• March 2014 - Volume 16, Number 8

    Features

    From the tree yelp to the gobble, all have their place and time

    Imagine a perfect spring morning in the woods, just as dawn begins to cast light across the terrain. It is cool with a crisp bite to the air, the dark sky is turning a lighter blue by the minute and the woods are coming alive with the sounds of nature.

    Songbirds sing, a crow caws and a distant woodpecker lays into a dead tree like a Gatlin gun.

    Your ears are alert, taking it all in, all the while waiting on one particular sound. From scouting, you know turkeys are nearby so it should just be a matter of time.

    Overshadowed by its bass and crappie, Pickwick should be on everybody’s catfish bucket list.

    Editor’s Note: The third stop on our year-long Catfish Hotspots tour takes us to the northeast corner of the state to Pickwick Lake, where Brian Barton, a guide and former commercial catter for 30 years, shares his knowledge and some of his favorite fishing holes.

    Guys like Brian Barton are a rare find. He spent his early years working his way through school by day and tending catfish trotlines at night. Decades ago, Pickwick Lake produced much of the supply to meet the demand for commercial catfish. 

    Then catfish farming hit the scene and commercial cat fishing began to dwindle. Barton parlayed his experience as a mass producer into a new career, becoming a one-at-a-timer, and hosting clients as a recreational catfish guide.

    For spring crappie, there’s no place better than Mississippi’s flood control lakes.

    John Harrison waded slowly until he was a pole’s reach of a flooded cypress tree before easing a jig into the knees and roots. 

    Wham! A Grenada Lake slab crappie nailed it. 

    Harrison set the hook and quickly landed the fish and put it in the supper well. Seconds later he was probing the cypress roots again, this time swimming the jig pretty fast. 

    Wham! Another crappie, this one a male wearing his black spawning suit, inhaled the jig and Harrison made quick work of it. 

    Melding the science and art of building a food plot benefits wildlife and the hunter who is looking to bag some deer meat. Here are some thoughts.

    Are supplemental wildlife food plots essential to deer hunting in Mississippi? Evidence certainly indicates so.

    The vast majority of landowners, wildlife managers, deer lease holders and hunters have, quite literally, bought into the whole concept and premise of planting wildlife food plots. 

    Millions are spent every year growing high quality supplemental food plantings for wildlife, especially our white-tailed deer. It is an industry with so much development in new products each year, from seeds, mixes, planting enhancements (growth stimulants) to the equipment used to put it all together.

    Are you ready for your time on the water? Here are some of the best fishing products being offered this year to help you maximize your efforts.

    They haven’t invented any new fish that we’re aware of, but the fishing industry never lets us down in terms of new products to help us catch all those fish that we know and love.

    So if you’re looking for new gear to help you catch more fish, there are plenty of options.

    One more hunting season remains before summer arrives, and we give you the calls that will tag your birds.