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    Anglers can catch spotted bass, along with largemouths and smallmouths, on different areas in Bay Springs.

    Bay Springs: five rods, two areas

    When I think of Mississippi lakes I like to fish in October, Bay Springs Lake comes to mind. A 9-mile-long reservoir on the Tenn-Tom Waterway northeast of Tupelo, Bay Springs has populations of all three species of black bass: largemouth, smallmouth and spotted. 

    Yesterday at 9:00am
    Big crappie don’t have trouble finding shad to eat in the fall, because they can eat larger baitfish.

    Fall: A time of fishing changes

    Most of Mississippi has enjoyed a relatively cool summer, but its waters still got “summer hot.” With August and September gone, nights are cooler, days are shorter and the sun is far less intense. The water cools; that is predictable. What fish do is not so predictable, but if you can follow the changes they face and how they might respond, better days on the water could be the result.

    October 11 at 9:00am
    The crease in the palm of your hand — your life line — is where your bow grip should begin.

    Get a grip on bow torque

    In layman’s terms, torque is defined as a rotational force, or the twisting of an object. While there are some cases where more torque is desirable — such as the output of your vehicle’s engine — the handle of your bow is definitely NOT one of them. 

    October 04 at 9:00am
    This slab crappie also inhaled a Cajun Lures’ Slim Jimmy.

    Slim Jimmys

    Before there was a Cooyon Croaker, Kaplan-based Cajun Lures probably was best known for the little soft plastic that slayed sac-a-lait here, there and everywhere.

    September 27 at 9:00am
    An interesting photo of a buck that appears to have been sheared by a dog groomer.

    Practical strategies for success

    In the last couple of installments of “Happy Trails” we have been peeling the onion back a few layers on the finer points of supplemental feeding. During the preseason period from late spring to early fall, consistent and properly done supplemental feeding accomplishes multiple things for your deer herd and potentially you as a deer hunter. First and foremost, the right type of supplemental feed during the right time period ensures that your resident bucks growing antlers have enough building blocks, and that does stay healthy as they provide milk for their summer offspring.

    September 20 at 9:00am
    Although you’ll catch a good number of 1 to 1½-pound bass using these tactics in September, you may get a really good bass, like the one pictured here.

    Bet on your most-dependable lake

    This month, I’ll primarily fish my home lake, Bogue Homa, near Laurel. I understand exactly where September bass should be, and I know the lures to fish for success. Bogue Homa has a good number of largemouths 3 pounds or better, that will be relating to the grass and the grass lines coming off its banks. 

    September 14 at 9:00am
    The lateral-line system detects water movement. This ability may help this bluegill find prey but also alert it to an approaching predator.

    Fish Sensory Systems: Part 3

    Fish rely on their senses to survive, and in particular, to find food in their underwater homes. Part I of this series explored vision, a very fast and accurate sense for detecting objects in the environment, but also a sense quickly impaired by changes in water clarity. Part II explored how taste and smell are involved in feeding and concluded that chemical cues may be important for accepting or rejecting objects as food but probably have a relatively minor role in detecting prey or attracting fish. This final segment explores fishes’ ability to detect sound and water movement. These senses may have much more to do with feeding than formerly known or even thought.

    September 11 at 9:00am
    Natural cover from limbs on nearby trees provides a hunter the opportunity to draw unobserved from this ladder stand.

    Keys to bow stand selection

    Archery season is fast approaching and hopefully, most bowhunters have their archery equipment set up and dialed in. But what about the tree stands they will hunt from? 

    September 01 at 7:00am
    Almost all game species will fall for the Zombie RIP Stik.

    Zombie RIP Stik

    The RIP in Egret Baits’ new Zombie RIP Stik doesn’t stand for “rest in peace,” although it could.

    August 27 at 9:00am
    Getting a transducer to read at speed so your sonar doesn’t lose the bottom can be tricky – here are some tips to make it happen.

    Mounting transducers with a need for speed

    You open the throttle, plane the boat, tickle the trim until you can’t go any faster, and then your sonar loses the bottom. Chances are, the problem lies with your transducer installation.

    August 24 at 9:00am
    This gravity feeder station is obviously set up in a great spot. The surrounding ground is cut to pieces with deer tracks.

    Supplemental feeding in better focus

    In last month’s installment we discussed minerals and supplemental feeding of deer in Mississippi. This is still a controversial subject depending on who you talk to. Proponents call it supplemental feeding, opponents call it deer baiting. It has been two years now since the MDWFP loosened the regulations regarding: Rule 2.4 — Supplemental Feeding of Wild Animals Outside of Wildlife Enclosures. Let’s drill down on this subject a little deeper and see what is legal and what is not, and how to properly use supplemental feeding to best affect. 

    August 20 at 9:00am
    When the top-water bite is over early in the morning, Elias will start fishing a frog in the lily pads and around the grass.

    Great August fishing awaits you at Ross Barnett

    Because bass don’t have sunscreen, sunglasses or air conditioning, in August, they’re looking for shade and cool water. Ross Barnett Reservoir has numerous lily pads, providing shade and cooler water where the baitfish also can feed on the algae on the lily pads’ bottoms, and big, thick clumps of grass.

    August 13 at 9:00am
    This endangered pallid sturgeon lives on the bottom in the deep, dark waters of the Mississippi River. Taste and smell are important for finding food.

    Fish Sensory Systems - Part 2

    Part 1 of this three-part series explored vision. Light travels rapidly through water and, as such, provides real-time information about a fish’s environment. If the fish sees it, it’s there. If it moves, the fish sees it move. As a source of information, chemicals are at the opposite end of the communication spectrum. Chemicals travel slowly and, at best, provide imprecise information about the location of the source. Nevertheless, detection of chemical cues can be very important to feeding.

    August 10 at 8:30am
    Carrying an extra cable and string set can be a life-saver if you have equipment problems on a hunt far from home.

    Be ready for field repairs

    Every bowhunter’s worst nightmare is to have equipment issues in the field. Regular maintenance can greatly reduce the chances of this happening, but there is always a possibility. An errant broadhead can easily cut a string or cable, and brush or rocks can fray them as well. Servings can slip, causing nock-point movement and poor arrow flight. 

    August 05 at 9:00am
    William Flournoy caught this 8 ½-pound bass on one of his Uncle Lonnie Stanley’s new Stanley Standup Football Jigs at Lake Sam Rayburn.

    The Stanley Standup Football Jig

    Lonnie Stanley does more than talk a good bass fishing game; he makes solid baits, too.

    The East Texas native who lives in Huntington, Texas, home of Stanley Jigs, has been making artificial lures for more than 30 years that are good enough for the pros to catch bass on, which “makes it a lot easier for the regular guy to catch fish,” Stanley told bassfishingarchives.com in 2015.

    July 27 at 9:00am
    Units can use overlays to combine features and save screen space. The top right window of this split-screen image capture shows the submerged remains of a bridge piling in DownScan detail. The window below it shows the DownScan detail overlaid on a conventional 2D view with Lowrance’s DownScan Overlay feature so you can see the image displayed with both types of sonar.

    The big screen advantage

    “Multifunction display” grows in meaning with each new generation of marine electronics. Sonar functions now include traditional down-looking 2-D scanning with and without CHIRP, high-definition side and down scanning, live forward scanning, 360-degree circular scanning and a choice of frequencies to optimize each type for either maximum detail or greatest scanning depth/distance. Most units with Ethernet connections can also show radar scans and forward-looking infrared (FLIR) live video for extra safety when eyesight isn’t enough. They can also share readings with other displays in real time. Units can network with virtually any NMEA 2000 or NMEA 0183 sensor or device and with some engines to show data like RPM, pressure and temperature readings. Many displays can also control autopilots, shallow water anchors, bow-mounted trolling motors, and your boat’s stereo system. All these capabilities compete for the limited space on our displays.

    July 24 at 9:00am