Indiana, PA - Indiana County

ZEKE WILSON: Spring finally arrives

on April 01, 2014 10:35 AM

Finally, fair weather has reached our region, allowing for more enjoyable outdoor activities.

Anglers targeting the catch-and-release trout stream sections reported doing well on streamers that were worked slowly prior to weekend rains. The upper portion of Little Mahoning goes up fast and comes down fast with heavy rains and should be fishable once again.

With only a limited number of trout waters currently open, things can get crowded when the weather is so nice. Luckily, the opening day of trout season is less than two weeks away, and most will wait until then to wet a line.

With fishing in a select part of the southeastern part of the state already under way, a tank of gas and bait of choice is all that’s needed to fill a creel.

Despite warm air temperatures, the water temperatures will remain frigid well into the spring and in the right circumstances can be fatal. A towel and dry change of clothes takes up little space behind the seat of the truck, and it can save the day should the angler take a dunk.

Distant trout angling destinations often involve a financial commitment in gas to get there and often is greater than the cost of an extra spinning combo.

Those fishing from canoes, kayaks and boats less than 16 feet in length are required by law to wear personal flotation devices until April 30. On several occasions I have had the misfortune of lodging broadside along an obstacle and had the current quickly fill and flip the canoe. In one instance the canoe became wedged underneath the log that initially halted progress. With more than 400 pounds of muscle, it was all the two of us had to break the suction and release the canoe.

The chill and current of waterways at this point in the year are often underestimated by boaters and anglers. Although there is a risk in most activities, spending time in the woods or water this spring is worth taking the necessary precautions.

With the amount of things to do at this time of year, choosing exactly what to do can be daunting. Soon the fields and forests will begin to show the first hints of green. Spring gobbler will sneak up quickly, and checking the inventory of shells, gloves, calls and decoys should be done sooner rather than later.

Ducks and geese have begun to pair up on local ponds, and hearing the morning silence broken by a gobble is possible.

Many enjoy scouting as much as the hunt, although restraint should be used on calling. Educating or spooking turkeys can easily be done when using calls in the preseason. Watching and listening will provide more accurate information and also increase the odds of a bearded bird investigating calls once the season opens.

• The Yellow Creek Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will hold its annual Hunting Heritage Banquet on Saturday, May 10, at the Rustic Lodge. Doors open at 5 p.m., and dinner starts at 7.

Tickets are $60 per person, $85 per couple, $285 per sponsor or $310 per sponsor couple. A?meal-only ticket for a NWTF member is $25.

The early bird raffle deadline is May 1.

For information, contact Eric Roser at (724)?599-9174 or rickpm86@gmail.com.

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