Month: December 2017

When most people think about fishing they think warm spring and summer days with lots of sunshine and a cool breeze, but a true angler fishes all year round and reaps the rewards.  During the winter months it is easier to find large schools of fish and with the right bait you can nail some monsters.  Winter time is great for Blue Cat (Mississippi whites)  they are easier to find and being opportunistic feeders you can usually tempt them to bite in the first 30 minutes.

 

Blue cat tend to find deep channels and holes with easy access to feeding grounds when the temperature in the lake gets really low. Like all other fish species they are cold blooded so they don’t want to use a lot of energy to get a meal so having a good knowledge of where to find them in your home lake is a big key to a successful day on the water.  Look along dams, old river and creek channels, and deep holes near flats and points.

Bait is the second part of that, the big ones aren’t going to move to come get a 1″x1″ chunk of bait, use hole shad or 2″x4″ chunks of frozen cut bait.  The bigger the meal the farther they will move to eat it.  Now we aren’t saying that you are guaranteed to reel in a monster cat with every cast but knowing what to throw and where will definitely increase your chances of hooking into one!

Third key to winter time fishing is to keep yourself comfortable, you wont have the patience to find the fish if you are cold, hungry, or thirsty.  So keep stocked with warm drinks, clothes, and a nice supply of snacks while you are out searching for that monster bite!

Arguably the most expensive and profitable hunting activity is trapping fur bearers.  It’s a game of patience though and there are a lot of technicalities. Always make sure your traps are legal and the animals that require tagging (like bobcat and otter) are tagged properly, wardens and properly registered check points can help you with this.

Regulations

Always, and we mean always check the regulations for description on legal traps, trap marking and tagging, and animal tagging.  You can find Oklahoma regulations here http://www.eregulations.com/oklahoma/hunting/furbearer-regulations/ . Remember to always stay up to date and ask a warden for clarification on any point you don’t understand. Never take another persons interpretation as correct.

Checking/tagging

Many people choose to freeze their bobcat and otter and that’s a great way to preserve them until sale, but if you choose to do so before having them tagged here are some tips!  First of all before freezing cut a 1/2 inch slot from gum line to the eye and insert a spacer that can be removed easily. Second you will want to partially thaw your animal before taking them to a tagging station, this will help them get you in and out quickly and very little fuss.

Sale

Many of the fur buyers prefer that you do not skin the animal first, freezing will keep the hide from decomposing while you wait for a chance to sell them.  Always check regulations on interstate sales before attempting to sell hides outside of the state, this will save you a ton on legal fees!

So happy trapping and remember even though the regulations can be a pain, staying legal will save you a lot of trouble!

It’s cold, the water is cold, you are cold, and the bass are cold.  To a lot of anglers it is the end of the fishing season. Winter time bass fishing is for those truly passionate anglers that want to hook into their personal best and have the tenacity to endure the slow winter bite and bone chilling temps.

First of all, bass are cold blooded and their metabolism will slow drastically as the water temps drop into the 50s and below.  They won’t want to waste a lot of energy chasing fast moving prey and sometimes even prey that isn’t going to make a good meal.

Throw those big baits, crank them slowly across the bottom, let them sit and soak, and generally make them a slow appetizing dish for a big bass.  Six inch swim baits, big creature baits on Carolina rigs, chatter baits and jigs with big bulky trailers, and lipless cranks bounced off the bottom are all great choices.  Nothing in the water during the cold winter months will be moving really fast or making a huge racket very often so slow quiet baits are going to be your wheel house.

Don’t get discouraged, the bite will be slow. You may only get one or two bites a day, but they will be worth it.  You may end up with the fight of your life as you crank in that 10 lb  behemoth.

On the opposite end of the spectrum there will be days where the bas are going to love small finesse baits just like they do during spawn.  Ned rigs, drop shots, micro Carolina rigs, finesse jigs, and weightless Texas rigs can bring you some amazing bites during those frosty months, especially if the temps have been a little higher than usual and the shallows gain a few degrees of warmth in the late afternoons.

So keep those rods and reels out and ready, bring out the big baits and the teensy baits, and see which ones the bass in your lakes prefer!