Once again, it's time for all gun aficionados to pay the fiddler for all the tireless work the National Rifle Association does during the year for our country's gun owners. 

Each year, the Southern Valley Friends of the NRA holds its fundraising dinner and banquet to raise money for the organization to better serve its constituents. Without fundraising dinners like this one and hundreds of others across the U.S., odds are that gun ownership would soon be a thing of the past.

Held at the Bakersfield Elks Lodge at 1616 30th St. on Feb. 3, the event promises a night of good food, friends, family, raffles and auctions. Contact Cyndi Benson (661) 205-8569; Kari Auge at (661) 316-7959; or John Lindgren at (661) 699-4568; for more information.

Getting it right

I inadvertently gave incorrect contact information last week for the Go Fishing class I'll be teaching on Feb. 21 at Bakersfield College. The correct contact, a website, is . It's a three-hour "fishing boot camp"(without all the yelling) conducted through the Levin Institute for Lifelong Learning intended for 'baby boomers' fifty and over wanting to learn how to fish. Cost to register for the program is a mere $10 to cover classroom supplies.

Space is limited so hurry, there is only room for a few more students.

Last chance hunting

Jan. 29 marks the end of the general California hunting and waterfowl seasons. All resident small game, mammals, ducks and goose seasons will come to a screaming halt at sundown after an only so-so year of success. Wild Pigs and non-protected, non-game species can still be taken throughout the year, with wild turkey season yet to begin later in the spring.

Better get to fishing

Some fair trout action has recently been taking place in the Kern River Valley, as the DFG planting schedules keep dumping more and more fish into Isabella Lake. By the time the Isabella Chamber of Commerce Derby gets here later in the spring, look for the lake to be full of hard-fighting rainbows, some weighing upwards of 5 or 6 pounds.

Also, if the warmish weather continues without the benefit of continuing rain, look for the annual crappie run to begin a month earlier than usual. Several years ago, my friends and I experienced some fast and furious action from shore toward the beginning of February.

By the way, if I didn't want to wait for the local crappie bite to begin, I'd hightail over to Nacimiento Lake and fish upriver around points and boat docks for some decent slab-side action. The black crappie are still deep in their winter mode, but are active and hitting live baits and jigs in about 30 feet of water around rocky bluffs in the Narrows. There's also a tremendous spotted bass bite around the lake, with some of the fish hitting the 4-pound mark. Look for the bass to congregate along rocky bluffs, rock piles and main lake points, holding almost in the same place as the deeper crappie. The spotties like jigs, vertically presented spoons and worms put right in front of their noses. A good depth finder is essential for keeping right on top of the schools of both gamefish species.

Winter Fun Shoot

It's still a month away, but the American Welding Society will be holding its "Team Winter Fun Shoot" out at Five-Dogs shooting Range on Feb. 25. The AWS is a Not-for-Profit Organization that benefits scholarship recipients and Certified Welding Certifications. Included in this year's event will be a BBQ lunch with drinks provided. A special raffle will be held for a Benelli 12-gauge 31⁄2-inch Super Black Eagle or a Remington rifle, caliber of your choice (Winners need not be present.) To get a jump on this 40-team maximum, 20-station shoot, contact Eric Ross at (661) 979-8879 or e-mail: ericross1225@gmail.com or get a hold of Roger Putnam at (661) 496-3777 or e-mail: Roger.putnam@twimail.com. Registrations must be received no later than Feb. 12.