It’s that time of year that the weather is in transition, old man winter is battling it out with spring, and often we will see wind and a lot of rain this time of year. Although many are anticipating taking on outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, and the upcoming spring turkey season, we may find indoors much better to our liking until we get closer to March. Fishing can be very unpredictable this time of year, as cold water still persists, and fish being dependent on their surrounding temperatures become more active (feeding). Often, fishermen will find fish but will be unable to elicit a bite from them. Fishing throughout the day, waiting for the “bite” can yield some fish into the boat, and patience is often the best strategy this time of year. With lake levels heading back to normal, 355ft at New Johnsonville on Saturday, and average surface water temperatures around the low 40’s, we should see some increase in activity soon. Both the Duck and Buffalo Rivers have also returned to normal, although with the predicted rainfall we have been seeing, expect a rise in water levels in most areas.
I still have been seeing a good number of quality fish being taken by anglers this past week, including some great crappie! Some of the fish have been taken in shallow water in late afternoon as the water warms up. With the windy days we’ve had last week, some good numbers of crappie continue to be found in the deeper water along river drops where current hasn’t been too strong. When the “bite” has been tough, minnows seem to have been working better than jigs. Some bass continue to be taken along rocky banks by fishermen using jerk baits and swim jigs, often where shad activity has been present. This is a good time of year to catch the fish at their heaviest, as many female fish will be carrying eggs for the upcoming spring spawn. I’ll hopefully have a better fishing report in the upcoming weeks, as the white bass should begin moving into the Duck River this time of year, making for some great fishing. Look in areas just below gravel shoals, sometimes in the areas just out of the strong current. Sauger should be really grouping up, as their spawning time is nearing, which is usually at the end of this month into the first few weeks of March.
Most of the hunting seasons are now over, although many of the small game seasons will continue through the end of February. The Spring Turkey season will begin with the youth hunt on April 6th, with the regular spring season beginning on April 13th.
It’s that time of year that we will see many fishing tournaments, although most will be staring in March, we do have one this month, the ABA Division 40 event on February 24th. Out of Lucas Harbor, we have a Pre-Historic American Artifact show on Sunday February 25th at he Gallatin Civic Center (210 Albert Gallatin Ave., Gallatin, Tn). A couple of TWRA items are; the Trapper Training Camp on February 23-25th at Buffalo Ridge here in Humphreys Co. Interested individuals can register at TnWildlife.org, and as of Friday last week, there were still 50 seats available. The Elk Hunt application period is open through February 28th. To apply, visit gooutdoorstennessee.com or use the TWRA app.