Getting the fish to bite

Published 9:57 pm Tuesday, March 16, 2010

At this writing we are beginning to look better and better.

We are still wet, but we will need the water later in the year and with the heat coming in, we will lose moisture quickly.

I certainly hope that I am wrong in thinking that we are going to move from winter into summer with just a week or two of spring. It has happened before in our part of the world and with winter lasting as long as it did, hot weather may just be a few days off. If it decides to do that, there is nothing that we can do as there is no controlling the weather, just go along with what comes.

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What may just happen is the warmer weather will warm the water a little faster and get these fish in the mood to bite better.  The crappie will go ahead and bed out while the bass will continue bedding right on until sometime in May, but the May bunch will be late bedders.

What will happen with the panfish is anybody’s guess. There have been years that shellcracker have bedded in March, but lately it has been April.

Some years the first big bedding has been in May, or it has been May before we were able to find them.

Bream will start a couple of weeks after the shellcracker for the most part although a few will be right in there with the redear sunfish. Living in the South all this time, you do know that a redear sunfish is a shellcracker, it’s fancy name.

A few folks are fishing up the river and say that they are catching shellcrackers and some big ones at that. One ole boy said he was catching some so big he tossed them back because he just didn’t like them that large and the ones he did eat he was filleting.

If you fillet any fish, you are removing the skin and the fish will taste better. For lack of a better word, it will not taste quite as fishy. Like red snapper, a saltwater fish, most folks prepare a red snapper with the skin on. I don’t care that much for it for that reason because it taste fishy.

I had some blackened red snapper a few years back, and it was prepared without the skin, it was as good as any fish I have ever eaten.  Of course anything blackened tastes better to me.  I did see some blackened bream one time, though I didn’t eat any of them. I believe that cook misunderstood what blackened fish were. His were black because he burned them.  Truly blackened the cheap way.

In just a few days the spring turkey season will come in and if you have been getting good at calling a gobbler, you may just have a fresh turkey breast to eat. A wild turkey breast that is sliced and fried in your mother’s or wife’s kitchen is about as good as you can get. At lunch or dinner it is fantastic, but try it for breakfast along with your grits and eggs and you will swear that it cannot get any better.

For anyone that has had this one time, a second breakfast meal of fried turkey breast will get earlier. The bad thing about eating like this is you know that you have had the best there is and from now on it will be downhill. I know folks that will not bring out the turkey breast if they have company. That is reserved for the immediate family and you better not get called in to work because something will happen to your share of the turkey breast. There are no leftovers.

The extended cold should have kept the gobblers from getting a head start on the season. On years when the weather warms early, the breeding is well on its way when the hunting season begins. With the season going out in May, we have just about run the course and it is all over by that time.

With any luck at all, you should be able to get your gobbler before the season is over and the good or lucky hunters might be able to get their limit without too much trouble.

Remember each gobbler has that breast that taste so good, but each bird is limited to one. Be a good sportsman, shoot the turkey in the head with that turkey gun.  It is a cleaner and quicker kill, plus there is no shot in the breast.