Open Water Fishing Is Here

March 22, 2011 by  

by Bob Jensen

I drove on the bridge over the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien Wisconsin this past weekend. The ice was gone and there were boats on the water. Reports were that fishing for walleyes and sauger was good. The open water fishing season for 2011 has started. When you get the chance to go fishing, will you be ready?

For many of us, that first fishing trip of the year often comes unexpectedly. A friend calls and says that “The crappies are going on that little pond just south of town,,,let’s go”. And you say, “Ok, I’ll pick you up in ten minutes”.

Then you start getting your gear together and realize that your “stuff” isn’t ready to go fishing. Or worse yet, you get to the pond and realize your “stuff” isn’t ready. The following ideas will help you be ready for that first trip of the open water fishing season.

If you’re a boat angler, make sure there’s a charge in the batteries. Getting to the lake and finding out the electric motor won’t work because the batteries are dead is a bad way to start the fishing season.

While the batteries are charging, check air pressure in the trailer tires. Make sure the turn signals and brake lights work on the trailer. Go through the storage compartments in the boat(you should have done this last fall when you put the boat away). Put your lifejackets and throw cushion in the boat. Make sure the license on the boat and trailer are current. When the battery is charged, make sure the depthfinders and electric motor work.

All anglers should check to make sure they’ve got a current fishing license.

Now for your fishing gear: Strip off some line(again, you should have done this last fall) and add some fresh line. You don’t need to refill the entire spool, just tie new line to the old. For most outfits, you’ll want to add about fifty yards of new line. Most people aren’t going to be making fifty yard casts, so fifty yards is completely adequate. Trilene XT or Sensation will be outstanding for most applications, go with FireLine if you want the ultimate in sensitivity, strength, and hooksetting ability.

Do an inventory of your lures and replace any that need to be replaced and add to your selection what you may have heard to be the hot bait, or color, of the season. If walleyes are your thing, be sure to check out the new spinners from Northland with the Live-Forage blades: They’re hot!

Replace rusted hooks on crankbaits and in-line spinners.

If you’re a wading angler, make sure your waders are patched if needed. Water that gets into your waders early in the year is very cold and can make fishing unpleasant.

Make sure the bag on your landing net is in good shape. If a new net is in your future, one of the Conservation Series nets from Frabill would be an outstanding choice.

If you do these things, when that phone call from a fishing friend comes, you’ll be able to pick him/her up in ten minutes and be confident that your “stuff” is in fish-catching condition.

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