Fish, Fur, Fowl: Outdoor mecca opens

By Ed Oldham

Happy days for outdoor enthusiasts are here at last.

Cabela’s opened one of their largest retail locations in Lacey, near Olympia, this past weekend and the 185,000 square-foot facility is predicted to become one of the state’s biggest tourist attractions.

I can’t think of one outdoorsman I know that hasn’t purchased some item from Cabela’s.

Now instead of just ordering online or through a catalog, we have the opportunity to visit a store of our very own.

Not only is it a great store packed with eye-catching merchandise, the hundreds of wildlife mounts and aquariums on display make it a virtual Disneyland of the outdoors that will require more than just one day to explore.

I’m sure our local tackle and outdoor retailers have nothing to fear from the store’s opening. It’s quite a trek from Whidbey Island down to Lacey, but I’m sure that even some owners and employees of our local sporting goods emporiums will eventually make the journey to Cabela’s if just to visit.

If your Christmas list has someone that loves the outdoors as much as I do, a gift certificate to any outdoor supply store would put the biggest smile on their faces.

Crabbing, salmon and ducks

If you are craving some fresh crab for a non-traditional Thanksgiving meal when the friends and relatives drop by tomorrow, then this weekend is your ticket.

Areas 8-1 and 8-2 will be open from Nov. 22 through 25 for a special winter crab season.

Crescent Harbor is going to be a popular spot as well as Cornet Bay, so you might try around the east side of Ponell Point to avoid some of the local crowds.

Salmon anglers have been doing fairly well in areas 8-1, 8-2 and 9.

Possession Point is always a popular spot this time of year because it offers some protection from the weather, but if the weather permits, give mid-channel banks a try.

Green-glow hoochies trolled close to the bottom have reportedly been doing the trick.

Some anglers use the old reliable herring, but then you have to contend with strikes by the dogfish and the occasional ling cod as well.

Duck hunters have loved the wet and windy weather we’ve been having.

This past weekend, better than normal reports were being posted and it could just continue to improve until the season closes.

One tip I can offer is that I notice a lot of hunters tend to not call enough early in the season and then they call too much later. This is just the opposite from what a lot of seasoned waterfowlers do. Early on in the season ducks are easier to call in but later on in the season when they have been hail-called to death, it takes less calling and your decoy presentation becomes a bigger factor.

Get out and about and see how the ducks form up on the water on their own and try to mimic it.

Or, if you like it warmer, go see the decoy displays at Cabela’s.

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