• April 2013 - Volume 15, Number 9

    Features

    Looking to bag more long beards this season? Try these tips from this veteran turkey hunter.

    The morning sun had just begun to lighten the overhead canopy as fog began to lift from the damp ground and dissipate into the trees. One tree in particular seemed a little more restless than the others, as a large mass of its undergrowth shifted slightly.

    From 60 yards away, a long roll of feathered thunder emanated from the canopy, raising the hair on the back of Nathan Howell’s neck as he continued his best impersonation of a root ball.

    When the snooze alarm went off again in the neighboring tree, Howell slowly unfolded a preserved turkey wing from his pack and rapidly fanned the wing to imitate the sound of a bird flying down from the roost.

    The explosion in kayak fishing has put more anglers on the water. Here are some suggestions for your first paddle boat.

    You’ve likely noticed that there is a surge in kayak fishing.

    You see them being pulled or carried down the highway. You see them at the boat ramps. And you’ll likely see them in some of your favorite fishing spots — even offshore.

    Gobblers can leave hunters dazed and confused, but learning how to break down their habits can result in filled tags.

    When a wild tom gobbles at daybreak, you can bet he only has one thing on his mind — and that’s not to audition for “The Voice.”

    Can you imagine that panel of entertainers judging a turkey-calling contest? The only turkey those folks know comes on whole wheat, hold the mayo.

    The essential function of the turkey gobble is to call hens to where the gobbler is waiting for some fast action, or to keep his harem of hens already assembled on the roost, close at hand and away from other gobblers trying to horn in on his collection of girlfriends.

    After the first few weeks of the season, the turkeys that have survived get smarter — and harder to kill. Here are some tips from two veterans of the gobbler wars that should help fill your tag.

    Eddie Salter purred lightly, clucked - and two gobblers stretched their necks way out, searching for the sweet-talking hen that was hidden just out of sight.

    Tick-boom!

    Two shotguns roared in unison as both birds bit the dust simultaneously, and Salter's guiding prowess paid off in just a few minutes for his clients.

    Sometimes it's fast and furious like that, but late in the season that might be the exception rather than the rule.

    Okatibbee Lake has changed over recent years, but what remains constant is the reservoir’s incredible crappie fishing. Here’s how to fill the boat.

    Jeff Collum eased his boat into a shallow-water cove filled with buck brush, willows and grass while searching for crappie on Okatibbee Lake during a spring outing.

    Collum was just about to pass a bush top when he dropped his jig-and-cork rig by it, popped it slightly to the side and the cork disappeared in an instant.

    Collum jerked a slab crappie out of the bush and promptly put it in the boat.

    Over the next few minutes, Collum and his sons really worked the papermouths over with their rigs.

    Sow bass pull out and sulk after completing the spawn, and the bite can be tough. Bassmaster Elite Series pro Pete Ponds shares how to make them bite.

    Even though she doesn’t do most of the work, the rigors of ensuring the survival of her species take a lot out of a gal.

    That’s why many just want to lie around and rest a while when it’s over.

    But where a human woman would rather snuggle up next to her man to recuperate the rest of the night, momma bass is gone before morning.

    And, as if she has something to complain about, she snuggles up next to some stump on a flat and sulks for a few days.

    Turkey season is in full swing this month, but there also are crappie opportunities galore.