Wet weather a welcome sign

Wet weather a welcome sign

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012 12:00 pm

By JOSH GOWAN
Special to the Press
What do you get when you add a couple inches of rain, followed by a strong cold front, to the biggest alleged waterfowl migration of the year? Hopefully you get a whole bunch of ducks making their way down the Mississippi flyway. Maybe the last of the really warm weather has passed and this duck season will live up to its’ pre-season hype, otherwise I’m goin’ fishing!
I’m continuing my marathon season of Christmas parties, spending last weekend out gallivanting with the wife and friends again, and managed to ease back to Cape Girardeau and check out the new casino.
It’s a heck of a structure, and real nice inside if that’s the sort of thing you’re into. The highlight for me was my catfish po-boy at the Lone Wolf restaurant inside, it was a fine sandwich.
Now on to the important stuff. Reelfoot Lake didn’t get enough water to cover up the stumps and my buddy Allen Kolwick took advantage of it. He fished in the beautiful weather we had Saturday, and said that color change was key. Now Allen is known to change his jig colors fairly often on the water, but if he catches fish doing it it’s hard to argue with his tactics.
He said the bite didn’t get good for him until after lunch, and he picked up his 30 fish limit by 4 p.m. He said the go-to color most everywhere, chartreuse, was not working at all, and he’d go through colors until he found one they were hitting well, then about an hour later would have to change again. The black and grey LakeFork caught the most fish and he was still fishing relatively deep.
Over on Wappapello Lake the crappie fishing is continuing to improve. The first annual Wayne County Associate Crappie Club tournament was this past weekend.
The tournament allowed a team of crappie anglers to weigh their 10 biggest fish, as opposed to seven fish like most, and the winning stringer weighed over 13 pounds and was caught by Gale and Randy Humphry. They caught their fish spider-rigging the edge of the river channel in 13 foot of water, using medium shiners (minnows) they got from Slabber Dave’s Bait and Tackle.
Mr. Tom, a.k.a. Cane Pole, caught some really nice fish on Kentucky Lake in 8 to 10 foot of water using pink and chartreuse hand-tied jigs. He said the water is down from last week and the water temperature is up to 55-57 degrees in West Sandy. He caught fish in and on brush and they were hitting the baits on the fall and on the rise, but not hitting hard.
While this year has been tough for a lot of duck hunters due mostly to the warm weather, some blinds are still killing a bunch of ducks. My buddy Zach Friend has been hunting with his buddy Drew Ryan and they’ve been really successful as of late, even in the warm weather.
Drew has them set up in a layout blind on the edge of a flooded bean field. They’ve only been hunting four dozen decoys and moving them quite a bit to adjust for the ducks.
In the last three mornings they’ve killed 58 ducks and 15 snows out of their spot.
The ducks were mostly mallards and gadwalls, a few teal, three drake widgeons, six pintails, two canvasbacks and a partridge in a pear tree… Zach said Friday the Mojo’s were working well with a horseshoe spread catering to the south wind, but the next two days the ducks were flaring off the Mojo’s.
The ducks were landing too far out from the spread, so they took all the decoys and bunched them up to one side of the layout blinds, and that brought the ducks close enough for a shot.
They, like me and the rest of us, are watching that forecast of 750,000 ducks being pushed down from the Dakota’s, we’ll see!
Published in The WCP 12.13.12

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