Written by David Moody, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Thursday, 17 February 2011 10:34
White-tailed Deer quota hunts were well attended this year. With over 650 permits sold, 116 deer were harvested. Good weather conditions during the three day Wakulla Unit and Mobility Impaired Gun Hunt account for most of the harvest. I have noticed more participation from South Florida residents the last two years due to statewide advertisement from FWCC permit handling. Feel free to contact the refuge office for questions or comments about the hunt program at St. Marks NWR.
Don’t forget, March 15th is the opening for boats in the impoundments and gates in the Panacea Unit. Once again, all of the impoundments, ponds, ditches, and lakes around the refuge have water. Last spring offered some of the best fishing in Otter Lake I have seen in ten years. The impoundments adjacent to Lighthouse Road have recovered from droughts and saltwater intrusion, offering panfish limits to many anglers. Refuge staff have restocked Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, and Redear Sunfish in major impoundments to supplement the quality and quantity of fish. Just remember, when the biting flies are thick, so are the feeding fish. According the almanac and moon phases, the second full week of each spring month in 2011 should be top notch fishing. Here are some tips for “pitch fishing”.
The tools: 10-14 foot telescoping fiberglass fishing pole, 4-6 pound test line(the same length as the pole), a 11/2 inch cork colored float, a #8 black hook, the smallest split shot you can buy, and finally a cricket box with a hundred or so crickets.
The order: Remove all excess “tag line” from the eye of the hook, providing a great presentation. Place the split shot six inches above the hook, and the cork twenty inches above the hook. Impale the cricket from mid belly, exiting the chin, exposing the point and barb.
The Placement: Methodically drop the live bait in every gap where vegetation stops and open water is available, working the shoreline by boat or walking. Make sure your shadow is not cast into your fishing zone and utilize early and late hours for prime time activity. How does that sink your cork!?
If you could pay $401.00 today, and in eleven years, get paid $100.00 each year for 49 years, would you? If you know a young child that enjoys the outdoors, don’t miss this investment in a Lifetime Sportsmans License. Contact your local tax collectors office for more details.
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