Categorized | Opinion

Deer Moving & Fish Biting

By Josh McGowan

Do you believe there are places in the world where the temperature stays the same all day and most of the year? Those poor folks sure have it tough, not getting to experience freezing in the morning and sweating in the afternoon, mastering the art of stripping off layers of clothes, getting a sunburn to go with your sneezing and congestion, and putting everything back on before dark when the temps plummet again. I’d give you an official pollen count, but the guy who goes out and counts it is home sick with a nasty sinus infection…

Who am I kidding, I love our chaotic weather patterns here in the heartland, and it’s an important reason behind why our diverse wildlife thrives as well as it does. This past Saturday morning, the crisp fall air beckoned me to the woods, bow and arrow in hand and climbing stand on my back, after the elusive whitetail buck. However, beckoned or not, I had to work, but a few of my buddies did hunt and said the deer where moving well, and by Sunday where all over the place.

10 year old Jake Ferguson from Caruthersville, Mo went hunting with his dad, John in southern Illinois during their two-day, youth firearm season over the weekend. Jake was able to take his first deer, a beautiful 6-point buck, with a great shot that provided a quick, clean kill.

I spent the weekend at the Reelfoot Arts and Crafts Festival peddling boat seats and fishing what-nots to the tourists. Thursday I managed to slip the boat in the water for a few hours of pre-dusk fishing around the shallow stumps. I spent a large amount of my time pulling my neighbor off a really nice stump, but afterwards I managed to catch a small mess of ¾ lb crappie. The last fish I caught was nearly in the dark, and I couldn’t see the tip of my 12 ft jigging pole, but no need to see the pole when they’re hitting that hard! The magic bait was again a LakeFork Live Baby Shad, in a dark red and green on a chartreuse head, and the fish were absolutely smashing it.

The entire area experienced that cold front, and that almost always makes fishing tough for a few days, but by Sunday afternoon I talked to some guys that put together some decent stringers of fish working the structure from three to ten ft of water at “Wap”. They used red and chartreuse tubes and minnows.

Kentucky Lake also turned out some nice crappie, and as the cool air settles in, the bite at both of these lakes will get increasingly better. The ticket at Kentucky was the same as “Wap”, except the fish were a little deeper and bigger. Bass fishing has been good on jigs and worms around lay-downs in creeks and under docks.

I’m not sure if the catfish on the Mississippi River are ever going to stop biting! I received a few pictures over the past week of some big blue cats, and we are still selling a lot of skipjack at Grizzly.

There are still a ton of doves in the area, and unlike opening day when it can be tough to find a spot to hunt, there are plenty of places available now. The use of a decoy, particularly a “flapping wing” decoy like the MoJo Dove, is deadly this time of year. Just stick the decoy around 10 ft from your position, and get ready for some close shots!

Remember if you want more information, want to read old articles, look at pictures or watch videos from my adventures afield and “awater”, go to www.joshgowanoutdoors.com.

I am always in need of good pictures with fish and game, just email them to joshmgowan@yahoo.com along with any questions or comments.

— What do you think? Send Letters to the Editor to thomas.sellers@journalinc.com.

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