March Madness

March Madness
March 15, 2012, 6:30 pm
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Seems like just yesterday we were celebrating the new year, and here we are already looking at March. It's March madness time-and I'm not talking about basketball. It seems March becomes that magic month when things really begin for the outdoorsman.I've had the good fortune to have a "long lost" cousin temporarily move to the South to work. He's from my home in New York and has a great career working projects at nuclear power plants. His work takes him to many areas around the country and this time it's gotten him in East Tennessee, about 2 12 hours from my home in Georgia. We spent some time in January and a good part of February revisiting old times and looking for the activities that will begin to fill our calendars in March. So, here we go:

a. We've already started doing some trout fishing in North Georgia. We started "scouting" streams in January and continued into February. We're camping so it's taken some time to unpack, check, re-check and then repack the camping gear. Had to inventory the fishing rods and check the condition of line. Make some purchases to add to my tackle bag and put together a grocery list of needs for our weekend forays. For those of you loyal readers this likely sounds familiar with some of my first blogs, where I wrote about the need to prepare for our outdoor activities. This activity has re-invigorated me and my enthusiasm for early spring fishing and camping. So far we're not running into big crowds yet as the start of Trout Season in many of the streams in Georgia does not begin until late March. Yet, there seem to be as many streams available to fish year round if you're willing to put in the time and put up with the weather (cold). One great benefit is there are very few bugs out in the first two months of the year.

b. We have tied some hiking into our trips. The areas we've chose to focus on for our fishing also puts us in National Forest areas in North Georgia. This has also provided us many hiking opportunities which we take advantage of during breaks in our fishing. We're planning to hit the Appalachian Trail to complete some segments that are easy to get to from where we are fishing.

c. We have also decided to try to cut our costs a little by doing some "gold panning" during our trips. We've picked up a couple plastic gold pans, a small shovel, and a 5 gallon bucket. Streams we are fishing have been known to give up a little gold and we're making it our challenge to find some. Wish us luck.

d. Spring in Georgia would not be complete without planning some Turkey Hunting, so that is also on our agenda. There are plenty of places to hunt, from family property in South Georgia to Wildlife Management areas in the north. We keep our eyes open during our fishing expeditions as the areas we fish coincide with many of the WMA's located in North Georgia.

So why am I promoting "March Madness"? It's because March seems to be the month when spring time activities really pick up. Although we've gotten a bit of a head start, you should be looking at your plan to take advantage of the early year activities that coincide with March. Are you set for the start of fishing season? How about your plans for Turkey season? Now is the time to get your gear together, inventory to see what kind of condition it's in and what you may need to prepare for this exciting time of the year. Don't forget to visit your favorite sporting goods store, such as Academy Sports & Outdoors, to see what new and exciting items you may find to make this years out of door activities a success for you and your family.
Get out; the weather's fine, the fish are biting and the green up has started! Happy spring outings.

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