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Local Columns

Spoons through the ice

When we go out on the ice in search of fish to catch through the ice, much of the time, we just want to get bit. If the perch want to eat our bait that’s good: If a walleye or crappie is in the mood, that’s a good thing too. Walleyes and crappies and perch are certainly different fish, ...

Presentations for perch

I like to go ice-fishing, and I like to catch whatever I can catch through the ice. Walleyes, bluegills, crappies, bass, they’re all fun. But I also really like to catch perch, and so do a whole lot of other ice-anglers. Fortunately there are lots of outstanding places to catch perch ...

Just talk to each other

My community came out in droves to support keeping East Twin Park a park. There was a request from a developer that wanted to buy it to move and build a new store for a national discount retailer. The council voted no to selling. And people gave money, offered to volunteer and help in the ...

Factors in fishing success

Across much of the Midwest, it’s ice-fishing season. However, across much of the Midwest, we’ve experienced inconsistent weather in the past few weeks, which has led to inconsistent success on the ice. When it comes to ice-fishing or open water fishing, as different as they may seem, ...

Go small for big catches

At some times of the year, especially in the fall, big baits are the ticket to big fish. But in the winter, much of the time, smaller baits will lead to more catching. Remember, under the ice, fish can get a very close look at the lure you’re using. Small, even tiny lures attached to line ...

Changes in fishing

I’ve been in the business of fishing for about 40 years, and have been fishing even longer. The changes in fishing and fishing equipment over those years have been many, and a lot of those changes have effected, for the better, the way we fish and what we catch. Following are some of the ...

Winter fishing in rivers

Rivers, both large and small, crisscross North America. Many of those rivers are full of fish in a wide variety of species, and many of those species of fish like to get caught in the winter. Here are some ideas for catching those fish now and for the next few months. Most rivers are home ...

Don’t assume everyone sees your postings or articles or ads

I went to one of our local pottery places and watched them raku fire horsehair pottery. It was fascinating! I didn't buy anything. That day. How did they get me to come? They posted on social media; I didn't see it there. They sent an invitation in their email newsletter, and I did see it ...

Ice fishing with open water ideas

Ice-fishing and open water fishing are certainly two very different things, but in some ways they’re very similar. Following are some fishing ideas that will help an angler be more successful at catching fish from open water or through the ice. A very basic rule for fishing success is so ...

Birth order: How does it affect us?

Perhaps because I am a middle child, I've long been interested in the topic of birth order and what effect it has on our lives. In my case, I was sandwiched between an older sister and a younger brother. So what does my place in the family have to do with who I am and how I relate to others? ...

Dealing with the war on Christmas

Did you know that there’s a war on Christmas going on? That’s what people are saying. To listen to some folks the devil has turned loose his demons to tempt people to say “Happy Holidays” in lieu of “Merry Christmas.” And these demons are allegedly persecuting those who do say ...

Tired of ‘Shop  Local’?

I'm so tired of hearing "Shop Local" Funny thing for a small-town enthusiast to say, isn't it? I'm not against spending your money where you live. In fact, I encourage it. I'm just tired of the saying, and tired of feeling like someone is telling me what to do. I'm not the only one either. ...

Little tricks for bigger ice-fishing catches

Ice has been coming and going so far this year, but it’s for sure that eventually we’re going to have safe ice available to us. When that happens, the following ideas will help you be more successful when it comes to fishing through the ice. When fishing is slow, get as many lines in the ...

A visit from the grandchildren

After family visiting my house for three days over Thanksgiving, I understand why God designed us so that only young women can bear children. But of course I was delighted to be able to spend some time at my house with my son, daughter-in-law, and my grandchildren, ages 5 and 20 months. ...

Old age and Iowa winters

At the risk of appearing to be a geezer, I confess that (having been born in January) I am currently experiencing my 73rd winter in Iowa. Well, it won’t officially be winter in Iowa until 11:19 p.m. on December 21 but when it snows and it’s cold outside it’s winter. To heck with the ...

How well do you know your customers?

Who are your customers?  Who will use your product or service? What is their age, location, and income level? Knowing your customer will help you better serve them. Today I'm sharing some ideas that Josh at 2nd Wind Music Store in Fostoria, Ohio is using in his business.  Josh was ...

There’s something special about Sundays

Ah. . . Sunday afternoon. I’m not sure there is any more delicious time of the week. Just by the nature of when it falls during our seven-day week, and the way our culture has evolved, Sunday afternoon is unique. It’s a time to do what we want, to relax, perhaps, to see our friends and ...

What’s so odd about being odd?

When I was a youngster I read everything I could… including signs. I was particularly intrigued by a sign I saw on buildings in some Iowa towns: “Odd Fellows Hall.” I had heard my parents say of someone a bit different, “He’s really odd.” In my limited understanding of the world ...

Is small scale manufacturing possible?

Is small scale manufacturing even possible in your town?  Just what is small scale manufacturing?  It's the artisan makers, the prototyping to small scale, it's the production at scale, the makerspaces and the shared commercial kitchens and workshops.  You'd be looking for craft ...

Three ways to catch fall crappies

Wherever people fish anywhere in North America, and that's almost everywhere, there's an excitement right now about fishing. Fall is a wonderful season to be on the water trying to get a fish to bite. And, if you put your bait in front a fish, chances are good that it will eat that bait. In ...