- Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 December 2009 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 30 December 2009 05:00
- Hits: 420
Last week I received a press release that literally made my jaw drop. What I read stunned me, but I guess I should have seen it coming. Many recreational saltwater anglers in Virginia may not be aware of the fact that the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act required that states come up with a way to get angler and fisheries harvest data for their state. Delaware has a FIN or Fisheries Identification Number requirement of their anglers and other states have other means to collecting data. Virginia has supposedly done surveys at docks (I have never seen such a survey, nor have I talked to anyone who was surveyed at the dock) and some clubs have begun registering their catches online. However, Virginia has never really had a consistent way to get a good, solid harvest figure for sport fish such as striped bass, sea bass or river herring.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 December 2009 05:00
- Published on Wednesday, 23 December 2009 05:00
- Hits: 347
For most of us the word snow probably got added to the list of bad four letter words. For some the inconvenience of not being able to go to the store, the movie or shopping was bad enough. For the rest of us the work of plowing driveways, shoveling walks or having other plans put on hold made snow a most unwelcome sight for the rest of the year. Your outdoor columnist spent Saturday and Sunday on a tractor pushing snow. While there is a beauty to the snow hanging on the trees, sparkling in the bright sunshine or having that clean, fresh look to the woods, there is also a grim reality to deep snow that I noticed as I plowed the road. For animals the snow makes a meal hard to come by.
- Last Updated on Sunday, 30 December 2012 19:14
- Published on Wednesday, 16 September 2009 05:00
- Hits: 438
September and early October offer some of the best, and in this writer’s opinion, the easiest, squirrel hunting to be had during the entire season. So what makes the early season so productive for small game hunters?
First, the squirrels are very easy to locate. Squirrels are busy feeding on hickory nuts and then acorns at this time of year. If you venture into the woods and get near either of those trees, you will find plenty of squirrels.
Second, I have heard more than a few guys say they hate hunting the early season because the shooting is so tough. Sure, the leafy boughs make the sight picture tough at times, but the fact that you can see a leafy branch bouncing around from quite a distance away more than makes up for the issue of getting a clear shot. You can easily spot squirrels feeding from over 100 yards out.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 August 2009 16:15
- Published on Wednesday, 19 August 2009 16:15
- Hits: 7134
Flower gardens, sugar water feeders bring out these tiny aerial acrobats
A week ago I had the distinct and rare pleasure to just sit down on my front porch for an hour and do absolutely nothing. I even went as far as to leave my writing pad and laptop in the house. All I took with me was my glass of sweet tea.
While relaxing I was treated to an acrobatic show of territorial disputes between as many as six ruby-throated hummingbirds in the period of an hour. I was amazed at their agility and tenaciousness, as well as the violence they incorporated to keep others away from the sugar water we put out in our feeder for them. I decided to do a little research and do a short write up on them for this week’s column.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:38
- Published on Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:38
- Hits: 741
Periodically, I receive press releases from VDGIF and I always skim through them and glean out the info that applies to us locally. Here are a few timely tidbits that hunters should take note of this week.
July 1 was the opening day for hunters to apply for any of the quota hunts that VDGIF runs across the state. Some of the hunts are for birds, rabbit, quail, bear, deer and feral hogs. A few of the hunts are new and some of the existing hunts have new (and earlier) deadlines. Readers can go towww.HuntFichVA.com to get more details.
The new Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp is now available online. Last year more than 22,600 such stamps were sold generating over $200,000 for waterfowl habitat improvement projects.
- Last Updated on Sunday, 30 December 2012 19:22
- Published on Wednesday, 08 July 2009 14:00
- Hits: 7791
I cannot fathom how many times I have heard anglers make derogatory comments about the taste of bluefish. Perhaps you are about to turn the page now as you have already decided that bluefish are a waste of your time. I challenge you to at least read on and consider what I have to say.
Years ago bluefish were king in the bay and in the lower Potomac. I have heard tell of bluefish up to 15 pounds and even tales of 20 pounders chomping off the bodies of small fish being reeled in. While I have seen only a few 10-plus pound bluefish I have tasted some of those larger blues. I will admit right away that any large fish tends to taste poor, and it tends to be tough.
However, when bluefish were more abundant in our local rivers and they were sought after for sport, food was a secondary consideration. I believe this is when they began to get a bad name for the table. One thing a real fish eater learns fast is that any fish that is permitted to die and remain warm or get hot tastes terrible. This is particularly true of and oily fish such as bluefish. In the heyday of blues, many anglers would toss them in a bucket or bin without a lot of ice and ride around fishing for a while. This killed the taste of the fish right away.