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    You know you are fishing the peak of the crappie spawn in a certain area when the females you catch are in the egg-laying process, like this one caught Wednesday by Keith Partridge of Terry at Barnett Reservoir.

    Crappie spawn: Don’t blink, you could miss it

    The first report of spawning crappie came Monday afternoon (April 15) on one particular spot on Barnett Reservoir. By Tuesday afternoon, it was over in that honey hole and Wednesday bites were tough to come by.

    “But we found them again, in a very similar area, about a mile up the lake,” said Joe Alford of Brandon, who fished with his son Jace. “I was in on that tremendous run between the islands Tuesday but it was over on Wednesday.
    April 18, 2013 at 10:15am
    Father and son, Chris and Reed Kellum of Madison, had an exciting hunt recently at their camp near Hermanville. When Reed, 11, shot one gobbler, a second gobbler ran up and started jumping on the flopping bird. Chris was able to complete the double.

    Hens going to nest, helping hunters

    Stories of turkey success increased in number and in excitement this week, as hunters shared their reports.

    Porter Wilson of Starkville killed his first bird of the season but could have limited out if not for the one-bird per day limit. He had three long-beards approach him from three different directions and watched them battle for several minutes before they busted up and he shot the victor.

    Proud father/grandfather Ray Riley of Madison shared the story of his son and grandson doubling on a pair of gobblers on a hunt that ended with a surprise twist at their camp near Hermanville.
    April 12, 2013 at 9:45am
    Male white crappie are starting to turn black, their mating color. It's a sign the spawn is about to turn on in most of Mississippi's crappie hot spots.

    Signs the spawn is about to turn on

    Wednesday (April 10) was the day that crappie fishermen started reporting the first true sign that the spawn is imminent at most of Mississippi’s perch-jerking hot spots.

    Males are turning black — their traditional formal spawning attire — and starting to bite in shallow water at Barnett Reservoir and the Aberdeen, Columbus and Aliceville pools of the Tenn-Tom, as well as Okatibbee, Grenada, Enid and Sardis lakes.
    April 11, 2013 at 4:30pm
    April showers mean monster catfish for Columbus Lake area angler Joey Pounders. He and his brother Jerry give a demonstration in the attached video.

    Columbus Lake cats

    The saying goes “April showers bring May flowers,” but for Joey and Jerry Pounders of Caledonia, Mississippi, April showers bring monster catfish. Team Pounders eats, sleeps, lives and breathes catfishing, and the lower end of the Tenn-Tom Waterway, particularly Columbus and Pickensville Lakes, are their home waters.

    Though the Pounders fish major catfish tournaments year round, both on the national trails as well as the local Mississippi Catfish Hunters trail, any excuse to go fishing will find them on the water at Columbus Lake, especially with water pouring into the river system from heavy rains.
    April 08, 2013 at 11:00am
    Crappie anglers have been waiting on some warm weather to push fish into the shallows for the spawn, and it looks like that's finally going to happen.

    Crappie forecast: 80-degree fun ahead

    The weather crappie fishermen have been waiting for is finally in the long-range forecast for next week, and that has them ready to dance a jig.
    April 05, 2013 at 7:39am
    Kenny Latham's first turkey of 2013 was this 3-year-old gobbler he killed Friday on private land in Leake County near his Ludlow home. He said it was the first morning this year that the gobblers were vocal.

    Gobbling increasing, hunting improves

    Maybe it was the erratic weather, or perhaps, Mississippi’s gobblers just weren’t in a talking mood during the first two weeks of the spring turkey season.

    But, whatever the reason for the slow start for hunters, it appears to have ended.
    April 03, 2013 at 11:30am
    It happens every spring at Barnett Reservoir. At some point the big females move into the pad stems on the upper lake and river areas, and this year a swim jig — like the Pete Ponds signature series by Talon — is proving a productive technique. Swim baits are also hot with the big females in pre-spawn mode.

    Swim baits, swim jigs produce big bites

    Despite the recent rain, up-and-down temperatures and seemingly constant wind, the spring fishing transition continues, and that is good news for bass and crappie fishermen.

    Both species are proceeding nicely toward their annual goal of reproduction, with more and more fish being found in shallow water.
    March 21, 2013 at 3:00pm
    Bay Springs crappie guide Wayne Inman indicated that the typical spring crappie hotspots on the north end of the lake are starting to heat up.

    Bay Springs crappie on the rise

    Though it seems that the late arriving winter is reluctant to release its grip this year, Bay Springs crappie guide Wayne Inman (662-416-1296) indicates that the prime season for catching slab crappie from the upper Tenn-Tom Waterway lake is right around the corner.

    “Water temperatures in the back of most of the northerly coves have reached 57 degrees,” said Inman. “The main lake is still 47, which is helping to push the fish shallow. Right now males are being caught in 3-4 feet of water using small crappie jigs.”
    March 19, 2013 at 11:00am
    Spring rains can make it more difficult to limit out on speckled trout, but that doesn't mean there aren't fish to catch — if you follow a few rules.

    Stay mobile to catch limits of speckled trout

    March madness means something completely different for a speckled trout fisherman. Watching river flood-stage levels steadily climb and salinity levels drop will drive a fisherman mad.
    March 14, 2013 at 6:30am
    Dan Smith of Ridgeland used a Senko worm rigged wacky-style to beat this big female that was staging in 5 feet of water in a private lake in Madison County.

    Wacky Senko will finesse pre-spawn females

    It might sound funny, and it certainly looks amusing, but a wacky-rigged stick worm is a tough rig to beat when the big females are staging for the spawn and the fishing conditions get tough.

    True story: On Saturday (March 9), with a passing front turning into blue bird conditions and a tough wind, my partner Dan Smith and I put a steady whipping on big female bass on a 50-acre lake in Central Mississippi.

    But, to be honest, we almost blew it.
    March 13, 2013 at 10:00am
    One of the most productive prespawn crappie patterns in Mississippi is fishing outside the timber of the old lake beds on Barnett Reservoir. It is a March favorite for Rabbit Rogers, who is shown hauling in a fat and sassy female from 12 feet of water.

    Prespawn crappie bite has begun

    Fishermen wasted little time, hitting the water Thursday in numbers surprising for a supposed workday. That’s what you get when it’s the first day in over a week when weather would allow for safe boating access.

    And the reports from crappie anglers were to be expected — good.
    March 08, 2013 at 9:34am
    To fool a gobbler on a youth hunt and help to end the day with big smiles, having the right accessories can be important.

    Accessorizing properly can help youngsters get gobblers

    When Mississippi’s youth turkey season opens Friday (March 8), a veteran hunter who has introduced two sons and many other youngsters to the sport says accessorize for success.

    “I’ve learned over the years that there are three things that are vital for success when hunting with children — a blind, decoys and shooting sticks,” said Revel Rawlings of Ridgeland. “I’d rate them in importance in that order, starting with the pop-up-like tent blinds to the shooting sticks.
    March 04, 2013 at 3:00pm
    Turkey-hunting success begins long before the season opens.

    Your guide to scouting for turkeys

    The turkey hunting season opens up later this month, so it's time to scout out those gobblers.

    To help increase your success, Mississippi Sportsman has put together this pocket guide of some steps to shooting a gobbler once the season begins.
    March 01, 2013 at 12:03pm
    Mississippi State University engineering student Zach Carroll, who lives in Ocean Springs, slow-trolls coastal waters and catches some great winter speckled trout.

    Tips for slow-trolling for lunker speckled trout

    Trolling, trolling, trolling on the river. It's a little known non-fact that Ike and Tina met when their lines got crossed while trolling for speckled trout in Parker's Creek off the Tchoutacabouffa River.

    Trolling for trout is a deadly technique practiced by many anglers on the coast. Anglers troll soft plastics, live shrimp, and various types of hard baits. Ocean Spring's Zach, a Mississippi State engineering student, is one of the aficionados of this tactic.
    February 26, 2013 at 6:30am
    Capt. Ronnie Daniels watches weather forecasts to find windows allowing access to the islands off the Mississippi Coast to put together great stringers of speckled trout by wade-fishing.

    Coastal islands are great springtime fishing targets — if the weather allows

    Do changing weather patterns, rain resulting in muddy rivers and bays, and wild swings in salinity have you singing the blues? Capt. Ronnie Daniels of Fisher-Man Guide Services has the cure.

    When coastal rivers and bays are in less-than-desirable condition, Daniels keeps his eye on the weather, looking for a day that will have winds less than 10 mph so he can make the 40-mile run from Long Beach Harbor to Freemason, North Island or Chandeleur.
    February 25, 2013 at 6:45am
    A Lucky Craft Pro Pointer 100 suspending jerk bait is popular in winter, but is also an excellent prespawn bass-fishing lure.

    Be a jerk: Don’t give up on the stick baits

    You know that jerk bait you’ve been throwing to entice lethargic bass to bite in cold water? Yeah, that one, the lure you’ve been casting along dams and other rock banks with sharp drop-offs, then working ever-so-slowly back.

    Don’t be so quick to put them away.
    February 22, 2013 at 2:02pm