Still waiting for ducks to head south

Published 1:59 pm Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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(This column was written by Jerry Smyly for the Demopolis Times.)


I hope everyone was able to get out and enjoy the few warm days we had last week, because another shot of cool weather is on the way. That’s good news for hunters, as the warm spell slowed down the deer movement. I have also gotten word from some duck hunters that many of the ducks are still well north of us. One waterfowler who has traveled to both Arkansas and Mississippi said that the ducks hadn’t quite made it down yet. With this next cold front bringing snow and sub-freezing temperatures to the northern states, hopefully we can expect an influx of new birds.

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The recent heavy rains have again stirred up the rivers a bit, but one fisherman I know not only changed his tactics, but the species he was pursuing as well. He caught some shad in the backwater and decided to target catfish rather than his usual fall quarry, bass. Jugging was used to present the fresh shad to the hungry cats, and he told me that all of his fish came out of the muddy main river. He had no bites in the backwater at all!

As I often say we are truly blessed to have an abundance of natural resources here in West Alabama, this angler changing tactics and species is a testament to the opportunities that abound in our area. Cold weather can mean great hunting, and warm weather can mean great fishing opportunities. Take advantage of all weather types!

Many local ponds remained clear and unaffected by the rains, and the fish that live in them need to feed up and prepare for the approaching winter just as those in the rivers and lakes are. Now is a great time to head to your local fishing hole and catch a few fish, before it gets too chilly. Good hunting or fishing!

(This column originally appeared in the Wednesday, December 5 issue of the Demopolis Times.)