• February 2012 - Volume 14, Number 7

    Features

    One region in particular will be the Magnolia State’s shining light when camouflaged hunters enter the woods this spring.

    The Magnolia State is blessed with some of the finest turkey hunting to be found anywhere in North America. But before you can draw a bead and seal the deal on a longbeard, you must first identify the areas that offer up the best opportunities for success.

    Here is what the state’s top turkey biologists are predicting for the 2012 spring turkey season.

    This time of year, the bass action can be downright unbelievable on this annual hotspot.

    Roaring up Lake Ferguson in his Ranger boat wide open and on full plane, Terry Bates suddenly backed off the throttle and made a quick left turn up into “the chute.”

    These three lakes are connected to make the Chotard complex, and now is the time when they’re arguably the best in the state.

    To hear Chotard Landing Resort manager Mark Johnson explain it, the shoreline of the lake just outside his back door stretched from the Louisiana levee to the Mississippi levee just about a year ago.

    This month we head over to the Delta to pick some of Lake Washington’s best holes for crappie fishing.

    The next stop on the Mississippi Sportsman Crappie Hotspot Series tour is Lake Washington. Located approximately 25 miles south of Greenville on Highway 1, Washington is a closed-off oxbow of the Mississippi River; as such, fluctuations in the river don’t affect the lake in the same way as other oxbows, making it a unique fishery among Delta lakes.

    Hogs eat just about everything in sight, making them a real threat to native game species. Now’s the time to add a few to your freezer.

    A serious dog man will sink thousands of dollars into the right hound. Coon hunters are especially proud of good bloodlines, and go to great measures to protect their hounds. Micro-chip implants, ear tattoos, GPS tracking collars, food, vaccinations and the like become a huge investment. So when a hound gets injured for any reason, it becomes a big deal.

    While a party of coon hunters was listening to “The Music of the Night” on Tallahala WMA in 2011, they heard a little more than the typical ruckus a hound may have with a raccoon. The fight was more serious. One hound was in a tangle with a wild hog. This hunter and his hound were lucky. They were able to get to veterinarian Dr. Mike Walker of Forest to get the gash in the hound’s shoulder sewn closed.

    Pair up your bass baits for knock-out results.

    It’s great when that first cast meets with aggressive reception, but often, it takes some dialing in to determine the fish’s preference. Notwithstanding the oft-proven merits of junk fishing, a handful of examples show us that certain lure pairings hold particularly strategic benefit. Like a boxer setting up his opponent with jabs and then sneaking in a body shot or a Major League pitcher throwing the changeup, there’s more to successful bass fishing than randomly grabbing lures and hoping for the best.

    Natchez hunter Will Rives may have broken his own state record when he arrowed this 180-class monster in January.