photo by Josh Rouse.
When fishing with John Abbott and David Moon, anything can and probably will happen.
I was reminded of this on July 9, 2011, as Brendan Handy and I went on a night fishing trip with them at Lake Perry, just east of Topeka, KS. We first stopped by Walmart to get a few supplies and then headed out to a spot on the lake by a marina. The spot is a notorious crappie hole, but we only had one crappie on this adventure as they were much deeper than we were fishing.
However, we still had a lot of success fishing in this spot, albeit from a variety of different fish than we were expecting to catch. One species of fish that we caught that was particularly interesting was a gar, which is a long, boney fish with a long beak filled with razor sharp teeth. Definitely not your typical fish, and this was in particular was special because of its size.
With all the negatives surrounding the tragic death of Caylee Anthony and the subsequent legal proceedings, one positive that can and should be taken from it is that it has opened America's eyes and put a spotlight on water safety and the very real possibility of drowning, even in a small amount of water. This is not meant as any sort of commentary on the case, but rather a guide to help prevent accidents similar to what has been described during the case from happening.
Drowning can occur in any depth of water, even as little as 30 mm of water if lying face down in it. Parents need to stay alert with children around any sort of water, including bath tubs, sinks, toilets, pools, hot tubs, ponds, creeks, rivers, lakes, and the ocean.
While it seems needless to say, even the most attentive and caring parents oftentimes can overlook the dangers of water for children and how easily a day at the pool or a fishing trip or even something as simple as a bath can go bad. Heck, when I was a kid, I even came close to drowning in a pool. However, if parents take the proper precautions, they can do a lot to prevent such events from occurring. Following are some safety tips I've gathered from www.safekids.org regarding children in and around the water. Please take a moment to read over these, even if you aren't a parent, as it may help you save a life.
Sam Shenk holds a five pound bass he caught. Photo by Josh Rouse.
I spent my Fourth of July celebrating America's birthday in the best way I could think of: fishing, eating delicious food and watching fireworks at my uncle's pond in Meriden, KS.
I arrived at the pond at about 6 p.m. and started fishing. This particular day was sort of a special one for me because I was fishing with my Grandpa Rouse's fishing pole, who passed a few years ago. It was a classic Zebco 808, and hadn't been used in quite some time. I was fishing with a firetiger Berkley PowerBait BladeDancer, which is what I used the last time I fished at this pond to catch crappie.
I was joined by Sam Shenk, a friend of the family, who was fishing with a diving lure. I started strong, catching three largemouth bass of the side of the dike. Then, Sam caught his first fish of the day, and what a fish it was!
When I first started grilling, I began using ground deer to make hamburgers and cheeseburgers. However, there's a new way to enjoy the same great meat.
My uncle Galen Swader recently introduced me to a new way of grilling deer burgers that tastes great and is quite easy to cook. He took ground deer, which was processed at Farview Farms Meat Company, and mixed it with grated cheese (storebought cheese works just fine) and seasoning (I believe he used Boss Hawg seasoning) and then pressed the three ingredients together to make his patties. The resulting burgers were great, and he gave me a few of his deer patties to try out on my grill.
Saturday was a big day for Country Stampeders. The last time headliner Brad Paisley performed at the largest country music concert in Kansas, he put on an incredible show, and many of those returning for Saturday night's performance were aware of the sort of theatrics he had in store.
However, before he even took stage, there were a few other big name performers in Jerrod Niemann and Blake Shelton. Niemann, who was born in Harper, Kan., but raised in Liberal, Kan., sang a few of his most well-known songs, including "Lover, Lover" and "What Do You Want?" He also sang "Good Ride Cowboy," a tribute song for fallen country singer/rodeo star Chris LeDoux that he co-wrote for Garth Brooks and a few of his funnier, yet lesser-known songs such as "The Buckin' Song" and "For Everclear," a hilarious song about his party days in college. He topped it off with a cover of "Santeria" by Oasis, which was phenomenal.
Brendan Handy gives Rouse Outdoors a thumbs up at the 2011 Country Stampede.
Country Stampede 2011 began on Thursday, June 23, for many country music fans. However, for me it began on Friday.
I made the annual trip to Manhattan, KS, with my best friend from high school Brendan Handy and my mom, who has been taking me to the Stampede each year since my senior year of high school. It's kind of a tradition.
This year's lineup was exciting for me because two musical guests who are well known for their fishing songs (Brad Paisley and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) would be in attendance. Brad Paisley is one of my all-time favorite musicians, but we had to wait until 9:30 p.m. on Saturday to hear him. Instead, we got a chance to listen to a legendary band Friday in the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, as well as Lady Antebellum, the headliner, and Joe Nichols. We arrived at the Stampede at just around 5 p.m., grabbed a turkey leg and a drink from the concession stands and went to find our seats near the middle of the crowd on the right side. However, before we even got seated, we heard a familiar voice over the videoboard. In front of the entire park, WIBW meteorologist Jeremy Goodwin proposed to his girlfriend Nichole Pemberton, who is sisters with one of my friends from high school. She said "Yes," and the crowd roared in approval. Then the music kicked off.
One of my favorite activities involving a camera is taking pictures of severe weather, particularly lightning. While it is certainly not the safest subject for photography, it is one of the most fascinating. People are captivated by storms, whether they are afraid of the power they have or intrigued by them, we all are drawn to images of severe weather. If you are interested in taking photos of lightning, as well, I have a few tips for settings.
Brendan Handy enjoys a plate of grilled catfish and tomatoes. Photo by Josh Rouse.
On Friday, June 17, I decided to grill some catfish. I didn't have any leftover catfish fillets in my freezer, so instead I used storebought catfish nuggets.
These nuggets were unbreaded and were basically just fillets of farm catfish cut in half. I put the frozen nuggets in a bowl of hot water to defrost them, also putting some lemon and lime juice in the bowl to get soaked up, then lit up the grill. By the time I was done lighting it up and letting it heat up a bit, the nuggets were ready. For the first batch, I took about six or seven nuggets and covered them in Lawry's Lemon Pepper. I am a big fan of this seasoning on catfish. Usually, I take a couple fillets, cover them in lemon pepper and wrap them in aluminum. This time I decided to try cooking the nuggets without aluminum foil.
I put the nuggets on the grill and quickly found out this wouldn't work well. As I suspected, the fish easily fell through the grill (I lost three nuggets in the coals). However, I cooked the remaining nuggets about 15 minutes over the direct heat and they tasted pretty decent, though they could have been cooked longer.
For the second batch, I brought out the aluminum foil. I took 4-5 pieces, put it on the aluminum foil and, since I ran out of lemon pepper, covered them in Mrs. Dash original blend seasoning.
This isn't my usual type of blog for this website, but I am a person that believes in the power of prayer.
A fellow Washburn student passed away Friday after getting in a single-car accident. His name was Jermon Watson and he was a linebacker on the Washburn football team. This is the second Washburn football player in three years to die from a car accident, and the Washburn community is an incredibly close group of people. It's never easy.
So, rather than talking about hunting or fishing or storm chasing, I'd like to take a minute to ask you to pray for Jermon and his family. Whatever your faith, please have them in your thoughts and prayers. Here is the official press release from Washburn Sports Information Director Gene Cassell, which was posted on WUSports.com.
Washburn Ichabod football player passes away
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Redshirt freshman-to-be Jermon Watson passed away on Saturday after injuries sustained from a single-car accident Friday afternoon.
Watson, a defensive end/linebacker, from St. Louis, Mo., played his prep ball at Rockwood Summit High School.
"We are very sad with the news," head coach Craig Schurig said. "Jermon always had a big smile and such a great attitude. He was so strong mentally and physically. We saw him being an outstanding young player who did great in the classroom. He was a great player to be around and was here this summer working out and getting close with the team. He always had a big smile on his face."
Schurig, who was at the hospital on Saturday said Watson was a registered organ donor.
"The doctors were able to harvest his organs and he's probably going to help probably six to eight people and whoever gets them will have some strong organs," Schurig said.
Funeral arrangements are pending and will be posted when information is finalized.
Sean Casey, star of "Storm Chasers." Photo by Josh Rouse.
An overcast sky and the occasional raindrop cast a perfect backdrop for the scene Friday at Outback Steakhouse.
Sean Casey, star of the hit Discovery Channel documentary series "Storm Chasers," was in Topeka with a film crew and his Tornado Intercept Vehicle to raise money for the Joplin, Mo., tornado relief effort, a fundraiser which began for the team in Nebraska.
"We've just passed the $8,000 mark," said Casey. "Those are funds that we've been raising over the past 10 days for Joplin, Missouri. We started in Omaha and we were actually at the Storm Chaser baseball game. So we did the benefit there, then we went to the zoo, then we went to Fred's Frozen Custard for the third day."