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September is Big-Time For Outdoorsmen
By Ken Penrod
For openers, most of the vacationers at places like
The tidal Potomac River is suddenly somewhat peaceful again as those big, wake-making boats and water skiers are talking about next year already and meanwhile, grasses begin to die off a little and bass and stripers gang-up in places a crankbait can reach.
There’s virtually no one on the Pocomoke and
While all of this gets my adrenaline pumping, two other occasions simply
make me smile with pleasure and quiver a bit with anticipation.
The neat thing about the early goose season, at least the way we do it,
is that we combine smallmouth fishing with goose shooting on certain
sections of the upper
As it is with just about any type of hunting, the early hours and late day hours are best simple because game and birds feed during those periods causing substantial movement to and from bedding areas. We like to be on the river ½ hours before dawn and while that requires navigating a very shallow, rocky waterway—we have mastered it. We use our jet boats, camouflage just about everything including our face and take up ambush positions behind tall ledges, downed trees or makeshift blinds on shore or on an island. You still can fish for smallmouth b ass while waiting for geese.
We put out about a dozen decoys, takes pains to hide all shiny objects on the boat and we wait—and we wait. Most often the geese will be on the water for the night. You can hear them cackling in the distance and you can’t help but wonder how many there are—and will they fly our way. Pretty soon the social noise reached a crescendo and the flap of wings is just about all you can stand. The game is on and there is nothing like it when hundreds fly by. You shoot and shoot and shoot sometimes. Ten geese per hunter is a lot of birds so the fear of shooting more than you should isn’t a consideration.
When you shoot a goose or geese—you must go after them immediately lest the current take them to places you can’t reach. As a retrieval aid, I have a big ol’ Zara Spook on a baitcasting rod that I can cast to downed birds. Be sure that you have proper license and waterfowl stamps. We like to have ice in a cooler to keep the goose breasts in. We take spinning rods and Mizmo tubes for the smallmouth action.
The action is not over most days either. You can decoy birds for the next few hours—then go fishing and wait for fly-overs. The evening can be just as exciting.
I love archery season because it is months long, up close and personal and best done alone. I love archery in September because the days are very long. I can get my fishing guide day in and still have “prime-time” for deer hunting. I’m not talking about stumbling into a patch of wood either because I have done a lot of work to assure success way before the first day. My tree stands are in place, shooting lanes cleared, trail cameras working overtime and corn on the ground. I have a shooting range in the yard beside the Ranger’s parking spot and I have been shooting for weeks.
few well places trail cameras are so useful because you will come to
know certain deer, especially larger, smarter bucks and that helps you
decide which deer that you will allow to walk. We all know that the
“rut” will cause unruly behavior by big antlered deer but some of the
bigger bucks of the season come to their demise in September, perhaps
two months before the peak of the rut. In a few of the counties that I
You must know from my writing that I’m excited for September opportunities—and you may want to reconsider your thought process also. See ya out there! September is much better than most realize.