Wet weather and high soil moisture mean scenting conditions will be great for hunting quail with your bird dog, says Mark Zornes, small game biologist for the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
But there is a flip side — those same conditions result in quail holding tighter than normal, making it more of a challenge to locate them without a dog.
Zornes says dog-less hunters may want to slow down so they can make tight-setting birds nervous enough to flush. "Expect birds to be more widely dispersed in response to green up and water availability. Focusing on water holes will not be the best strategy right now."
Zornes says hunters should also avoid causing resource damage with their vehicles. "Stay on the roads. It’s pretty slick out there right now, and some areas are bottomless and you can get stuck up to your axles."
There is still plenty of time to go quail hunting. The season ends Feb. 7.
YAMAHA ENGINE RECALL
Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, has initiated a voluntary recall on four of its outboard engine models in an effort to replace potentially defective throttle link rods that could prevent operators from shifting the remote control into neutral, unless the engine is shut off.
The engine models identified by Yamaha’s "Factory Modification Campaign" as having the possible defect are year models 2002-2005 of the F225, LF225, F200, and LF200 outboard motors.
Yamaha has sent letters to owners of the engines, asking them to have the units repaired by authorized dealers. Approximately 30,000 outboard engines are affected by the recall. Yamaha asks customers to not operate the motors again until the modification is performed.
PREDATOR CALLERS MEET
The Arizona Predator Callers monthly meeting is at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 9, 450 East Main St. in Mesa, and features a predatorcalling presentation by Reed Peterson, master predator caller. The meeting is free to students under 18 years of age and $5 for non-members older than 18. Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Mike Burris at (480) 654-1411.
The next meeting of the Arizona Flycasters Club will be at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Sunnyslope Community Center, 802 E. Vogel St. in Phoenix. Author Steve Beck will speak about fishing wild trout in the national parks of California. The public is invited at no charge. For information, call (480) 497-9008.
FISHING HOT SPOTS
The cold, rainy weather and muddy water inflows have slowed fishing everywhere. However, the increased flow of nutrients into Lake Pleasant from the Agua Fria River, Castle Creek and Humbug Creek may stimulate a white bass bite that was already pretty decent. Try along the mud lines using spoons or cut shad. Striped bass can be caught trolling shad imitations in the open water. The marina, Castle Creek, Jackass Cove, and the mouth of the Agua Fria River are good places to target. Remember, the river is closed for the nesting bald eagles. Fishing for largemouth is tough. Generally this time of year, anywhere from 20-40 feet off ledges are places to try using jigs, Texas-rigs, and Carolina-rigs.