This is the year of the Cicadas. And no, a Cicada is not a new hybrid car. It’s actually a type of flying insect that some call a locust, even though they are not related to the locust. They arrive in droves only about every 13-17 years. Right now, you can hear them in the woods, singing their mating song. The arrival of this bug is a special time for fishermen. It’s top water heaven, and there’s no better way to catch fish than on top water baits. The story of the Cicadas and the fisherman goes something like this. Even though the Cicada lives a long time, they only come above the ground for about a four-to-six-week period. During that time, the male sings his mating song. Once the female mates, she cuts small slits into trees and lays her eggs there. Once the male mates, he dies shortly thereafter. When he dies, he falls into the river or lake and is quickly gobbled up by a fish that has been lying in wait. And the action really heats up when hundreds or even thousands begin falling at once. This four-to-six-week period is the best time to be on the water with a lure that imitates this dying Cicada. I have heard stories from the past of fish losing all sense of fear in order to get their share of these 17-year rarities. One story shared with me was from days gone by when catfish and even carp would join the bass in the feeding frenzy. Fishermen would literally catch every species imaginable on top water baits. Now that would be fun! So, now’s the time to put off mowing the grass and get on the water. It may be another 17 years before this opportunity comes around again. And if your wife doesn’t believe that excuse, just have her read this column, because you know I’m going to tell you the Outdoor Truth!

I’ll see you next week. I’m going fishing!


Gary Miller