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Hunter’s Corner: Good choice leads to fishing success

Ranee and I have had our 10-year-old grandson Jonathan visiting for a week and it was a fun week. We took him to the Flume and he enjoyed the bear cave and wolf’s den. We capped off the day by taking the tram to the top of Cannon Mountain. The temperature was 43 degrees with a 40 to 50 mph wind. The vistas were incredible.

Tuesday, Robb and I took him fishing at a local lake that has both cold-water and warm-water fish where we had caught both rainbows and browns in the past. The surface water temperature was 76 degrees. Launching was a snap and a slight breeze kept the temperature down and provided a slight chop. Jonathan usually fishes with his father Rich for warm-water species, so Robb and I were under serious pressure to deliver the goods.

We were printing lots of fish at 30 feet. I had originally prepared to troll an 88 streamer and at the last moment I decided to troll a Maynard’s Marvel. Boy, what a good choice that was. We were trolling with seven colors of lead core and the Marvel started to connect. Jonathan landed the first fish, which was a brown. I took off the 88 and replaced it with a smaller version of Maynard’s Marvel. All told we had eight hookups and boated five trout. Jonathan boated one brown and two rainbows. Robb and I boated a rainbow apiece.

There is nothing better than fresh-caught trout for dinner. Ranee has a simple recipe that will make the most finicky eater jump for joy. Set your oven at 350 degrees. Clean the trout, removing head and tail. Set trout on greased pan; if more than two, use a greased cookie sheet. Cook for 10 minutes, then shut oven and put on broil on low. Continue cooking until skin bubbles (four minutes). Remove top skin; it should come off easily (leave bottom skin on).

Then take one cup of fresh bread crumbs, add a half cup of butter or margarine and mix together with a fork and add a quarter teaspoon; put on top of all fish. Cook for another 10 minutes in the 350-degree oven until the fish flakes and topping is brown and crisp. Remove from oven and turn fish over, removing bottom skin and removing bones. Jonathan thought it was great.

I was pleasantly surprised at the success we experienced. Lead core or downriggers will get you to the depth you need to be at. Choosing the right fly or hardware is a matter of personal choice. To jazz up your offering, you might consider using a dodger or flasher to attract additional attention. The rule of thumb for leader length behind the dodger is to double the length of the dodger with leader material.

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With hunting season just around the corner, if you need to complete a hunter safety education class you need to immediately stop procrastinating and sign up for one of the remaining classes available for this year. If you have already completed the online course, sign up for the required field day now. There are limited numbers of field days left at the beginning of October. No field days will be offered from the end of October until spring.

Taking the online course does not guarantee you will find a space in a field day. I spoke with Josh Mackay and he stated that there are plenty of seats available at the field day session and there is a 15 to 20 percent no-show rate. The popularity of the online method is gaining in popularity, with an estimated 1,600 new licensed hunters taking to the field this year. Another interesting tidbit Josh passed on to me is that younger potential hunters are bringing their non-hunter parents to hunter education sessions.

For more information on hunter education in New Hampshire, visit or call 271-3214.

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Fish and Game is urging people to report sighting of hen turkeys, with or without poults, from now through the end of August through its web-based turkey brood survey at

“August tends to be the most important month in the summer survey,” Fish and Game biologist Ted Walski said. “By August, those young who have survived are likely to become adults, so these sightings provide the best index to the summer breeding productivity.”

Most sightings will be of “multiple hen” broods during August. It is common for hen turkeys to join together with their young later in the summer. This joint brood stock will often have poults of various sizes. Also, hens that have not successfully nested or have lost their young will join a brood flock and act as a foster mother. I have observed a multiple brood at Interstate 393 and Route 106 containing two hens and about eight poults of the same size crossing I-393. The poults have gained in size so that they look like road runners. They have been feeding in the median strip on grasshoppers. For a turkey, a grasshopper is an excellent source of protein. These poults were probably the result of early nesting.

“Don’t be surprised to observe some broods in August and September with small poults the size of quail or pigeons,” Walski said. “Re-nesting is common with wild turkeys. If something causes nest destruction or abandonment during May/June, the majority of hens will go and lay another clutch of eggs and hatch out in July or August. We’re probably going to see fewer poults per hen this year because of the wet weather during the nesting period. Another factor is that frequent rains have delayed the hay harvest in some areas, making turkeys harder to spot in the fields.”

(Bob Washburn can be reached at

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