Being able to hit the water in the spring is a welcomed prospect after a long winter.
The weather is improving and fish are emerging from their winter habitat. To be ready, brushing up on a few essential spring fishing tips will be key to your success on the water.
State stocking programs usually enhance stream fishing prospects with a significant dose of early spring trout. One early spring fishing tip is to go after fish raised in hatcheries. These fish are hungry and easy to fool with small lures, at least for the first week or two. In catch and release areas however, trout begin to learn the tricks of anglers and become a wary challenge.
Soon after ice out, shallow, weedy areas draw pike to spawn. While enroute or leaving these zones, pike will do their “pike thing” and smash spinnerbaits, jigs, and spoons. Wire leaders will help prevent the line being cut by sharp impressive teeth.
In early spring, crappie head up coves and congregate tightly around submerged brush. Another early spring fishing tip is to use a tiny crappie jig a couple of feet below a small, twitching bobber that will hold a jig above snags and in the zone of strikes.
This time of year, walleye enter the mouths of smaller tributaries to spawn. In reservoirs, anglers should concentrate their efforts around the riprap of the dam in evenings. Large lipped diving plugs, swimbait jigs, or underspin lures are favorites.
Although many anglers prefer not to bother bass on a nest, the sight of an enormous female bass may be just too tempting to pass up. However, actually catching one may be frustrating. The lure, perhaps a light-colored creature bait or sunfish imitation may get completely ignored, or just mouthed to remove from the nest. If you hook one, take a quick photo and immediately release to help future generations.
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