From ducks to fish, we’ve got the outdoors covered this week, especially since temperatures are expected to rebound nicely by the weekend.
The “Chuck” duck dynasty has been very quiet, so we move on to other hunting.
The first thing going is this — hunting season is open until Feb. 24, but duck hunting closes on Jan. 26.
Rolling Meadows has opened its doors to all types of hunting. I have not been hunting there this year, but I have hunted on the property before and it is loaded with turkey, deer and hogs. The land was originally owned by John Snively Jr. He had it leased to Robert Hoskins, his brother-in -law, for truck farming. The turkey hunting was his personal domain, and the land was strictly closed to hunters
Before I go hunting for ducks, I will go to the post office, and buy my federal duck stamp, and I recommend that you do the same. Then I will contact Rolling Meadows ranch for entry areas.
The land is now owned by Andy Machatta, and when I worked on his cattle ranch, we were allowed to hunt hogs, with dogs only. No guns allowed. FWC also will have information on this property.
Two of the entry areas are off Camp Mack Road. When you first get to Camp Mack Road, on the first curve, is the entry for the citrus business, and Andy has a house on Bond Lake there. The other access is just before you get to Camp Mack on the left; go down in there for hogs, turkey and deer. We may have to go up to Hatchineha Road and come in there for the turkey and deer, and hundreds of hogs. The final and best way to duck hunt Rolling Meadows ranch is to hire Capt. Ron to take you. We will enter it out of Camp Mack on my pontoon boat, the Bass Buggy. You can call me at 863-605-2435.
Now onto some fishing news from the new year.
Camp Mack held its first one-man tournament of 2014. These events have been moved to the first Saturday of each month, by the way.
Dave Ochs of Lake Wales took home $825 with a first-place catch of 22.7 pounds. Lakeland’s Wayne Yohn took the $125 big bass prize with his 8.25 pound bass.
There is plenty of action coming up at Camp Mack including Sunday’s Extreme bass series event, with weigh-in at 3 p.m. Call Tony Bartels for more information at 941-812-4084.
On Sunday, Jan. 26, the Camp Mack team tournament open event will have weigh-in at 2 p.m. Call the camp at 863-696-1108 for information, and also for the Camp Mack Open on Saturday, Feb. 1.
That day is also the Big Dawg Baits event with weigh in at 3 p.m. Call Don Schaefer at 727-534-1738 for more information.
The Lakeland Bassmasters take center stage on Feb. 2. Call Cecil Douberly at 698-3365 for details.
On Saturday, Feb. 8, the “Hook, Line and Scholarships” for Polk County’s Take Stock in Children will be hosted by Bobby Lane. The event will have weigh-in at 2 p.m. Call call Susan Fenich at 863-519-8077 for information.
Camp Lester hosted two big events recently.
In the Tampa Pro Bass tournament on Jan. 5, first place went to George Brook of Pinellas Park and Bill Ciernes of St. Petersburg who caught 22.95 pounds to get a payout of $567.13.
Second went to Troy Olivier of Lakeland and David Crews of Winter Haven (16.50, $315.63); and third place to Auburndale’s Alan and Angie Prince (15.97, $189.38). They also won the big bass jackpot which paid $370.
Fourth place went to Boca Raton’s Jerry Cannon and Rich Fitzgibbons (14.60, $126.25) while fifth place went to Larry and Lance Merideth from Tampa (13.78, $63.13).
Tampa Pro Bass will have Camp Lester events on Jan. 19, Feb. 16, March 16, April 20 and May 17-18. For further information, contact Leo Cosce at 863-696-1123 or John Taylor 727-403-6862.
For those wondering about this week’s cold weather, in 2010, a cold snap in Florida caused massive snook kills, which led the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to restrict the snook season until 2013 so the fish could repopulate.
Kevin Baxter, of the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, said that isn’t likely to happen this time.
Baxter said in 2010, large numbers of snook died because temperatures were cold for a long period of time.
“I can’t say for sure, but if it’s just cold for a night or two, we shouldn’t see an impact in the Gulf, rivers or large lakes,” Baxter said. However, small, isolated lakes could experience fish kills.
For more information about current threats to fish populations, Baxter said people can call the fish kill hotline at 800-636-0511.
(The Charlotte Sun contributed to this report.)