February is not best time for outdoors

Welcome to February, the one month we all dislike when it comes to the outdoors.

It’s cold and dreary out, but there are still things to do, especially if you are a photographer.

Anglers dream of the spring run and warm days to come. It is only 27 days until March, so you have plenty of time for fine tuning your gear and rearranging your tackle box for the umpteenth time.

Deer hunters are winding down and waiting for September. Rabbit season is still in full swing. Waterfowlers had a great season despite the crazy weekend weather. You can still blast away at snow geese. There is a youth waterfowler day on Feb. 11.

Winter fishing

Alicen Sharp holds a clam she raked up in the inland bays. (Submitted photo)

Fishing is in full winter mode.  White perch in the tidal creeks and rivers.  Bass and pickerel are hitting you just have to work your lures slow and steady.  Yellow perch are in the spawn and are starting to be caught readily especially in the upper Chesapeake bay area.  Even striped bass around there have been good catches.  Crappie action is hot when the fish move into an area.

Clamming is a good winter activity around the inland bays this time of year.  Several “red zones”  that are normally closed in the summer for bacteria levels are open this time of year from December first to April fifteenth.  You just need some waders, a clam rake and the motivation to get into that cold water.  The seasonally closed areas have great clamming this time of year and are easily accessible with a boat.  Alicen Sharp loves to clam this time  of year.  “Well the best thing about clamming this time of year is that the clams hold up better too. Plus with the seasonal areas opened up it gives you options to clam in areas that are easily accessible.”

Polar plunge

If you want to get up close and personal with the water this weekend is the annual Lewes Polar Plunge at Rehoboth Beach.  That’s when over five thousand people jump into  the ocean to raise money for the Special Olympics of Delaware organization.  Not sure if I am jumping in this year but will be there to watch the madness.  It is a great cause that helps a lot of people.

Offshore catch

I know few guys going offshore catching swordfish.  That is an art in and of itself this time of year, but can be done.  There are tuna south off North Carolina.  Tautog fishing is still great for the charters and head boats when they can get out on a sunny day.  Tautog do not like overcast skies they are site feeders.

Memorabilia show

The one thing that gives us a reprieve of the winter doldrums waiting for the warmer days is fishing shows and flea markets.

This weekend in Milford is the Delaware Vintage Hunting and Fishing Memorabilia Show and Sale 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in Reagan Watson Auction Building, 115 N. Washington St., Milford.

This is a great show to see, purchase, and touch the history of fishing and hunting in Delaware.  If you miss them this weekend, we are going to have a bunch of the folks there at the Delaware Outdoors Expo on March 11th at the fairgrounds in Harrington.

Rich King’s outdoors column appears Thursdays in the Delaware State News.

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