Outdoors report: Crappie biting despite the heat and humidity

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Despite hot humid weather conditions, fishermen continue to bring in good numbers of crappie.
Crappie can be found suspended on structures and off points from 11-15 feet deep. Dropoffs in the same depth range also are great places to try.
Slowly troll minnows, with heavier than usual weights to keep the bait at the desired depth.
If you’re using a depth finder, you can find schools of fish fairly easily.
Take into account the wind direction and be aware of the boat speed difference when moving with the wind or against it. Paying attention to the minor details will often be the difference in bringing in two or three or 20 or 30.
Fishermen are commonly catching crappie up to one pound and averaging 10 inches long.
White perch are very active throughout the Yadkin River chain lakes. On High Rock Lake, look for surface action in the main channel off rocky points in the early morning.
With thousands of fry shad in schools lake wide, fish can be found feeding regularly. During the heat of the day, look for perch feeding on suspended shad schools on underwater sandbars and other structures.
Places to try include the mouth of Dutch Second Creek. Fish the triple danger buoyed sandbar and the mouth of Crane Creek at the danger buoy on the north side of the creek. Live minnows are a good choice, but small pearl or white-colored plastic jig bodies also are working great. White perch, also locally known as “waccamaws,” have no size or creel limit. They are easy to catch in most areas and are great table fare.
Tuckertown Lake has been producing some great surface action in the afternoon and evening.
Fishermen are reporting largemouth bass, white bass, striped bass and white perch being caught in good numbers on the surface. Plugs like the “Skitter-Pop,” “Pop-R,” and “Tiny Torpedo” are great choices along with jigs that mimic small shad. Places to try include the stump lined underwater sandbar directly in front of the Flat Creek access area. Largemouth can be found feeding on shad throughout the day all along this area. Also, areas near the mouth of Cabin, Newsome and Riles creeks are great places to find surface activity.
Catfish continue to show up hungry and active throughout High Rock Lake. Cut-bait such as shad is the No. 1 choice for most anglers, with worms, chicken liver and stink baits also working well. Fishermen are pulling in catfish up to 10 pounds regularly, with the average around 2 pounds.
Hunting season dates
Hunting season is fast approaching and some hunters are confused with the opening date for dove season. To be clear, opening day is Monday, Sept. 1, at noon. It ends at sunset and the daily bag limit is 15 per hunter per day.
Dove season opens statewide on Sept. 1, at noon and closes at sunset. After that day, hunting opens a half hour before sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limit is 15 doves per hunter per day. Split into three seasons, the first runs Sept. 1 through Oct. 4. The second is from Nov. 24 through Nov. 29. The last is from Dec. 12 through Jan. 10.
Canada goose season opens Sept. 1 through Sept. 30. Shooting hours are a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset in the area west of U.S. 17 during September only. Daily bag limit is eight per hunter per day. Dare County has more strict guidelines.
Three free hunter education courses are scheduled in Rowan County in August. Students must complete the entire course hours for the scheduled course and pass a certification test. To sign up, go to www.ncwildlife.org and click education.
Aug. 21-22: Rowan County Wildlife Club, 650 Majolica Road. Start time 6 p.m. Call Claude Parris, 704-279-4049, for more information.
Aug. 27-29: Rowan County Wildlife Club, 650 Majolica Road. Start time 6 p.m. Call Gary Steeley, 704-791-9743, for more information.
Aug. 29-30: Rowan County Rescue Squad, 1140 Julian Road. Start time 6 p.m. Call Tommy Kimball, 704-636-5324, for more information.
Waterfowl seasons
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is inviting comment on waterfowl hunting seasons through www.ncwildlife.org.
Hunting begins in late September and includes various seasons for ducks, Canada geese, snow geese, brant and tundra swans.
Comments on the proposed season dates will be accepted until Aug. 17.
“We believe that this system will provide a more efficient and effective means to gather input regarding waterfowl season selections by the North Carolina Wildlife Commission,” said David Cobb, chief of the division of Wildlife Management.
Each year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides frameworks from which to choose the seasons, and the Commission selects the actual dates within these guidelines. Public-input meetings have traditionally been held to receive comments on waterfowl seasons.
In previous years, the Commission conducted nine meetings across the state to receive public input on the seasons. However, attendance at these meetings had declined over time and public input was minimal at most locations. As a cost-savings measure and to allow for a relatively easy means for statewide citizen input, the agency has developed the online comment system.
In addition, the Web site will list the federal frameworks from which seasons may be selected, a direct link to a map of North Carolina’s Canada goose hunt zones and a link to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2008 Status of Waterfowl video. The commission used a similar online survey for comments during the early waterfowl and webless migratory game bird hunting seasons.
Archery for disabled
Questions are received regularly from sportsmen who wish to pursue archery activities but are unable because of a physical disability. The following should help in understanding the legal requirements to obtain a crossbow hunting permit.
To get a free crossbow hunting permit:
– The disability restricting use of bows must be from an injury or deformity that can’t be overcome with exercise and physical therapy.
– The disability must be greater than a year.
– The disability must prevent the person from drawing a bow with 35 pounds of pull 15 inches and holding at a reduced pull of 12 pounds for five seconds.
Crossbows are permitted anytime other legal bows are allowed but only by persons incapable of arm movement sufficient to operate a longbow, recurved or compound bow.
A application can be printed from www.ncwildlife.org, or you can call the license section at 1-888-2HUNTFISH (1-888-248-6834) or write to Disabled Access Program, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 1722 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699.
E-mail Sgt. Anthony Sharum of the N.C. Wildlife Resources at huntfishguy66@aol.com.