Billy Halfin's archive

There was once a time when most fishermen would use either live or fresh bait. The few folks that would use lures for largemouth black bass hereabouts would use a Hawaiian Wiggle, a Zara Spook or a spoon. Yes, there were a few other lures, but those mentioned were the more popular ones. The saltwater anglers were at least 98 percent live shrimp for speckled trout, mud minnows or finger mullet for flounder, and cut bait or fresh crab for redfish. Certainly offshore anglers preferred squid, cut bait or some other natural bait.

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The blue and channel catfish have been big news around our area and on the big lakes. Whenever the water began to rise following the mega rains, the old whiskered catfish started a feeding frenzy, so to speak.

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I’ll begin with some information that will likely not be a surprise to many hunters, but it could be to the general public. At least it could be a surprise to those that are members of the anti-hunting crowd. These statistics have been compiled by several groups including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report comes from National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of the Consumer Products Safety Commission and the International Hunters Education Association Hunter Incident Clearinghouse.

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Over the past several months, there has been little written about the pursuit of largemouth bass. With all three of the big lakes being extremely low on water there was a constant danger to boaters. Now that the levels have begun to rise and with the springtime and warm weather, the scenario has begun to change. Bassing will continue to get more attention for the next few months.

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As most saltwater anglers already know, there is an annual flounder run that occurs usually in October and early November. What gets much less attention is the spring flounder run that is beginning about now. For a reason that is unknown to me, the springtime fish are not as large on the average as are the fall fish. I know that they do not shrink during the wintertime lull.

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