Catching up on the fishing seasons

Published 7:11 am Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Last week, we had a good rain and it had to have helped locally, but was not and is not responsible for the amount of water that has run down both of our rivers and Spring Creek.

Earlier rains that went to our north and giving us little or no rainfall locally are responsible for what is coming down the river systems now and without more rain it will be over fairly quickly.

Last week I came through Columbus and the river was down and almost low, and the Flint in Albany was still a little high, but quickly dropping back to where is was just a few short weeks ago.

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Usually we will have a goodly amount of rain during the winter and at least the first part of the spring, keeping the water up high and muddy.

Running through the red hills in the middle part of the state will bring the mud south and makes everything red from there to the Gulf Coast. Even though the water conditions have not been exactly right during the last month or so, the fish have tried to show out and in many instances they have. The warm days right after Christmas saw most species of fish caught much better than one would expect for that time of year. The warm periods since then have helped the fishermen take good stringers of fish and not just in the gill nets either.

These warmer days have been a godsend to the hook-and-line fishermen, while the colder days and nights are normally a better time to string out the webbing. One reason is there is a chance that a big ole Gator may just pop up from his winter quarters when we have several days of warm weather and get tangled up in your net. You can just about kiss that net goodbye.

Netting season is in for three months and the third of those three months is January and looking at your calendar you will find that the netting season ends on the 31st of January. We have had some mighty good sucker sides this season, and I find myself a little sorry to see it go. And it is not like we can go to another part of the state and still net because we are one of the very few areas that have a legal netting season. It seems that most areas have outgrown the netting for rough fish. All I can say is let us have them as they really don’t know what they are missing. We can’t do that, but wouldn’t it be nice.

The first of the most often fished for fish to bed here on the lake is the crappie. They will move up to the banks and lay their eggs on limbs and sandy spots and any other place that might support the eggs. The males fertilizes them and in a few days the small fry hatch and are nothing but flashes in the water trying to avoid being eaten by any fish that roams by or is smart enough to realize that a good meal can be had with relative ease around the areas that have hatching fry. The season may last for a month or so depending on the water temperature getting right with the moon.

Bass will be bedding around the time the crappie do and their bedding may last for three months or so. Some areas may be used by both species of fish, but they are usually different for the most part. Bass like the grassy areas, but like to be near deeper water if possible as do the crappie. The bedding time of both of these species of fish will bring many visitors to Lake Seminole fishing grass, wind and muddy water to try and catch a fish.

Then later on, probably in May, the panfish will gather when the moon and water temperature gets right. The first beds are usually in rather shallow protected water. The water will warm in spots like that first and especially will warm if the spot has a sandy bottom. The white looking bottom will reflect the sun’s rays back to the surface warming the water as the warm rays travel down to the bottom and on its way back up as it is reflected back toward the surface. As the year progresses the panfish will bed in deeper water because it will get warmer deeper with the oncoming of the summer heat.

We have endured some really cold weather this winter even though we have had some nice days also. But look what we have to look forward to. So hang in there and make ready for the bedding seasons and the good spring fishing to come and with that mix in a little turkey hunting. The limit is three gobblers so you won’t miss over three mornings of fishing.