Bullets And Bait

July is one of my favourite months of the year. The weather is usually sunny and hot and there’s a ton of outdoor activities to do. However, one of my favourite July activities is to combine a hunting and fishing trip. Yes, hunting and fishing in July. A bullets-and-bait outing.

There are thousands of lakes, reservoirs, rivers and streams throughout the western provinces that are close to or run through grass fields that are filled with pesky Richardson Ground Squirrels, more commonly known as gophers.

To take full advantage of a bullet-and-bait outing, spend the morning fishing. I just returned from a southern Alberta walleye and pike trip, where we spent the mornings jigging for walleye. As the sun rose higher in the sky and heated up the water, the fishing would slow down until it became non-existent. However, the prairie landscape heated up.

As the sun heated the prairies, the gophers became extremely active. And it seems the hotter, the better, for a gopher. During the heat of the day, we would put down our fishing rods, dock my boat, and with a .22 in hand help local landowners get rid of many gophers. We rarely ventured very far into the fields and it seemed like we had a never-ending supply of gophers in our sights. As the afternoon air began to cool, we would turn our attention back to fishing.

After putting our .22s away for the evening, we would spend our time back on the water, casting spoons to the aggressive-feeding pike that moved onto the shallow, sunken humps to feed on baitfish.

There’s never a dull moment when you combine bullets and bait into one outing.


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