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Sporting Life by Dennis Doyle

For pheasant, there’s no better place than South Dakota

The South Dakota countryside exudes a kind of magic this time of year. It’s generated by a particularly celebrated game bird, the ringneck pheasant. Fish Are Biting
If you’re thinking of giving a Chesapeake flavor to your Thanksgiving Feast this year, consider two of my favorite outdoor dishes with a Tidewater twist.  

Encounters under the full moon

An angler’s skunk may stink only metaphorically, but it can be every bit as unpleasant as an encounter with the actual Pepe Le Pew. I’m talking about a day spent fishing without catching a fish.   

Saved by an old bait sporting a new name

It was extremely frustrating. There were rockfish working the rip in front of me, but they wouldn’t hit my lures. I could see their occasional feeding boils marking the surface, and it was obvious that they were eating — and at least a few of the feeders were good sized.

If you’re on the water, the fish may come to you

The sun was getting low in an overcast sky, night was rapidly falling — and still there were no fish. Conditions were perfect off the shallow-water point, the tide was up, there was good current, a chilly wind was lying down nicely — and only one other boat was present. But no fish.  Fish Are Biting

Here’s how

 

Vertical jigging snares many a pair

  Three weeks of big wind and steady rain got me thinking about a trip this time of month last year. Back then, it was calm and lovely, and we were drifting a bit south of one of the Bay Bridge rock piles in 30 feet of water. I had just lowered my rod tip to let the flashing lure at the end of my line flutter back down to the bottom. 

Scooping up suspended plant matter and algae, a typical menhaden filters seven gallons of water a minute, dwarfing even the oyster

 

So I was wrong about the Jonah

 

I’ve caught and eaten my first feast of crabs