Outdoor / Fishing

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    STEVE MERLO: Memories of our first Upper Kern camping trip

    By STEVE MERLO, Contributing columnist
    Thursday, Apr 17 2014 07:56 PM

    Every kid should have the opportunity to grow up in a small town like I did, but while the hunting and fishing were great in Buttonwillow back then, the little farming community had limitations on what we could catch or kill. For instance, valley quail were everywhere, but none of us had ever chased down their close cousin, the mountain quail, because they lived in, literally, another world, far to the east and at elevations above 5,000 feet.

    Mourning doves were more than plentiful in season, but finding an exotic band-tailed wild pigeon to shoot meant going south to Mount Able or Breckenridge Mountain, more than 50 miles away. The thought of hunting a deer, too, well, that was completely out of the picture because all we had to drive...

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    April 18 fish report

    Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley LAKE ISABELLA: Crappie Mania is still in full swing, but wind has been a problem in recent days. The bite is still very good with shore and boat anglers in the South Fork Arm getting 25-fish limits...

  3. STEVE MERLO: Wind hampers Isabella trout derby

    Nearly 2,600 fishermen took part in last week's Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce 25th Annual Trout Derby. With more than $100,000 up for grabs, including one tagged trout worth $25,000, hopes were high prior to the three-day event, but...

  4. April 25 fish report

    Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley LAKE ISABELLA: The winds have really hampered the crappie bite much of the week. KERN RIVER: The upper river has been fair. AQUEDUCT NEAR TAFT: Hot striper action. MILL CREEK PARK: Overall slow...

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    STEVE MERLO: Big weekend on tap for skeet shooters, anglers

    Any skeet shooter worth his salt instantly recognizes the name of Ken Barnes, former world skeet shooting champion, world record holder and hall of famer. At one time, he held eight world skeet shooting championships, seven world records...

  6. April 11 fish report

    Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley LAKE ISABELLA: Crappie Mania II is taking place here this week. It just took two warm days to break the bite wide open again, with shore and boat anglers in the South Fork Arm getting 25-fish...

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    STEVE MERLO: It’s time to talk (and hunt) turkey until May 4

    During the final weekend of last year's turkey season, my friend and I sat completely motionless while a lovelorn Tom turkey gobbled time and again from an oak-covered knoll only 100 yards away. Each time we called, he answered, getting...

  8. April 4 fish report

    Kern County, southern San Joaquin Valley LAKE ISABELLA: The pause button has been hit on Crappie Mania. The wide-open crappie bite has been put on hold by cold fronts moving through since Saturday evening, with rain and snow in the...

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    Skeet shooter Ramsey, 13, honored

    Skeet shooter Miles Ramsey, 13, has been named to the 2014 Sub Junior First Team of All Stars for Zone 7 (Western U.S.) by the National Skeet Shooting Association. Ramsey's honor is based on last year's combined scores. The Zone 7 region...

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    STEVE MERLO: Locals Quarles, Weitting top the field in bass tournament

    Excellent fishing greeted 15 two-person Golden Empire Bass Club teams at a recent Lake Lopez bass tournament. With 14 of the 15 teams weighing in five-fish limits, anglers had a field day catching numerous bass all over the Central Coast...

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    March 28 fish report

    LAKE ISABELLA: The crappie bite was hit and miss over the weekend, but the pre-dawn night bite was very good while the day bite was tougher. The midweek storm could push the crappie out to deeper water, but it was a warm storm and most...

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    STEVE MERLO: Crappie mania takes over at Isabella Lake

    We've all heard the old saying from died-in-the-wool fishermen that some would rather catch one bass on top than a dozen on the bottom, meaning one explosive topwater strike from a voracious fish beats a bunch caught down near the bottom....

  13. March 21 fish report

    Kern County, southern San Joaquin Vallety LAKE ISABELLA: It's crappie mania. Anglers are getting 25 fish limits in the South Fork-Paradise Cove part of the lake, and the fish are all in the 1-8 range. The best action is still on live...

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