by Bob Jensen

Here in north Iowa we got a foot of snow dumped on us overnight. But the snow is melting fairly quickly and the small streams are running again, which is a welcome sight. Our creeks and rivers have been very low due to minimal rainfall this past summer. The running water makes me more than anxious to get back on the water fishing. Something that I've always been an advocate of is to not get locked in to a particular species of fish or a certain technique. Wherever you fish, there are fishing options, and most people find that if they keep an open mind and consider the various options, they'll enjoy their fishing more. Here's what I mean.


Perhaps more than anyone, youngsters just want to feel something pulling back on the end of their line​

In the Midwest, walleyes are very popular, and for good reason. Walleyes will respond to a variety of techniques, in many areas the walleye fishing is better than ever, and they're great on the table.

However, sometimes walleyes get more difficult to catch. You can usually find a way to get a few to bite, but some days the walleye catching just isn't as good. Those slow bite walleye days are the days when you should pursue another specie of fish, maybe largemouth bass. The bass bite in many bodies of water across the Midwest is tremendous, and if more anglers would give bass a chance, they might enjoy their fishing even more.

Same thing holds true in southern states where bass are king. If the bass bite goes south, tie on a small jig and catch some crappies, or attach a bigger hook and a sinker to your line and throw something out there for a catfish to eat. For most anglers it's more fun to catch a bunch of crappies than to not catch any bass.

Let's say you've got a few friends or family members, maybe some youngsters, who just want to catch some fish: Here's a good way to do that. Tie some crankbaits onto your lines and start trolling over flats, points, sunken islands, along a weedline, anywhere there's fish-holding structure, troll those crankbaits. This is a great summer technique. Select a crankbait that will run close to the bottom, but also have one out there that runs a bit higher. In stained water you want your bait bumping the bottom and making noise, in clear water you can get it farther off the bottom.

You want to be covering water and showing the fish different colors and shapes. It works really well to attach a planer board to a rod or two and get the bait out away from the boat. Off Shore planer boards are easy to use and will result in more hook-ups, as they enable you to spread your lines and fish more efficiently.

If the crankbaits don't do the job, tie on some jigs and tip them with plastic. Slow your speed down a bit, use a ripping action with the jigs, and again, use different colors and bodies until the fish show you what they want.

Fishing is different things to different people. If you're one of those folks that wants to key in on a particular specie of fish or employ a certain technique, that's great, you should do so.

But if you just want to feel a fish throbbing on the end of your line, consider what we've just talked about. If you do, you're going to catch more fish this year.

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