A Little Hunting… and Some Fishing in South Jersey
Turkey hunting in the southern THAs remains hotter than a beard on fire!
In the central region, THA 14 is unbelievable in the number of birds on the strut. The remaining Saturdays in Segment E should see a lot of toms dusted, with D week especially productive as any gobblers still around remain on the hunt for any hens that have not been bred. Whatever, don’t quit by mid-morning, especially during D week and the final Saturday in E.
Gobblers looking to score can be cajoled, coaxed and called in even as the hands reach the noon closing hour, and I’ve witnessed this while hunting with gobbler-getter Hugh Carberry several seasons ago. He made a few come ‘n find me hen notes at 9:30, and a gobbler thundered from far off. We picked spots, and during the next 2 hours and 45 minutes, it was touch and go with a tom that was getting slowly closer. At 11:55 it showed about 60 yards away, and three minutes later, Carberry had it on the ground.
It was a similar scene this past Saturday, with Carberry calling for Denise Marie Theiler in THA 22. In an early morning filled with rowdy jakes, receptive hens and choosy gobblers, it was decided to move a mile or so away. It was beyond mid-morning and it didn’t look all that good. Hugh hit a peacock call, and a gobbler sounded off what was figured to be a half-mile away. An hour of back and forth, and the tom as well as a feisty jake suddenly showed. At 35 yards, Denise Marie let loose with a load of #4, and it was a yell of “Gobbler down!” There was only an hour of legal hunting time remaining.
Plenty of birds out there…don’t quit until the clock strikes 12!
White perch fishing is exploding in a post spawn frenzy. Just about any brackish river, creek or lagoon is going to hold good numbers of this great eating panfish. Perch to a pound or better are grabbing bloodworm and Fishbites Bloodworm baits, and if you can get them, grass shrimp are killer. We’ve been casting 1/8 oz. jigs that have been smeared with BioEdge Shrimp scent, and the whities can’t leave ’em alone! The Mullica River, lower Bass and Wading rivers, and the lagoons in Beach Haven West are especially productive perch locations.
Don’t forget the fisheries meeting this Thursday, May 2 at 4 p.m. at the Atlantic County Library on Jimmie Leeds Road in Galloway. The decision whether or not to extend the summer flounder season 11 days on the back end may be made, and the sea bass season dates will be announced. The public is invited to attend and comment.