Outdoor Articles

Prepping for Spring Fishing

by Pursue The Outdoors on March 31st, 2006 in General Fishing

One of my neighbors is getting a new boat. My preseason strategy learns more toward new line for a few reels. The idea is the same, even if the investment is not. It’s time to start the countdown to a new fishing season.

Even with mid-March snow blanketing much of Iowa, sunny days and thawing temperatures are giving anglers the itch. Ice is receding and the gulls are moving in on the backwaters. A few warm days in a row might push the ‘ice out’ catfish anglers into the shallow bays to hook a few gorging cats.

Whether you are pushing the ice or just waiting for May’s crappies, it’s better to get caught up with your preparations now, rather than five minutes before you toss your first line in the water. “One of the most important things is fresh line on your reel. That’s the thing that breaks off first in the spring, when you catch that big fish,” advises Don Kline, fisheries biologist for the Department of Natural Resources. “I like to clean my reels; sometimes take them apart, take a little oil, grease the gears and get those all ready to go.”

From there, a lot of it depends on what condition your tackle box was left in. A variety of hooks, jigs and lures at hand give you plenty of choices, as you survey water conditions, and guess what’s going to work on that particular day. I talked with a sauger fisherman a month or so ago who had almost every color worm or jig under the sun. And he swore by particular colors, depending on the day. Hey, it worked for him.

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Once the care and feeding of your tackle box is complete, Kline addresses the ‘where’ factor. “You can get a fishing guide and look at some of the state lakes, maybe the smaller public lakes,” suggests Kline. “I usually check within 25 to 50 miles of home and I can find probably 10 or 11 places, some of them brand new, where I haven’t even fished, yet.”

He likes to look at relatively new lakes. For one thing, that usually means fish have been growing well-and fast. For another, not many anglers might have heard about them, yet. “If that’s the case, I can almost be assured of catching fish in a hot spot like that,” proclaims Kline.

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