Thankfully February is a short month as the days can seem long. Cabin fever can set in if you’re not careful to keep yourself busy. We’re thankful for the many opportunities we have in our region to get out of the house and attend an outdoor show. It doesn’t matter if it’s cold and raining cats and dogs outside, these shows will surely brighten your day. On February 11 & 12 the Augusta County Bass Jons are once again hosting their Fishing & Outdoor Expo at the Augusta Expoland in Fishersville, VA and on February 11 the Rapidan Trout Unlimited Fishing Show is at the Highland School just up Route 29 in Warrenton. Mark your calendars and make plans to attend. Check out the calendar of events for other events and the full line-up of area tournament opportunities.
Youth waterfowl day is February 4 and is a great opportunity to share the age-old tradition with our next generation. Remember that if you come home empty-handed, the time shared will always be remembered. There’s more to a youth hunt than teaching gun safety, although that is always a top priority. Share your tips on dressing appropriately, what licenses and stamps are required, what your gear checklist is before heading out to the blind (include PFDs if going in a boat) and identifying all the beautiful species that are flying that day. My kids, now in their 20s, fondly recall their many waterfowl hunts from their younger days and it amazes me the details they remember. Never underestimate the impression you can have on children.
February also means rabbit season and rabbit hunting is also a fantastic way to introduce youth to hunting. If you’re lucky you can find a local hunt club that hosts organized hunts in your area. The camaraderie of a rabbit hunt with friends is a good way to spend a chilly afternoon and also provides the main course for an excellent meal later.
VDWR continues their trout stocking efforts in area streams. Be sure to check their website often as they update it daily. General statewide limits are six trout per day and no fish less than 7-inches. There are a number of exceptions for certain areas and waters so please visit the VDWR website for specifics.
Razorback Guide Service has a few Spring Gobbler hunting dates left so don’t delay in booking your trip. There’s nothing quite as exciting as getting out in the early spring woods and bagging a gobbler and guide Brian “Razor” Bodine will ensure your success.
Razor is also taking reservations for spring time smallmouth trips on the James River. This month smallies will be biting on jigs but as temperatures drop it’s a good idea to switch over to spinnerbaits using a very slow retrieve. Look for them to move into sunny pockets as the day warms and you should hook up.
Area pan fishermen are having good luck using jigs on local reservoirs and are boating a good number of perch as well.
Lake Anna Outfitters is a locally owned small business that carries a wide array of kayaks that are perfect for those of us who aren’t quite ready for a boat payment. Kayaks vastly expand your opportunities for fishing reservoirs, rivers and ponds and can get you back into the shallower/vegetated areas that are unnavigable to larger boats. You can fish, hunt and even just paddle for fun and/or exercise in a kayak. Give LKA Outfitters a call today to schedule a visit and check out the 3Waters Big Fish pedal drive kayaks. They also carry Feel Free Lures 11.5 V2 with pedal drives that area anglers find to be excellent rigs. They’re easy to find, right off Route 208 in the High Point Marina complex.