• Columns

    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
    Steve Porter, who created the Super Sally, holds a hawg he caught with one recently on Florida’s Lake Okeechobee.

    The Super Sally

    For many anglers, especially in the South, there have been epic trips with lots of unforgettable “Sally Time.”

    January 30 at 9:00am
    This buck has the classic body build of a mature deer 5½ years or older, in spite of its paltry antlers.

    Rate that buck

    Well, we once again find ourselves at the close of another year and headed straight into the clutches of what passes for winter here in the Deep South. 

    January 23 at 9:00am
    Cube steak is an excellent and easy way to fix venison. It’s a hearty, heart-warming meal for a cold January evening. It starts on the stove top and finishes up in the oven (inset).

    Venison cube steak

    I believe you’ll enjoy this month’s recipe. It’s my version of something I remember enjoying most of my life.

    January 18 at 9:00am
    When a  jig bounces off a root, a stump or a rock and begins to fall back to the bottom, that’s when the Maynor Creek bass are most likely to attack.

    January bassing at Maynor Creek

    Maynor Creek, a 450-acre body of water near Waynesboro, is my pick for great January bass fishing at this difficult time to catch bass.

    January 16 at 9:00am
    The senses of smell and taste were important to catching this Mississippi River blue catfish.

    The biology behind the bite

    The vulnerability of fish to hook-and-line capture has become a hot topic among fisheries scientists. 

    January 09 at 9:00am
    Mission’s SUB-1 crossbow promises minute-of-angle accuracy thanks to a number of design improvements.

    A crossbow built for supreme accuracy

    A little over a year ago, I heard rumblings that Matt McPherson and his engineers at Mission Crossbows were working on a revolutionary new crossbow design that would raise the bar for the entire industry. 

    January 01 at 7:00am
    In design since 2010, LiveTarget’s BaitBall Spinner Rig is available in three sizes, with two weights for each.

    LiveTarget’s BaitBall Spinner Rig

    LiveTarget has an answer for those who want to fish a compact, manageable “umbrella rig” in gin clear or stained water — in the spring, summer or fall, and at any depth of the water column.

    December 27, 2017 at 9:00am
    Even when the weather cools down at the end of December, you often can catch some very chunky bass at Bogue Homa that weigh 5 to 7 pounds each.

    Bogue Homa’s December bassing

    Bogue Homa’s fishery, with its numerous creek channels, active bass and an abundance of vegetation, is a great December fishery. Early on, you’ll take bass on top; they’ll be along the edges of drop-offs later in the month. Often, bass will concentrate in creek channels all winter, particularly when the air temperature is cold. Generally, December bass and the shad they eat will still be in a late fall pattern. 

    December 18, 2017 at 9:00am
    Jody Sistrunk shows off a nice, mature mainframe 8-pointer  taken during the 2015-2016 season.

    Map out the deer rut

    It is finally here! Just like when we were kids, the wait for Christmas seemed like an eternity. So it is for me, and, I am certain, all other serious diehard deer hunters. College basketball has “March Madness” and here in the Deep South, we deer hunters have our own version; let’s call it “December Madness.” This is the silly season when bucks throw caution to the wind as they pursue estrus does. 

    December 12, 2017 at 9:00am
    Healthy bass populations produce quality bass.

    Too much of a good thing

    The adoption of catch-and-release benefited black bass fisheries, but now many fisheries managers wish it would go away — or that at least a few anglers would harvest some bass. 

    December 11, 2017 at 9:00am
    Oysters in a brown gravy is an unusual dish that is more like a soup than a gravy.

    Oyster recipes perfect for the holidays

    From now through February and into March, oysters are in their prime  — fat and flavorful. 

    And Ronnie Sampey knows it. 

    December 08, 2017 at 6:00am
    The ZT Hyper Cams allow let-offs of 80- to 85-percent on Hoyt’s newest bows.

    Hoyt takes a big step

    Hoyt Archery’s 2018 flagship hunting bows are the most innovative to come from the Salt Lake City-based manufacturer in many years. Hoyt has redesigned their bows from the ground up, giving them a much-needed overhaul — and adding a lot of new technology.

    December 04, 2017 at 9:00am