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To fish, keep bait in the water

You know we had those terribly cold days and then the warm weather came right back in, and things went right back to what is near normal for winter time in south Georgia.

Lately we have had just a couple of nights that were down in the cold range and practically every day has gotten into the 60s. These are days and nights that will begin to bring us out of the winter season and force the spring upon us.

The really cold days just about stopped the fishermen and the fish. The cold water slows their metabolism to such an extent that a fish will hang loose and move very little until the water warms again. They don’t get hungry so they don’t have to eat. Of course they will be quite ready to eat when the water moderates in temperature. Remember the same thing will happen next summer. When the water gets hot during the summer the fish’s metabolism slows and they don’t move around much. They are not aggressive so aren’t as easy to catch. So summer and winter fishing are similar, but are also very different. What makes you one of the best summertime fishermen will not make you one of the best wintertime fishermen. The most successful fishermen will always keep a bait in the water. If you can perfect the fish jumping into the boat deal after a bait still in the box, you will have done something. Keep the bait in the water.

Many years ago I was fishing out on the lake just above Wingate’s. We were just easing along with the trolling motor and a big ole shad decided to try and fly. He did fly for a few feet and landed in the boat. He went right back fairly quickly.

I had a man and his wife with me and what was supposed to be a fishing trip had turned into sight-seeing. We were moving along like we were fishing and someone from across the lake would have thought we were fishing. After that shad not only landed in the boat, but also in that ladies lap, the sight-seeing trip quickly came to an end. I think they were both glad that we were not so very far from the boat dock even though we did pass by a bunch of good fishing spots on the way in.

I have heard of quite a few folks having fish jump into their boat. Also more than one has had the misfortune of having a snake land in the boat with them. Back when the lake was first backed up there were plenty of bushes, trees and other cover left all in the lake. Snakes would crawl up in the trees or bushes to rest or maybe to lie in wait for something to munch on. My dad and granddad were fishing along in a flat-bottomed wooden boat and bumped a bush. Into the boat fell a snake. Old granddad pulled his pocket pistol and shot the snake, took the paddle and flipped him back into the water. Of course the bullet made a hole in the bottom of the boat, which by then was spurting water. He took a bottle stopper cork and trimmed it to fit the hole in the bottom of the boat. They fished the rest of the day, but did have to dip a little water from time to time. Fixed the hole the next week and went fishing the next weekend.

For you folks that are needing or going to need a fishing or hunting license, put aside a little time. This new system is not nearly a quick as the one we had last year. After the first time they say it won’t take long because it has a good memory and will remember you from year to year. This first time is taking a while. Time is not the only problem. The place you got license from last time may not even sell license this year. Less than half of the dealers that sold license last year are selling them this year. The is something the state is trying and if it works half well will keep doing it this way.

Turkey season comes in during the month of March and turkey is considered big game. Therefore you will need a hunting license and a big game license to legally hunt turkey. We have a good population and hunting should be good. An entire flock flew across the road in front of me last week and they were getting up. It was a pretty sight.