Wednesday, November 14, 2018 Elyria 27°
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Outdoors

Savor the sultry summer nights -- they'll be gone before you know it

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Where did the month of July go? So often the winter months drag on and on, whereas summer is gone in the blink of an eye.

One of the things many people enjoy about summer, aside from the obvious nice weather, is the longer daylight hours. This especially holds true for those who want to spend time outdoors. Unfortunately, the sun is setting earlier and earlier as we approach Labor Day. Right now darkness doesn’t set in until after 9 p.m., allowing us to use time after work to get outside.

There are plenty of outdoor activities you can do quickly and close to home in the hours between dinner and sunset. Some can be as simple as walking the dog or going for a hike. Others can be going kayaking or hitting the local pond for some fishing.

If going fishing, largemouth bass fishing in local ponds or at the city park is best in the evenings anyway. The heat during the day makes the fish sluggish as they sit in the depths at the center of the pond — you know, the section of a pond none of us can ever cast to.

But in the evenings, big bass move into the shallows and regularly feed, allowing you to have some fun catching them. So working all day doesn’t really hurt the fishing as evenings are prime right now to get out and see what you can catch.

An area I am fond of and have written about before is Findley State Park in Wellington. With disc golf, hiking, kayaking and a potential evening to take in a sunset, Findley serves as a great after-work getaway to decompress from the stresses of the day.

There are also plenty of bike trails across the area, too.

At 13 miles, the North Coast Inland Trail is a bit long to ride before darkness falls. However, the Black River Reservation has trails connecting Elyria and Lorain with lengths that can be adjusted depending on preference.

Going somewhere after work isn’t always an option. Dinner, kids and numerous other things get in the way. Sitting outside and enjoying the sounds and smells of nature can be just as gratifying.

I’ve spent a majority of summer nights just sitting on the patio watching birds come in and feed. I’ve gotten more and more into birding and photography and find watching orioles and hummingbirds sip on nectar to be one of summer’s most underrated outdoor activities.

In a side note, those heading out for walleye have been reaping the benefits. It has been more catching than actual fishing, with many boats getting their limit in no time. The fish are still trending toward the smaller side of the legal limit, but the ensuing fish fry will still taste just as good.

Per the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the best practices for catching your limit of walleye haven’t changed much. Trolling worm harnesses or drifting with bottom bouncers are the best methods of approach.

Soak up what is left of summer, folks. In another month it’ll be hunting season — the time of year some are eagerly awaiting.

But for now, shorts, sandals and warm temperatures still run the show late into the evening. Get outside and enjoy it. I’m sure you’ll regret when the snow is falling come December and January.

Contact Brad Zahar at bzaharoutdoors@gmail.com.
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