Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Fisheries Supervisor: Prime-Time Fishing Has Arrived

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Fisheries Supervisor: Prime-Time Fishing Has Arrived

Article excerpt

It's been a long, cold winter, and a lot of people are ready for spring. Officially, it's already arrived according to the calendar. The Major League Baseball season has opened and flowering trees are risking getting killed back by a late frost.

But Jay Haffner, District Fisheries Supervisor, said the fish made it official this week. Haffner called Monday from the deck of the electro-shock boat the state uses to do its sampling to say that on a glorious blue bird day, prime time for fishing had arrived.

"We're shocking up crappie in two feet of water," Haffner said. "They're headed to the banks and the bass are headed to the banks."

State biologists conducting sampling surveys on the Black Warrior River were finding large numbers of crappie around weed beds on the banks. That means the crappie spawn is on and the hottest action of the year is now there for the taking.

Haffner said water temperatures were in the 60s and the weather is pleasant.

"People need to get out of the office and go fishing," he said.

Coast Guard offers safe boating course

Of course, it's hard to get after spawning crappie without a boat. And anybody who is going to be on the water should know how to handle their boat safely.

The West Alabama Flotilla of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer the "About Boating Safely" course to area residents. The course consists of two classes which will be taught, Thursday, April 17, and Tuesday, April 22, from 6-9 p.m. at Hide-A-Way Harbor Boat Sales at 5335 Skyland Blvd. E., Cottondale (205-507-4993).

The cost is $20.00 per student, including textbook. Attendance at both classes is required in order to graduate.

This class fulfills the education requirement to obtain the Alabama Boating License and may entitle students to a reduction in boat insurance costs.

Advanced enrollment for this class is recommended as there will be a limit of 30 students. Contact Phil Hilliard at 205-469-9030 to sign up. Enrollment on the day of the class for any remaining spots in the class will be from 5:30-6 p.m. at Hide-A-Way Harbor Boat Sales.

My son and I both took the course and both learned from it. It's well worth the time and a lot better way to get your state boating license than sweating through the state's written test. …

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