There goes one of my favorite months of the year and it really wasn’t that exciting. I wait for the end of April and early May every year to find those elusive morel mushrooms. This year has been challenging. Since losing the area I have hunted since I was a kid, I had to try and find some new locations. I spent two whole weekends in Missouri walking over 700 acres trying to fill my bag full of shrooms to no avail. This year it just wasn’t meant to be. I never really got skunked but I was only finding five to ten during a six-to-eight-hour walk. I found plenty of good area for mushrooms, but it wasn’t in the cards for me this year. I probably only found a pound the entire season.
The last weekend in April I spent in Missouri, and it seemed like it was just starting at that time. We waited two weeks to go back, and the grass and weeds had grown so much it was insane. We were looking at our deer cameras and between the days of May 7th and May 10th the woods undergrowth quadrupled in size. We tried to hunt some north slopes hoping that they wouldn’t be so grown up but pretty much everywhere in the woods was knee high. So, on the Saturday May 14th I ended up finding eight mushrooms and 89 ticks. Yes, you heard it. I counted them after the last weekend I was there I could swear I picked off 100 ticks. This year maybe the worst year I have ever seen for ticks. If you are heading to the woods or the lake, please make sure to wear your spray and keep your dogs protected from them as well.
During the first weekend in May is our annual Lake Shelbyville trip. Lake Shelbyville is my favorite crappie lake in Illinois, and I am always excited to share the boat with my wife for the weekend. We arrived on Thursday early afternoon and loaded everything into our cabin and set for the Lithia Springs Marina to get our boat slip for the weekend. It is so much easier to just rent a boat slip and not have to fight the crowds at the ramp to boat in and out.
We stayed at Lithia Resort this year and as always, the accommodations are top notch and very affordable. The group at Lithia Resort really do whatever it takes to make your stay memorable and enjoyable.
The first thing I did was call my friend and guide Matt England with England Expeditions. He is always willing to share information on what they are biting on and where can you find the crappies. He also told me to use Tophat Jigs, Teddy Bug, and Lemonade colors. So, my first adventure was to stock up on Tophat Jigs and they didn’t disappoint. We tried many lures but the ones that caught us fish were from Tophat Jigs.
Our first day there the temperature was near 50 degrees, and it was raining. Nothing new as every year we have taken this trip we have had rain. It was just a little bit colder than normal. We fished shallow and deep, and it seemed our better size fish we in 20 plus feet of water and suspended 16 feet down. Others were fishing shallow and were catching a few but mainly the smaller fish seemed to be coming from the shallows. We did find a few nice crappies on the rocks that were over ten inches. We ended the first day with 21 fish. We had some nice 11” to 12” crappie so we were excited for Friday to come.
As Friday morning arrived it was raining, and it looked like it was going to rain off and on most of the day, so we waited for the first round of storms to get through the area and then we headed. It was a very cold rain the fish didn’t want to accommodate us, but we did end of with fifteen fish before we decided to head back to the cabin to warm and up and dry off.
On Saturday there was a complete change the weather warmed up and the sun was shining. We had a hard time getting the fish to bite. We caught a few here and there and spent all day on the water and ended with 21 fish. In the first two hours we had 15 fish and over the next 6 hours we only caught six more.
As Sunday rolled around one of our groups decided not to fish but to get ready and head home. Leah and I decided to go fish for a couple of hours in the morning before heading home. We hit the fish right off the bat and as it did the day before after the first couple of hours the bite slowed down, so we decided to head for home. We had a great Mother’s Day weekend and I love to see my wife catching fish.
I did have a master of disaster moment at Lake Shelbyville during our trip. When we boated in on Thursday, I realized I forgot to put my plug in so I reached down into the water and put it in. As my wife and I headed up the lake to try one of our spots we stopped and started fishing. After about 15 minutes I look back and I see water in the boat. Leah looked at me and said, “You sure you put the plug in?” and of course I give her this look like “yea I am not that stupid”. After she said this, I got to thinking. Maybe I didn’t put the plug into the right hole. There is another spot back there for water to come out and as I thought about this I walk to the back of the boat and open my battery box. As I opened the box, I realized I was in trouble. The water was almost over the battery. I went into pure panic mode. In all of my years of owning a boat this had never happened. The only thing I could think about is I have to get some speed to suck this water out of the boat. As we started out the back of my boat was literally an inch from going under the water. It took us a while to get the boat up and out of the water. There were a few minutes there when I looked at Leah thinking there was no way we get this boat up before the backend is completely submerged. Luckily, we caught it just in time and finally was able to get the boat planed and the water sucked right out.
We headed back to the ramp and Leah went up to get the trailer. After we finally got the boat out, we had to sit there for twenty minutes letting water run out of the boat. We were lucky that it didn’t end much worse than it did. I used to laugh at friends who forgot their plug. I won’t be doing that anymore. I was a little scary to think that my boat was going down. Thanks to God that we made it out and now it just a good lesson.
As many of you know the original owner of Adventure Sports Outdoors Magazine Harry Canterbury passed away on Friday March 18th. Out of respect for the family I have waited a couple of months to talk about it. I wanted to give them time to grieve and get things lined up for his celebration of life. I met Harry back in late 90’s when I was producing sport shows and he was pushing the magazine. Harry was a very old soul. He reminded me of my grandpa. If you showed up to Harry’s house, you could bet he had a little work for you to do. One thing I always like about Harry is you always knew where you stood. If he had a beef with you, you would know. He didn’t beat around the bush he just said what he thought. Some thought this to be abrasive but I would rather know what people think than for them to talk behind my back. My father passed away at a young age, but I had time to prepare for it. This was really the first person I actually hung out with that passed away, so it has been something new for me. I know one thing for sure is a person told me that the one thing that sucks about getting older is you start having to bury your friends. This has always stuck with me, but this is the first time I have had to deal with it directly. Here is Harry’s Obituary and if you would like to join us for his celebration of life on June 26th, please see the information listed below.
Harry Lee Canterbury, Port Charlotte FL – Harry L Canterbury 68, died Friday March 18, 2022, at Select Specialty Care Hospital in Ft Myers, FL. He was born June 26, 1953, in Peoria to Jack Wilbur and Betty Lou Canterbury. Harry married Catherine (Patterson) on August 3, 1985, in Sherman, IL. He was preceded in death by his parents. His wife Catherine survives and three sons, Jeff J (Dawn) Canterbury of Petersburg, IL. Scott L Canterbury of Manito, IL and William L Canterbury of Peoria, IL. Grandchildren Jeff: Alexandra Canterbury, Great grandson William, Grace Canterbury and Hannah Canterbury. Scott: Marisa Canterbury, Great grandson Teegyn, and Blaytn Koonce. Maternal Aunt Lois Sunderlund, AZ, paternal Aunts Ruth Moulton, IL and Barbara Griffith, AL. Harry started ASO TV show in 1994 on PBS station WTVP then created a monthly magazine in 1996 named Adventure Sports Outdoors. ASO TV can be seen today on YouTube.com at ASOMagazine and his Canterbury Tales can be found at ASOMagazine.com. Over the years, he hosted several Sunday morning radio shows. He spent 17 years in the auto industry and 13 years working for CAT. Harry was a 26-year Mason, currently a member of Grand View Lodge #1112, Peoria Heights, IL and Moose Lodge of North Port FL. He was very musical singing, playing the bagpipes & trombone. A celebration of Life will be held on his birthday with graveside services on Sunday June 26 starting at 2:30 pm in North Division of Springdale Cemetery; followed by private gathering at Kelleher’s in Peoria. Arrangements by Wright and Salmon Mortuary.
During the third weekend of April my stepdaughter Payton Jewell got married in Appleton Wisconsin. It was a very nice wedding that took place in the back yard of my son in law’s parents. The weather was beautiful 70 degrees and it was nice to have all of my kids back in one place. If there is one thing I have learned is when the kids grow up, you sure miss their presence. I always thought it was going to be great to have the house to ourselves and now it is just too quiet. Now I enjoy when they are all home making a mess and driving me crazy. One thing is for sure is you have to enjoy the kids while you can because they grow up and spread their wings, and you just don’t get the time with them you once had. I treasure everyone of those moments now and try not to take their presence for granted.
After my daughter’s wedding I received a call that no one ever wants to get. My best friend Al Schackow and his brother Bob Schackow had gone to our hunting grounds on Saturday to look for some mushrooms and look as some deer stands. They arrived at the back of the property were going to the top of the hill to see if they could find some morels. As they were trying to go up the hill Al said that they should just walk up the hill. It is rather steep and really shouldn’t be taking a four-wheeler up it. Bob thought he could make it up the hill, so Al jumped off the back. As Bob went up the hill, he hit a small tree and as the four-wheeler came up he scrambled to get out of the way. Unfortunately, he slipped, and the four-wheeler landed on him. After Al was able to get the four-wheeler off of him, he stood up, and didn’t think he had any broken bones. He did have some pain in his abdomen, so he sat down as Al went to the top of the hill to call for help. By the time he got back to his brother he wasn’t doing well. They drove a vehicle as close as they could, and a group of people helped get him out of the woods. Unfortunately, Bob suffered internal bleeding and passed away from his injuries. I have struggled with this for a few weeks now. I couldn’t imagine how my buddy Al is dealing with this. It is one thing to have a family member pass its another to be there for his last breath. The reason I have writing about this is we all need to understand that a four-wheeler is a vehicle and can cause as much damage as a car accident. Even if you think you escaped unharmed there is still the possibility of internal bleeding and that is no joke. Please be careful out there this summer while riding. Wear your helmet and never push the limits of the machine. One thing for sure is a joy ride is not worth your life.
Until next month. May your sunrises and sunsets be magical!