The Sentinel-Record

What to do?

- Corbet Deary Outdoor writer and photograph­er

I am in the same boat as thousands of Arkansans, at present. That magical time of the year that we refer to as deer season nears, and with each day we grow more and more restless.

However, I am also faced with somewhat of a dilemma. Although I have spent little time on the water during the past few months, I have a gut feeling that fishing is on the verge of getting good.

The water temperatur­e will soon cool as the daytime highs decrease and the nighttime lows begin to fall. In turn, I suspect breaking action will become more consistent in the weeks to come. And I dearly love chasing breaking fish.

But even when the water temps eventually dip to a point that the bass will no longer be feeding on the surface, the bite will still continue. It’ll simply be a matter of changing techniques to fit their habits. Granted the approach will differ, but the results could prove equally as rewarding.

Then there’s the catfish bite. Although I have never consistent­ly pursued this species, I have recently become somewhat excited about catfishing during the fall season.

From what I have gathered, the flatheads go into a feeding frenzy just before winter, as they settle into somewhat of a torpor during the coldest months of the year.

Channel, on the other hand, are extremely active during the winter months. In fact, I have been told, by a friend, who is an avid catfisherm­an, that they actually school during the coldest months of the year. And if what he suggests holds true, one can experience action unsurpasse­d. The key is locating them.

I suspect blue cats can be caught throughout all seasons. And as we all know, they grow to enormous proportion­s. And I’ll never turn down the opportunit­y to catch a huge fish.

As for crappie? I’m hardly what one could refer to as an expert when it comes to catching this delectable species, but I have fished with my friend Bobby Murray during the winter months enough to have learned that they are more than willing to bite during the coldest months of the year.

That all being said, there’s another side of me that is totally aware that deer season is short lived and that one can legally fish 12 months out of the year. And I also have a sweet tooth for venison.

There’s something to be said for scouting and plotting. I truly enjoy sitting on a stand and watching the morning sun creep above the horizon. And who doesn’t grow excited about watching as a whitetail suddenly appears from a thicket and browses the forest floor. And the anticipati­on is unsurpasse­d when an unsuspecti­ng trophy buck slowly browses in the direction of a shooting lane.

I also find great pleasure in quietly easing through the woods, using the wind to my benefit, with hopes that I can stalk within shooting range unnoticed. But it’s even exciting when I make a crucial mistake and a beautiful whitetail suddenly bolts and disappears into the forest.

I even find pleasure in listening as a distant whitetail catches scent of my presence and blows. And to remain totally motionless and avoid eye contact, when a doe stares and stomps her foot is certainly a form of entertainm­ent. Let alone how exciting it is to watch two bucks battle for dominance.

Yep, I’m certainly in a state of quandary. Do I follow my urge to wet a hook during the time of year that I have always dedicated to hunting? Or do I knock the dust from my hunting gear and prepare for the deer season of 2021?

I truly do not have an answer of how I plan to spend the upcoming months. However, I am confident that regardless of my choices, the upcoming ventures will prove a success, as long as they are spent in the midst of the wonderful outdoors.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States