Usually in August comes the inevitable "I didn't..." syndrome.

You know, "I didn't fish enough," or "I didn't spend enough time on the water."


Take the time now, so when fall arrives you won't feel like summer fishing passed you by.​

Before you spend the last precious days/weeks of summer moping around, grousing about time slipping through your fingers, here's a few tips to help people with even the most harried schedules squeeze in a few more casts or other outdoor activities as August rolls on.

Pencil in a day off - This sounds easy, but the reality is it's easier to say you'll schedule a day, weekend or even a few hours out, than to actually do it. And until you do it, it's nothing more than a good idea.

My point is not that a day or even a weekend has to be dedicated to fishing. In fact, just a little down time from a planned activity for making a few casts will help begin to reverse the "I didn't."

Location - Location usually refers to where the fish are at. But this discussion is about proximity to fishing waters. A quick history lesson is in order. Thank our forefathers for understanding the dynamics of water. Water to drink, water for transportation and numerous other reasons equate to many of our towns located on or near water.

While that doesn't always mean you'll catch a stringer of lunker walleyes, it does mean that no matter where you live, odds are you're less than an hour away, and in many cases just minutes away, from wetting a line. While you might relish another trip to Lake Sakakawea, Devils Lake or another prime destination, rather than fret over the price of gas or time commitment, spend that time fishing close to home.

Weddings/reunions - We all have weekends dedicated to celebrating life's events such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries or other special occasions. You might not want to mention you're looking forward to taking some time out to go fishing the next event, but it is possible to sneak out early in the morning before the event begins, or after it is wrapped up for the day.

Again, many North Dakota communities are located just a few casts away from a fishing water of some sort. If you're unfamiliar with an area, talk to the host family, or log on to the Game and Fish Department website at to browse a list of state fishing lakes and rivers.

An hour after work - When I mention taking an hour here or there, don't treat it as a last resort. Make it a routine, like watching the news or taking a trip to the grocery store. I've often seen anglers wearing shirts and ties, using their lunch hour to toss lures into the Red River at Midtown Dam near downtown Fargo.

In addition, an hour or two after work or early on a Saturday morning can still provide plenty of fishing opportunities. Get up early, grab one or all of the kids, and you can be home before the rest of the family even gets out of bed.

The bottom line is that no one else can make the cast for you. Take the time now, so when fall arrives you won't feel like summer fishing passed you by.

Leier is a biologist with the Game and Fish Department. He can be reached by email: [email protected].