Posts Tagged ‘Fishing’

Did I start a fire without matches on television in only 30 seconds? Gotta watch the video to find out!

I hope you enjoy my KHQA Morning Show appearance. Huge thanks to host Kristen Aguirre and cameraman Mark Schneider! Also huge thanks to my husband who was kind enough to camp on a Tuesday night and get up at 4 am so I could be “TV ready!”

Note to self: I should do video blogs more often! It’s so much less typing!!


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Thanks to the nice people who took our photo even though we scared off their fish!!

Let me tell you readers, it’s not for lack of stories that I haven’t been posting quite as often, it’s for lack of time to write!  In the past couple of weeks I’ve had a couple of adventures that I have yet to tell you guys about… today’s slightly late recap is:

Kayaking with Jess

Adventure Feet

My friend Jess’s father-in-law owns a couple of sit-on-top kayaks, and for a long time we had been saying, “Someday we ought to take those over to Wyconda and paddle.”  Well, someday was taking too long so I sent her a message on Facebook asking if “someday” could be “Sunday.”  She actually replied no at first but quickly reversed and said, yeah- let’s do it.

We headed across the river with the boats in the back of my dad’s truck to Wakonda State Park in La Grange, MO.  Our destination was not the busy and crowded main lake, but rather neighboring Agate Lake.

Wyconda State Park Map (Click to view larger)

I learned via the park’s website that Agate Lake was one of six man-made lakes in Northern Missouri created by the excavation of ice-age deposited gravel pits.  The horse-shoe shaped lake is deceptively large, and Jess and I had a great time paddling, exploring, and chasing geese around the small island in the middle of the lake.  My primary paddling experience has been in ocean kayaks (covered), and this was a great chance to try the sit-on-top variety.  Clearly, this kind of kayak isn’t built for speed or tight maneuverability, but it’s really comfortable, steady and perfect for a relaxing day on a local lake.

Some of the Wyconda Trail Heads near Agate Lake

Because I’m silly and couldn’t resist, I had to see how far I could push the kayak onto its side before it would tip. The answer: pretty darned far.  The things are designed to be super-stable and forgiving.  When I finally did tip the thing, I easily flipped it back to the right side by myself, and since it wasn’t full of water the way an ocean rig would have been, I just kicked my feet a little, hauled myself back up on deck, flipped over to sit back in the seat and we were back on our way.

Jess and I had a really nice afternoon on the lake, and I enjoyed being able to catch up with what was going on in her life and tell her about what had been going on in mine.  Really, the most important part of getting out to follow your Adventure Foot is being able to share the experience with a friend.   Kayaking on a small lake is so quiet and relaxing that it lends itself especially well to great conversation.

Jess had no problem with the choppy water 🙂

If you’re looking for a great little park nearby, I’d highly recommend Wakonda.  In addition to Agate Lake where we paddled, there is also Wakonda Lake and its beach and swimming area, there are RV hookups and campsites, several small trails, and a concessions building with small boats to rent.  If you’ve got kayaks there are plenty of opportunities to do short portages to the other lakes in the area- Quartz and Jasper- and I’m told that if you head the right direction, you can portage a few times and be right back in the Mississippi.   The lakes are also stocked with fish and are a great place to take a family for a fishing trip.  The park is smartly laid out with a central parking lot, so you’re at the center of the lakes, the ranger station, the playground, the swim area, the campsites and the boat launches.  It’s only a 15 minute drive from downtown Quincy, which makes it very convenient, even on a whim.

For more on Wakonda State Park, visit their website here!

Peace out. 🙂

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Do you need a fun family adventure this weekend that doesn’t break the bank? Celebrate National Get Outdoors Week with FREE FISHING in Illinois!

The free fishing event runs June 8th– 11th and it means that anyone can go fishing on any DNR site (state parks and rivers included) in the state without a fishing license, inland trout stamp or salmon stamp these four days only.   I blogged last week about Siloam Springs State Park- and it’s the perfect place to go to take advantage of the statewide free fishing.   Crabapple Lake is stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, redear and green sunfish, carp, crappie, channel catfish and rainbow trout. Rowboats are available to rent at the rates of $8 for 2 hours, $11 for 4 hours or $15 for the day, and canoes are $8 per hour.  There is also a bait shop on-site and a boat ramp for personal craft (only electric motors allowed).   For more on Siloam Springs including trail information, click here!

Fishing Rodeo Saturday June 9th

Moorman Park in Quincy.

In addition to the statewide event, local children and adults can try their hand at angling on Saturday, June 9th at Quincy’s Moorman Park.  The Quincy Park District, KICK-FM, Y-101, and Gamemasters are presenting the annual Fishing Rodeo. It’s free to attend, and since June 9th is a free fishing day in Illinois, no fishing license is required! There will be four different age groups, from kids to seniors! The person that catches the longest fish in each age group will receive a one hundred dollar gift card from Gamemasters! Many other prizes will also be awarded. Registration starts at 1pm, and you’ll fish from 1:30 to 2:30. For more information, contact the Quincy Park District at 217-223-7703.

National Get Outdoors Week is also being celebrated at many national parks this weekend, with many locations waiving camping, entrance or facilities fees.  Check local parks for specific information.

Bluegill can be recognized by a distinct black dot behind the gill, spiked top fins and a round shape. Photo from fish.dnr.cornell.edu

Did you know?

The State Fish of Illinois, as voted on by school children in 1986, is the Bluegill!  Bluegill are common in rivers, lakes and streams throughout the state.  Bluegill are actually a carnivorous fish and eat bugs, larvae, snails, crayfish and algae.  They grow to be around 9 inches long and weigh 12 ounces.

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Fishing for Freedom boat in the parade.

2011 marks the tenth year of the “Global War on Terrorism (GWOT),” and the toll it has taken on our men and women in uniform has been immense. Multiple deployments in the different theaters of the war have left scars, both seen and unseen. Regardless of politics, we can all agree that our fighting forces have served their country selflessly and bravely, and we all can join together to thank our troops for their service.

The psychological toll of war is hard to measure for our nation’s veterans. One 2009 study from Stanford University suggests that up to 40% of returning soldiers will develop some symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Department of Defense and Veteran’s Administration both have initiated programs to help soldiers cope, and their plans both note the therapeutic effect of outdoor recreation.

It is in that spirit that for the first time in Quincy, a dedicated group of volunteers have banded together to create an event called “Fishing for Freedom.”  The event brings together bass anglers and veterans of the GWOT for a day of tournament bass fishing on the river.

Organizer Bob Havermale attended a similar event last fall in Warsaw, Mo., and said he was so moved by what it meant to our service personnel, that he decided to organize a similar event on the Quincy riverfront. “This is a weekend for our honoring our warriors who have served in the GWOT and wounded warriors,” Havermale explains. “Each boater donates his time and the expense of operating his boat for the event. It costs the warriors nothing.  We hope to have a positive impact and a fun day of fishing for people who have given our country so much. We also hope to make this an annual event, that gets bigger and better each year.”

The Fishing for Freedom event will begin Saturday, June 4, at the Oakley Lindsay Center.  There will be a banquet starting at 5 p.m., and tickets for the general public will be $20 each and can be purchased starting May 23 at the OLC Box Office. After the meal, there will be an auction to raise funds to pay for the event. No one working for the event is paid, and all funds will go to the operating costs. At 7:30 p.m., Longhorn, a comedian, will take the stage for a show.

The tournament day begins at the Quincy Boat Club for breakfast at 5 a.m. on Sunday, June 5. Weather permitting, at 7 a.m., there will be a fly-over of two F-15 fighter jets while the Star Spangled Banner is played and the fishing boats are launched. The Illinois Patriot Guard Fallen Heroes Traveling Memorial Wall will also be on display at Kessler park during the event. The fishermen will return to the Quincy Boat Club at 3 p.m. for the weigh-in and awards ceremony.

There are still many ways to get involved with the Fishing for Freedom event.  Boat sponsorships are available for $250, volunteers are still needed, and donations of prizes or auction items are very much appreciated. You can learn more about the event by going tohttp://www.fishingforfreedomquincy.org. The event also has a Facebook page that can be found atwww.tinyurl.com/FFQuincy.

Original Post May 3, 2011

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