Let's go fishin'
When we think fishing, we think poles and reels, live and artificial baits, current fishing licenses, hooks, weights, sinkers, stringers, tackle boxes and much more, any of which would make any angler so very happy come Christmas Day and gift opening time. If purchases are being made, be sure to pick up copies of the current fishing regulation booklet from the Arizona Game and Fish Department or from local dealers so your angler is up on anything new for the coming year.
Ordinarily this time of year, with cooler weather, we've already been out to Fortuna Pond and West Wetlands or Redondo Ponds (also known as Yuma Lakes) to try our hand at catching rainbow trout planted by our Game and Fish Department, but this year's weather and water temperatures have been way too warm for the trout to survive after being planted. Hopefully our weather will cool enough soon to enable us to still try our luck with trout. Putting together a package of power baits, gold or silver in-line spinnerbaits, meal worms, marshmallows or cheese would be an awesome gift. Know that salmon eggs also work for trout as do Kastmaster spoons and Super Dupers (early mornings) and would all make a perfect gift for anyone who likes to catch a trout or two. Trout tip: To trigger more action, switch colors off and on.
With our youngsters enjoying time away from school during their winter break, now is a perfect time for the whole family to head for the water with fishing pole in hand for some fishing fun. Kids love room to move about so Fortuna, Redondo and West Wetland ponds are great for kids' fishing enjoyment, and grown-ups, too. Be sure to take along a picnic lunch and plenty of snacks as well as drinking water so you don't have to be in a hurry.
Other areas near Yuma offering good fishing places for youngsters are Mittry Lake with its many jetties, the boat docks at Martinez Lake and shore lines at Squaw Lake and along the Colorado and Gila Rivers. Yuma area canals also have a wide variety of fish in residence for anglers to try for, using both live and artificials depending on the angler's interest.
If rods and reels don't fit into your budget, don't give up. For a fun and productive fish-catching set-up, cut a decent size slender tulie or tree branch along the river, tie on fishing line and a hook along with a small to medium bobber, use a worm, kernel of corn or even pieces of hot dog for bait and go have some fun. This no cost outfit can catch bluegill, catfish, and bass as well as trout. When the fish are hungry and biting, you could come up with a fine meal to boot.
• Desert Bass Anglers: Stay in practice for the Jan. 5 Team Tournament launching out of Fisher's Landing, open to all anglers with tournament approved boats having remote steering and kill switches as well as a livewell with aeration capable of supporting a 5-fish limit of bass. $15 membership dues ($10 each additional family member) plus reasonable tournament fees. Call Mac or Bobbi McDermott at 726-1984.
• Yuma Pro Am Series: Time once again to pay the $15 membership dues for the new year with dues and tournament fees being paid online at Bob@yumaproam.com. Check Bob La Londe@yumaproam.com for news of latest tournaments coming up.
• Wednesday Jackpot Derby: Entry $5 each Wednesday with sign-up at 8 a.m. at Fisher's gas dock, weigh-in around 1 p.m. with the winner taking all for one big fish any species. Call Jimmy Phipps at 782-2207.
• Swede Ferguson Monthly Memorial Bass Derby: Sign-up $10 anytime during each month to fish with the winner taking the pot with the biggest bass determined the last day of the month. Call Phipps for information or to sign up.
• American Bass: Jan. 12 is the Yuma Region Bass Tournament launching out of Fisher's with advance registration being sent to Jeff Woods, 2520 Tara Lane, Riverside, CA 92506, anytime prior to 7 days before the tournament or sign up also at 5-7 p.m. the night before the tournament or the day of the event at Fisher's. Any person living within the Yuma region does not need to be an ABA member the first year. Email questions to email@example.com or call Jeff Woods at 1-951-201-9461.
• MCAS Recreation Area: Call Mike Castello at 783-3422 at the recreation area at Martinez Lake to learn of the various fishing, camping and other outdoor activities on hand along the Colorado River at Martinez, open to all military personnel and families.
• Bass Class on the Water: Want to learn all about bass fishing? Learn all the tricks of the trade with Dave Willhide of Goin' Fishin' Productions. Give him a call at 782-2621. He'll teach you everything you need to know to catch those big bass at local waters at all times of the year with a bass boat and all equipment provided. Ask about the fishing seminars for RV parks and home groups.
• Renegade Archers: All archers are welcome to shoot the 3D Trail Shoot on Sundays at 8:30 a.m. at the Foothills Archery Range located east of Foothills Blvd., south of Interstate 8 with adult fees $3, youngsters always free. Bows and arrows available, also free to use, for anyone by calling Jean or Kevin at 247-4450 or 726-0953 prior to any Sunday shoot, a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning how to shoot and enjoy archery as well as for experienced archers to stay in practice and have good fun. Give us a call if you'd like to come shooting with us and be sure to leave your phone number.
• Southwest Bowhunters: 3D trail shoots on Sundays for all archers at Adair Park with the practice range open all week. Call Wayne Wittenberg at 314-0140 for shooting times.
• Yuma Trap and Skeet Club: Open trap and skeet 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays with Scholastic Clay Trap practice for youngsters at 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays, except this week, at the Adair Park range. The board meeting will be at 6 p.m. Thursday.
• Yuma Territorial Longrifles Club: Rendezvous 2013 on Jan. 17-20 at the Adair Park black powder range with all black powder enthusiasts welcome. Primitive and Tin TeePee camping available as well as Traders Row (all traders welcome with no traders fee). Events include: Rifle, paper and gong; Trade Gun, gong and paper; Pistol, gong and paper; Knife and Hawk. Shooting fees include adults $10 with family $30 plus a blanket prize per shooter worth $10 or more (something you'd like to have). Saturday 5:30 p.m. barbecue and potluck. The club will furnish the cooked meat. Your ticket to attend is one side dish. Anyone not registered to shoot and wishing to attend the dinner must bring a potluck dish and pay $5 per person (fee does not apply to family members of registered shooters). Shooting times: The range will open at 9 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. All firing will be completed by 5 p.m. Saturday except for the Fort Shoot being held at 10 a.m. Sunday. Awards at 1 p.m. Sunday. Call Dennis Hansel at 342-7573 or Glenda Graves at 502-0736.
• Cholla Gun Club: A variety of silhouette matches held at the Adair Park metallic silhouette range with disciplines for hunter pistol, lever guns, high-power, small bore and black powder cartridge with the season running through the end of April. Call Rick or Glenda at 502-0736.
• Yuma Rifle and Pistol Club: For club membership, send $20 annual dues (junior shooters $10) to Yuma Rifle and Pistol Club, LLC, in care of Joe Murek, 17715 S. Avenue B, Somerton, AZ 85350. For match information at the Adair Park big bore range, call Paul Lerma at 782-6766 or Gerald Brooker at 305-9681.
• Yuma Matchmasters: Shooters can sign-up at 7 a.m. with the shooter's meeting at 7:30 a.m. at the Adair Park small bore range. Monthly schedule: 1st Saturday - Steel Challenge Match; 2nd Sunday - IPSC Combat Match; 4th Sunday - Cowboy Match. Call Ruth Wilmot at 726-7727 or Ron Gissendaner at 726-0022.
• Endangered Sonoran Pronghorn Antelope: A joint effort by several agencies, including the Arizona Game and Fish Department, this month will transfer pronghorns from breeding pens on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge to other locations throughout southwest Arizona with 10 pronghorn antelope being moved into a captive breeding pen on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. After an acclimation period, eight antelope will be released into the wild on the refuge.
It has been over 100 years since a wild pronghorn inhabited the Kofa range. Their return marks a historic event for the state of Arizona and wildlife conservation. The U.S. population on the brink of extinction in 2002 that once roamed in the thousands throughout the Sonoran desert is uniquely adapted for survival in desert conditions.
• Javelina bag limit: The statewide bag limit for javelina has been raised to two per calendar year with some restrictions, one of which is only one javelina can be taken from any one hunt unit. The spring hunt draw information booklet is available at Game and Fish offices, dealers and online at www.azgfd.gov/draw.
• Last minute gift for your outdoors enthusiast: Order the Arizona Wildlife Magazine. This award winning magazine is filled with great wildlife and outdoor recreation stories and beautiful photography of a herd of pronghorn, a majestic mulie in the snow, a broad-billed hummingbird sipping nectar and other great wildlife photos. To order, visit www.azgfd.gov/magazine or call 1-800-777-0015.
Contact Jean Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 247-4450.