By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

CEDAR BLUFF RESERVOIR -- Lonnie Morgan couldn't be held down, never mind the fact he'd had only one bite on the two poles he had in the water at the Cedar Bluff Reservoir stilling basin.

"It's a fun deal," he said.

Morgan, Hays, was able to slip away from work a bit early last week, and decided to try his hand at fishing for trout.

He was joined by several others, and had been forced to see a 231βΡ4-inch lunker that had been pulled out of the water not long before he arrived. It wasn't the only nice size fish the woman had, Morgan said.

"It was a nice fish," said fisheries biologist Dave Spalsbury.

Fishing has been slow at Cedar Bluff's stilling basin for much of the season, he said, although it's perked up some lately.

"I would think a person would get out there and do pretty good," Spalsbury said of the outlook now.

"I've been up to Webster a lot this year," Morgan said. "They're a hell of a lot bigger up there. I caught some 15- to 17-inchers up there."

But on the day Morgan was able to slip away, he'd only had one bite.

He was fishing with corn and Power Bait, he said, "These green balls."

"I really have my best luck on that corn," Morgan said.

He's not able to get away all the time, but he heads out when he can.

"I say it every year," he said. "I'm going to go more. Hell, I've already gone four times this year."

In a normal year, however, Morgan said he'd be ice fishing on area ponds.

"I guarantee you that's fun," he said. "Bundle up and sit there. It's fun, relaxing."

While there's been little ice out there this year, the biggest problem has been a lack of water in the ponds.

"There's ponds I used to fish with my dad and they're dry this year," Morgan said. "That's sad."

The ponds, he said, produce a bounty of crappie and bass.

"We usually throw the big ones back and keep the mediocre ones," he said.

Morgan isn't so happy, however, with a recent proposal by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to do away with a no-license-required for anyone 65 and older.

"They got an email from me," he said of Hays legislators. "I didn't like that at all."

It's a proposal especially troublesome for Morgan, who this year plunked down his money for licenses, permits and stamps, and announced it would be his last, given he's on the cusp of turning 65.

Two days later, he learned KDWP&T wants to require anyone 65 and older to buy a license.

"I told them if I'd known that, I would have bought a lifetime license years ago," he said.

He's not so worried about himself, but he said there are other people who fish who just might not have the money for a license.

"That just irritates me," he said.

That's why he prepared the email.

"I don't know how much good it did, but at least they know my opinion," Morgan said.