Never to early to look aheadA new year of fishing started recently. The 2012 fishing season is under way. So far it’s been kind of a strange ice-fishing season. Ice conditions have been erratic throughout ice country. There has been lots of talk about a lack of ice, but in reality there are lots of places to go ice-fishing, and the action has been very good in many places. In fact, lots of anglers who have been on the ice declare this to be one of their best ice-fishing seasons ever.
By: By Bob Jensen, Fishing the Midwest, The Jamestown Sun
A new year of fishing started recently.
The 2012 fishing season is under way. So far it’s been kind of a strange ice-fishing season. Ice conditions have been erratic throughout ice country. There has been lots of talk about a lack of ice, but in reality there are lots of places to go ice-fishing, and the action has been very good in many places. In fact, lots of anglers who have been on the ice declare this to be one of their best ice-fishing seasons ever. We are setting up for an outstanding final two months of ice-fishing.
However, it’s at about this time every year that I start thinking about open water fishing. Who knows when the open water season will arrive, but when it does, following are some things that I am looking forward to doing more of.
First off, I’m going to try really hard to take advantage of the close to home fishing opportunities.
Wherever you live, there is a place to go fishing within an easy drive. It might not be a world-class fishery, but there are probably a few fish that will be interested in taking a look at your bait. Whenever you get a couple of free hours, check out that medium-sized river or little lake or farm pond that’s just down the road.
Make sure you get permission to fish the pond if it’s on private property. You might not catch a bunch of fish, and there might not be any big ones, but catching a few medium-sized or even small fish is better than staying home and not catching anything.
Almost always, going fishing is better than not going fishing.
I’m going to do more experimenting with different lures and lure types. The past several years I’ve been using Puppet Minnows a lot in open water. Puppet Minnows were designed for ice-fishing, but if perch and walleyes will eat them under the ice, they’ll eat them in open water also.
I’ve had outstanding success with Puppet Minnows jigged vertically when the walleyes were schooled in deep water. Locate the fish with your sonar unit, then sit right on top of them. Drop the bait into the school and experiment with action. Try jerking the bait, then try shaking it. Determine what the fish want, then give it to them.
Flicker Shad baits have earned a large position in my walleye arsenal. Casting or trolling, walleyes really like Flicker Shad. So do largemouth bass. The No. 7 size has been my favorite, but now there have been sizes added. In addition to the No 5 and 7 size, there is now a No. 4 and a 6. Although these baits are close in size, the actions are different, and there are times when the fish respond more favorably to the different actions.
I’m going to use more NanoFil line. NanoFil is super-sensitive and casts farther, more effortlessly, than any line I’ve ever used.
Just tie fifty or sixty yards of NanoFil to backing on your spinning reel and you’re set. Be sure to tie the lure to your line with the knot mentioned on the package that NanoFil comes in.
Ice-fishing isn’t over: I’ll bet the best is yet to come. But when the ice action winds down, I’ll be looking forward to another outstanding year of open water fishing. I hope you are too.
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