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    The author with a mature buck. Unfortunately, older-aged bucks seem to be the most CWD susceptible members of whitetail deer society.

    CWD is here!

    I had something else in mind originally for this column, but the recent happenings regarding the finding of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a Mississippi deer is more important than anything else. 

    21 hours ago
    Paul Elias recommends that you fish the Zara Spook, pictured here, or the Whopper Plopper, at first light.

    Fish for Bogue Homa post-spawn bass in April

    April is a post-spawn bass month at Bogue Homa. The females will be coming off the bed, and they’ll want to feed up to help recover from the spawn. But they will still will be holding fairly close to the spawning area in shallow water.

    April 12 at 9:00am
    Jigging is an effective way to catch crappie in flood-control reservoirs. Notice, in the background, the absence of cover needed for successful crappie spawning.

    How do young crappie survive the winter

    Good crappie fishing often depends on a strong year-class: an abundance of fish produced in a given year. When those fish grow to a size of interest to anglers — what biologists call “recruit to the fishery” — the result is fast action, filled limits and full coolers. Fast growth and limited harvest often equates to super slabs for the next several years. 

    April 09 at 9:00am
    Modern carbon arrows that look like wooden ones and are fletched with feathers are a major improvement over wooden alternatives.

    Traditional archery

    Modern technology has made it easier than ever to be a successful archer. Tools such as compound bows with high let-offs, electronic rangefinders, magnified fiber-optic bow sights, fall-away arrow rests and many other advances have changed our sport forever. 

    April 01 at 7:00am
    Balsamic Shrimp has a distinct sweet tang from the honey and the balsamic vinegar, but there is no sour component in its taste profile.

    Captain of the kitchen

    The eyeglasses give the well-built, middle-aged man a scholarly look, but he carries an obvious outdoors veneer from years in the sun. Nothing in Capt. Tommy Pellegrin’s appearance would lead one to believe he is a chef.

    March 26 at 9:00am
    Jimmy Mason holds up a 6-pound bass caught on a Bomber Jointed Wake Minnow at Wilson Lake.

    Bomber’s Jointed Wake Minnow

    Russell Garner remembers the days in South Texas and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast when anglers modified jointed Redfins to make a “wake” bait that redfish found hard to resist.

    March 21 at 9:00am
    One of the trail-camera photos that caused him to want to be in an afternoon stand in mid-January.

    How’d that happen?

    On one particular afternoon in mid-January, my son-in-law, Jody, had the itch to head over to his favorite deer-hunting area to try and get a crack at a couple of elusive, mature bucks  he had captured on trail camera. The weather was right, and the wind was blowing from a favorable direction, enabling him to get into a really thick area where these late-rut bucks seemed to be holed up.

    March 15 at 9:00am
    Paul Elias likes Bay Springs in March because bass will be moving shallow, and you never know whether you’re catching a largemouth, a smallmouth or a spotted bass when the fish takes the bait.

    Bay Springs’ bass triple play

    I enjoy fishing Bay Springs Lake  in March, because I like catching largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass on the same lake, often in the same places and sometimes on the same lure. 

    March 12 at 9:00am
    This nice Grenada Lake crappie weighed almost 3 pounds.

    Managing crappie is often a water issue

    Reservoir crappie populations are notoriously cyclic. A strong year-class is produced once every few years and is usually followed by one or more weak year-classes. When the fish reach catchable size, the abundant cohort supports good to excellent fishing for a few years until members of the once abundant year-class are caught or die of old age. 

    March 09 at 8:30am
    With deer season in the rearview mirror, take time now to scout your woods for sign you might have missed last season.

    There’s no better time than now to prepare

    As I write this, another year’s deer season has come to a close. For many hunters, this is a sad time, as thoughts of a long offseason become reality. 

    March 01 at 7:00am
    Stews are hearty meals that take the edge off the chill after a February day afield or in the boat. Using venison and blackening seasonings make for a great time at the table.

    Blackened venison stew

    Winters in the South typically aren’t harsh, at least not for more than a few days at a time, but there will be a few times it’s nice to have a pot of something simmering and ready to eat to help warm up. 

    February 26 at 9:00am
    A built-in 1/4-ounce leadhead and painted on glow eyes are just two features of Egret’s new Vudu Vixen.

    The Vudu Vixen

    Speckled trout and other saltwater species feed on shrimp and baitfish, shad, mullet, cocahoes and more.

    February 21 at 9:00am
    One of the author’s nephews with a fully mature buck taken after a long, quiet hike to the stand.

    Food for thought:

    By the time you are reading this, unless you live in the extreme southern part of Mississippi, the 2017-2018 deer season will already be “in the books,” as they say. 

    February 14 at 9:00am
    In February, Ross Barnett bass will be in the prespawn mode; you may catch a good number of bass that will weigh 4 pounds or more.

    February bassing at Ross Barnett

    I think February is the best month of the year to fish Ross Barnett Reservoir for bass, which are in the prespawn mode and moving shallow. In many sections of the country — and Mississippi — you will often be fishing for bass in deep water in February, but on Ross Barnett, you’ll catch most of your fish in water 3 feet deep or less.

    February 12 at 9:00am
    A large pallid sturgeon caught on a trotline in the Mississippi River near Natchez.

    Mississippi’s oldest fish

    The Mississippi waters of the Mississippi River are home to pallid sturgeon and shovelnose sturgeon. Unlike many other sturgeon in North America and worldwide that migrate between the ocean and freshwater to complete their life cycle, the pallid and shovelnose sturgeon complete their life cycles entirely in rivers. 

    February 05 at 9:00am
    The author killed this hit-list buck, nicknamed Saban, on Christmas Eve — after taking plenty of care not to put too much pressure on it.

    Learn to manage hunting pressure

    This month, I’m going to touch on a subject that applies to deer hunting with any weapon: managing hunting pressure on your herd. In my opinion, no single factor is more important to your success in terms of seeing and harvesting deer — especially mature bucks.  

    February 01 at 7:00am