Despite snow, it’s still a cool time outdoors

21dsn outdoors column photo by .

Snow covers the beach on the south side of the Indian River Inlet Sunday. (Special to the Delaware State News/Rich King)

Winter wonderland is here, and the snow was fun last Sunday.

The beaches looked cool (pun intended) covered in snow with the waves exposing more sand after every crash.

We spent the weekend at the Commercial Watermens exposition in Ocean City, Maryland, at the convention center.

Outdoors column logo FINAL by . There was a great deal of information about shellfish aquaculture,and equipment.

For some watermen this is the new alternative to harvesting oysters and clams.

For some people, the outdoors is more than a pasttime, it is their office, workplace, and job.

From ship captains, to river pilots, down to the commercial crabber.  These folks work the waters 365 days a year to earn a living.  It is not an easy job and they are exposed to the elements whether they like it or not. Working in the outdoors is not a job for the faint of heart, you have to love what you do.

Good for hunters

Hunters are excited for the snow.

Tom Hudecheck of Lewes says, “We hunters wait all year for the chance to hunt deer with snow on the ground.

“It’s a magical time to be in the woods, good food sources are key, much easier to see the deer.

“With dwindling days left to deer hunt, low temps can help move deer around in morning and evening, woods take on a different look & feel.”

Snow also makes tracking anything much easier.
Small game can be especially easy to find after a snowfall.  You can find anything easier. My dog used to get out of the house and disappear for a couple of hours.  One day after it snowed I tracked her movements just to find out where she goes so I could find her easier next time.

Her tracks led me 8 doors down from my house, where she was sitting comfortably on my neighbors couch.

Apparently she would visit and they would let her hang out at the house for a couple of hours.  Never would have found this out had I not tracked her in the snow.

Heavy coastal flooding

This weekend  we are looking at not only a possible huge snow storm, but we are guaranteed to see heavy coastal flooding from the storm surge of this Nor’Easter.

The surfers are getting excited, waves are predicted upwards of 12 feet.

This can all change as the days progress, but one thing for sure is we will see some heavy weaves on the coast of Delaware.  Get your boards and wet suits ready this will not be surfing for the faint of heart.  These waves will be huge and crushing

Ducks on the frozen pond

Waterfowlers will have to start busting holes in ice to set decoys for ducks.

The goose hunters have been doing very well.

Some of these folks come up with some ingenious ways to deal with the cold in goose pits and deer blinds.

I have seen personal heaters in pits, to a lazy boy chair in a deer blind.

One group of duck hunters had a small kitchen set up for the most important meal of the day, breakfast.

If you can’t get any action at the blind, you may as well eat in style.

Rockfishing and trolling

Saltwater fishing has been slow to none for may anglers.  The surf has been all dogfish and skates with an occasional short striped bass. The boats are catching some rockfish, but most are going for tautog.

Trolling stretches for rockfish near the Bethany Bumps was decent a week ago, not may have made it out since then. Rough seas make for tough fishing in the winter.

The Indian River inlet is seeing mostly shad, and occasional short striped bass.  The shad are big and fun to catch on small shad darts tied up in tandem rigs.

Freshwater fishing in the snow is fun, but a bit chilly.  If you are keeping your catch, the cooler is already there, just pile the fish up in the snow.

Crappie bass action has been picking up more and more.  Whiter perch are still a hot catch too, but the neds or yellow perch have been harder to find this past week.  Bloodworms and small minnows are the top baits for perch.

Some bass will still feed but you have to fish for them less aggressively.  They are slow to hit any baits or lures.  pickerel are always fun this time of year on small lures like silver spoons or a daredevil.  Catfish are always a fun catch and you can use bloodworms or chicken livers for them.

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

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