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Outdoors Report - March 19, 2014

This is our first report for the year! The news is good, and we hope to continue bringing you good news. With the bad weather starting as I type this, I know some of you won’t believe what we have to report. Read on to see for yourself.

Hunting
Several people have told me they are hearing turkeys gobbling. I have seen a large number of birds strutting around lately, and they appear to be plentiful. Perhaps that will mean more henned-up gobblers, and perhaps it won’t; only time will tell. The youth day is April 5th this year, and apprentice hunters are eligible to hunt, too, if they have an apprentice license and are mentored by a licensed hunter. Only the youth and apprentice hunters may carry a gun on that special day.

Fishing
The fishing has been surprisingly good. I have been stunned at reports.

Rappahannock River
Ken’s Tackle Shop in Spotsylvania reported white perch from Hicks Landing up to Fredericksburg already. One angler caught over 100 further downriver, but when he went back the next day, they had moved. Although striped bass are not able to be creeled, they are being caught in the river and vary from small ones to fish that are quite large. Remember to put them back as soon as possible. No keeping rockfish! No shad have been caught as of Sunday afternoon that we heard about. Miss Donna also told us that bass anglers were tearing it up from Fredericksburg downriver a few miles. The smallies were the top ticket and were taken on plastic lures and jigs. Largemouth bass were also hitting well on the same baits. Fish slow! We went to visit Miss Donna at Ken’s. She has been a loyal contributor to our report for many years. It was good to see her shop full of some of the largest selections of new baits we have seen in a while. You need to stop in and see the selection of LiveTarget lures she has; it is unreal!

Potomac River
I heard of a few anglers catching some rockfish further downriver but cannot confirm that yet. Catfish are out there and biting, if you are patient enough. It is only a matter of time before this section of the report heats up really fast.

Ponds
The Old Cossey Pond in Fredericksburg is alive and well with trout. Mealworms were the ticket last week, but the SuperDupers were also taking fish.
Ruffins Pond was giving up plenty of crappie on minnows. Private ponds were also quite good for crappie and bass. I heard from a number of people about the bass and crappie fishing, so I had to try it. We went and got a dozen minnows from Ken’s and hit a local pond for an hour. We caught five keeper fish; two were bass in the one-pound range, and three were nice-sized crappie.  

Events
March 22- Hunter Ed Class at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Westmoreland County; Contact Rick Wilks at (540) 775-4625
March 22- Boater Education class at the King George Volunteer Fire Dept. http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/boating/education/requirement/steps-to-requirement.asp
March 29- Boater Education class at Oak Grove. Few seats remained as of press time.
April 5- Youth and Apprentice Turkey Hunting Day. Half hour before sunrise until noon. One bearded gobbler per hunter.
April 12- First day of spring gobbler season. Half hour before sunrise until noon. One bearded gobbler per hunter per day.

Mark and Missy Fike

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