‘tis the season of waiting for deer hunters

4dsn outdoors column beach photo by .

The Baldwin family of Newark enjoyed a little beach combing north of the Indian River Inlet on Saturday. (Submitted photo/Amy Baldwin)

There are two seasons for most hunters — deer season and waiting for deer season.

Guess which one is the longest?

The season is over for deer hunters, but they all seem to agree this was a great season and the numbers harvested should reflect that.

Outdoors column logo FINAL by . James Blackstock posted on January 30 on his Bowhunting Delaware Facebook page:

“<——214—–<<  Days and counting until the 2016 archery season opener!”

The hunters will be itching until then to do some deer hunting.

In the mean time there are other hunting options, such as snow geese and the spring turkey season. And there is always small game.

Waterfowling was not as great as everyone had hoped. You can blame the weird weather.

However Delaware has a special season for Snow Geese control.

Fishing report

Many hunters are getting the spring fishing gear ready and there is always spring turkey season for them as well.

The fishing right now is great for yellow perch using small minnows for bait.

The pickerel action has been hot with minnows or a silver spoon.  The action of a pickerel crushing a silver spoon is a blast.

One thing to keep in mind if you are not keeping a fish during winter fishing make sure to get them back into the water as fast as possible.

If the temperatures outside are below freezing, that can damage the fish’s gills quick, and freeze their skin and protective slime coat. Best to get them back into the water as soon as possible. If you are keeping the fish, the outdoors makes for a great cooler when the temperature is below freezing.  Just be careful the fish don’t freeze to the ground or ice.

Beachcombing

The outdoor sport last weekend was beach combing.

Many people came down to see the beaches after  storm Jonas carved them up.

I answered the same question every ten minutes all week long.  “Where is the best beach to look for shells from the storm”  My answer was always the same, look from Dewey Beach to Ocean City, Maryland.

The beaches are still carved up pretty good. We have a lot of swales and tide pools still in the center of the beaches they look like little ponds.

Surf fishing

Over time they will fill back in and driving on the beaches will be much easier.  Surf fishing this time of year will produce skates and a few spiny dogfish.

You might get into some spotted hake or ling cod with small pieces of squid on top and bottom rigs.

With the storm damage it is a good time to read the beach at low tide to see where the cuts are and what they look like under the surf.

Not measuring up

The 2016 fishing guide from DNREC has been printed and will be available soon at all bait shops.

However, the ruler the division gives out each year will be delayed due to a quality control issue.

Apparently when the sample ruler got wet the ink came off, not exactly good for measuring a live wet fish.

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

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