News from the Tennessee Valley Sports
MONDAY, AUGUST 6, 2007
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Believe it or not, watching duck calling can be loads of fun

Calling all duck callers, your chance at glory is about to arrive.

The Alabama Duck Calling Championship will be Sept. 8 at the Von Braun Center in conjunction with the new H2xpo outdoors show scheduled that weekend, according to a news release.

If you never have been to one of these shows, I can say with certainty that its great entertainment and has a lot more excitement that you might think. People in attendance usually choose a caller early and cheer that person on through the championship.

For the first time, the calling contest is being incorporated with an outdoors show. The show itself will be Sept. 7-9, and you can bet it is drawing the interest of duck calling contestants, people and companies that design and make the duck calls, outdoor outfitters and product manufacturers all across the Southeast.

We have a full schedule of interesting and educational activities for the entire weekend, said David Hohn of Duck Hollers Inc. We have several divisions of duck calling competitions, a retriever exhibition and seminars.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources also plan to attend to meet the public and distribute Hunter Education materials and are bringing an interactive laser-shot range for kids.

For more details about the event, go to the H2xpo Web site at www.h2xpo.com.

Night casting for bass

As the dog days of summer come to North Alabama, many anglers are taking to the water at night to avoid the heat and have some fun.

When current is flowing on Wheeler Lake, anglers are using several night methods to catch largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass.

Of course, one of the favorite techniques for catching bass after the sun goes down is to use live bait. Live shiner minnows and live crawfish should attract the attention of any bass close by.

An exciting moment for me when Im using live bait at night is the time just before a strike. If you have a rod that allows you to feel even the slightest of vibrations, you can feel the movements of your bait.

When using live minnows, the presence of a large predator fish makes the bait swim fast and erratic. You can actually feel the movement go up the line to the rod. When you get this while fishing at night with live bait, its a good bet youre going to get a strike.

If Im going to use live crawfish, I prefer to leave the pincers on the bait. A lot of anglers say they can use the pincers to ease under rocks and other structure, which Im sure is true. I just keep raising my rod tip every now and then to present the bait out in the open should it have crawled underneath a rock.

The pincers of a crawfish are what produce the strike. If a big smallmouth or largemouth bass gets close, the crawfish is going to quickly raise its pincers to a defensive position. This in turns excites the big bass into feeding.

You can buy live minnows and sometimes crawfish at local bait and tackle shops. Also, spending a few hours at certain creeks in and around the Decatur area lifting up rocks in shallow water can fill a childs beach bucket fairly fast. Either way, when fishing with live bait, theres just something extra for me to enjoy.

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Paul Stackhouse
Outdoors
Paul Stackhouse

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