Turkey and trout seasons open with Spring

Published 11:47am Thursday, April 7, 2011

I must admit it’s hard for me to write about something other than fishing in April, but this is a long-awaited time for the turkey hunter.

I will concede that the sound of a tom gobbling in response to your call in the dawn hour stirs quite a rush.

Unless you are an overly safe driver, who never takes your eyes from the road, it’s easy to see Polk Co. has an abundant population of wild turkeys.

Many a field has turkeys in it during early morning and late evening this time of year and you can see the toms “strutting their stuff,” all fanned out to impress the ladies.

Since the NC Wildlife started stocking turkeys in this area 20-plus years ago, the population has boomed. It’s not unusual to see as many as 50 in one field, especially on a rainy day.

There were 134 reported turkey harvests in Polk Co. in 2010. If you don’t report your harvest, there will not be increases in seasons or limits.

The abundant turkey population seems to have fueled the ever-increasing coyote population as well. I say this because I hear of more coyotes seen and killed coming to turkey calls than in any other time of the year or to any other type of call.

There seems to be some mystery to just how the coyotes got in the area, but no matter how they got here they seem to be here to stay.

Just a reminder, there is no closed season or limits on coyotes.

I personally hope the NCWRC starts allowing the harvest of non-bearded turkeys and or a fall season to curb the population and to allow the opportunity to put more of the tasty critter in the freezer.

Wild turkey season opens April 9 and closes May 7. Youth day was April 2.

Trout fishing

Okay, I couldn’t help it, let’s talk fishin.’

Trout fishing opened in hatchery supported waters April 2 at 7 a.m. Don’t fret if you missed it, the crowds and higher water due to rain usually makes opening day less than prime for catching an easy limit.

This is a good time to take a kid trout fishing. With easy access and the use of bait, it’s easier to get a kid to catch something instead of having them use artificial lures.

Some of my favorite memories when I was young were trout fishing with my brother-in-law. It was nice to catch something besides a bream.

Some of the preferred trout baits are corn, (Green Giant nibblets preferably), Berkley Power Bait, and if you can keep the Notty Heads off of them, wigglers dug up from the yard.

A small #6 or #8 hook, a small splitshot sinker 6-8” above the hook, and you’re fishin.’

Make a cast upstream and let the current wash your bait down the river. You’ll get hung up some but I always say, “You got to do what the fish like, not what you like.” Good fishin’ and huntin.’

Rob McComas is a licensed North Carolina fishing guide on Lake Lure and Lake Jocassee in S.C. He has been a guide for 11 years and fishing for more than 30. McComas lives with his wife, Amanda, in Sunny View and runs Robs Guide Service. He can be reached at robsguideservice@gmail.com.

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