Susan and I had a ball camping with our family and friends at the Nutbush No. 3 campground on Kerr Lake last week. We enjoyed hot dogs on the grill and homemade ice cream on the Fourth of July, a striper and shrimp fry using Moss’s seafood breader and peanut oil on Friday, and a low country boil of shrimp, sausages, potatoes and corn another night. It’s a wonder we didn’t gain 10 pounds the way we ate. We fished early while it was cool, then swam and rode jet skis during the day when it got hot. We enjoyed a fire one unusually cool night that our daughter, Claire, made with wood other campers left behind when their trip was over. We’re already looking forward to our next family camping trip.

Area fishing reports and tournament information/updates — Striper fishing is really good on Kerr Lake right now. With the “hot weather” rules in place, it’s a good time to stock your freezer with some of the best fish filets you can eat. The fish are schooling early in the mornings and chasing baitfish on the surface near the big island, near beer beach and towards the dam. Catching them on a Zara Spook topwater lure by casting to fish while they’re boiling the water all around the boat is about as exciting as fishing gets. As the sun comes up later, a jigging spoon works well if you can get over a school. Susan and I have packed and freezed enough striper filets in the last couple of weeks to fill one sliding freezer rack and half of another.

The two-day Collins Inc. Bass For Cash Series championship is being held next weekend, July 21-22, on Kerr Lake and launching out of the Nutbush park facility. This is required competing on the trail to qualify for the championship. And the North Carolina/Virginia Striper Association will hold a striped bass tournament on Saturday, July 28. Entry fee is $30 per boat and entries must be received no later than 7 p.m. on Friday, July 21. For more information, email the organizers at NCVAstriper@gmail.com or visit www.ncvastriperassociation.com.

Next week’s report — Should have some fishing reports from Lake Champlain on the New York, Vermont, and Canadian borders. This week I received a photo of a friend and his daughter with two 5-pound bass, a 4.5 pounder and two 4’s they caught along a 100-yard stretch of lake shoreline. I cannot wait to get there again and prepare for the upcoming Bassmaster Eastern Open tournament. And Susan and I are taking our three grandchildren to the dirt track races at 311 Speedway in Madison, North Carolina this Saturday night so I’ll let you know how that went.

Tip of the week — When you expect to be catching and culling multiple fish in a bass tournament be prepared to do the culling as quickly as possible so you spend more time fishing. I like to use a balance beam to determine which fish is the smallest versus using scales. Sometimes the same fish might measure a different weight on even the nicest scales when weighed twice. With the winner often determined by fractions of a pound you can’t afford to be off even 1/100th.

Contact the writer by email at waltbowen@yahoo.com