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Lewes, Delaware
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September 26, 1997     Cape Gazette
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September 26, 1997

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday Septeiizber 26" Otb'r 2, fgcJ7 - 85 • DItcK season opens oct. I amid great predictions Duck season opens Oct. 1 and early season estimates say duck numbers could reach their highest peak in decades. But duck season depends heavi- ly on weather conditions, so a good fall forecast does not auto- matically mean fine hunting in Delaware. Dry conditions in Delaware may mean a slow start to the first segment of duck season from Oct. 1-4 (later segments are Oct. 3 t to Nov. 8 and Nov. 24 to Jan. 17), although that's expected to improve. The most common ducks found during the early season are likely to be wood ducks and teal. George O'Shea, assistant refuge manager of Prime Hook U.S. Wildlife Refuge, said dry conditions mean hunters may' have a hard time reaching duck blinds in the next few days. O'Shea suggested hunters bring a good pair of boots just in case. Here's a few tips for early sea- son hunters by John Floyd Jr., an avid local hunter who knows more about ducks than most hunters with twice his experience. Floyd said that hunters need to remem- ber that early season ducks, like blue-wing teal, are small and fast and make for harder shooting than late-season ducks, like mallards. Still a hard shot, late-season ducks are bigger targets and move more slowly than early season speed burners. Floyd suggested that hunters should be prepared and practice their marksmanship, preferably with sporting clays. Here are a few other tips. • Camouflage your blind. This is just common sense for sharp eyed waterfowl. • Set out a small spread of de- coys. About a dozen should be enough to improve your odds. • A dog helps, but isn't a re- Cape Region Fishing Report OUTDOORS Michael Short quirement. • Calling also will help attract early season ducks, but you should know what you're doing. Floyd said early season calling is harder because of the different sounds made by birds like teal. • Find a good spot, One favorite for early season birds is a small pond with standing timber. And if you spot wood duck nesting box- es, you probably are in a produc- tive area. • A twelve gauge shotgun is still best, but shot size can be as small as number four and still be effec- tive in a three-inch shell. Here's the daily duck limits. The limits (excepting mergansers) include one canvasback, four mal- lards including no more than two hens, two wood ducks, two pin- tails, two redheads, one mottled duck, one fulvous tree duck and one black duck. Possession limit is 12 ducks with a possession limit for each species double that of the daily limit. Fishing tourneys coming Here are a pair of surf-fishing tournament dates to mark on your TIDES Indian River Rehoboth Roosevelt Oak Inlet Beach Inlet Orchard 9/27 calendar. The Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce will host its annual tournament on Oct. 11 and 12. The Delaware Open Surf Fishing Tournament, spon- sored by the Delaware Mobile Surffishermen will be held on Oct. 18 and 19. Watch this page for more information as the tourna- ments draw closer. Both are wild- ly popular events timed to take ad- vantage of the fall surf-fishing peak. Advisory council to get quail lowdown When Delaware's Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council meets on Tuesday, Sept. 30, one of the agenda items will be an update on quail popu|ations, which have been on a downswing in Delaware. Quail numbers, proba- bly from loss of habitat, continue to decline in Delaware. Although habitat tends to be the biggest source of wildlife losses with al- most every species, the number of quail was also hurt by the harsh winter of 1995-96. For more in- formation on the meeting, contact State Wildlife Administrator Lloyd Alexander at 739-5297. Lottery for hunting stands The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife uses a preseason lot- tery for assigning hunters to deer stands on state owned lands for select hunting seasons each year. The annual lottery will be held Oct. 2 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Aquatic Resources Education Center, located on Route 9, east of Smyrna. Hunters who returned a valid application to the Wildlife Section Office by Sept. 15 will have their names selected via a computer generated lottery. Deer stands in the following ar- eas are included in the lottery; Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area, Woodland Beach Wildlife Area, Ted Harvey Wildlife Area/Logan Lane Tract, Ted Harvey Wildlife Area/Buckaloo Tract, As- sawoman Wildlife Area, White Clay Creek State Park, Fort Delaware State Park, Brandywine Creek State Park, Blackbird State Forest, Augustine Creek Wildlife Area and Fort DuPont Park. For more information, contact the Di- vision of Fish and Wildlife at 302- 739-5297. Connie Koch and Gene Kane win Wilson's Marine fall bass boogie By Michael Short Gene Kane knew right away that it was a very good fish. Largemouth bass had been gently tapping at his rubber worm all day long, but this fish took the worm -- and took it hard. "He took it like a champ. There was no ques- tion he was taking it to the wife and kids," Kane said of his lunker catch. The 4.63 pound fish proved the biggest fish of the day. It helped Kane and partner Connie Koch win the annual fall bass boogie fishing tournament sponsored by Wilson's Sunshine Marina on Sept. 21. Held on the Broadkill River, Di- amond Pond and Wagamons Pond, the catch and release tour- nament attracted 48 fishermen who caught 88.08 pounds of fish. All the fish were released alive back into the waters they were taken from. That fish caught in Diamond Pond on a well-placed finesse worm helped the pair win the tournament and the lunker pot, taking the $350 tournament first prize. "It was pretty obvious [it was a big fish]. He hit it hard," Kane said. Here's the rundown on the other top teams. • First place-Connie Koch and Gene Kane-13.01 pounds caught. • Second place-Gleen Young, Tommy Robinson-9.97 pounds of fish. • Third place-Dan Schruman, Harold Bunting-8.59 pounds caught. • Fourth place-Steve Tyke, Chad Taylor-8.16 pounds caught. • Fifth place-Bob and Robert Burton, 6.78 pounds caught. • Sixth place-Ed Wikinson, Jim Sylvester, 5.72 pounds caught. • Seventh place-George and Tom Cook. • Eighth place- Chris and Bob Continued on page 86 Mike Short photo Gene Kane caught this 4.63 pound Jass in Diamond Pond, the lunker pot winner in the annual bass tourney. \\; 9/291 9/301 10/11 10/21 7:11 t Bombay Hook snow goose hunts in October Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge will again open portions of the salt marsh to snow goose hunting during portions of the regular state season for this species. Hunting will be permitted on Wednesday, Oct. 8, and Friday, Oct. 10. The season will then re- open Monday, Oct. 20, and con- tinue each Monday, Wednesday and Friday through Nov. 2.