Tips for more and better fishingSomething that all anglers are looking for are opportunities for better fishing. For most of us, better fishing means more and bigger fish, although there are certainly other factors that can enhance a day on the water.
By: By Bob Jensen, Fishing the Midwest, The Jamestown Sun
Something that all anglers are looking for are opportunities for better fishing. For most of us, better fishing means more and bigger fish, although there are certainly other factors that can enhance a day on the water.
Through the past number of years I’ve had the good fortune to get in on some really good fishing.
From the northern border of Minnesota all the way south to Florida, with stops in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and other places, I’ve been fortunate to have had some really good fishing.
In those years, I’ve found that the one consistent factor in any area that will increase the chance for outstanding fishing is fishery management. Lure presentation and technique and all that stuff is important, but you’ve got to have fish in the lake if you’re going to catch them. Following are some thoughts on fish and lake management.
Pretty much all bodies of water have possession limits, and most have length limits. The bodies of water with the best fishing are those with length limits that protect the mid-size and larger fish.
I was on a lake recently that had a minimum size of 21 inches on largemouth and smallmouth bass, and you could only keep one. The fishing was outstanding: We caught dozens of bass that day in the 16 to 19-inch range. This was a public lake with public access.
Another lake that I’ve fished has a no-kill walleye regulation in place. It has also provided lots of action for walleyes of all sizes, and it also was a public water with a public access.
Bodies of water like those just mentioned are limited in availability, and that’s probably the way it will always be. Many anglers like to keep some fish when they go fishing, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Fish are good to eat and they’re good for us. We should be able to keep some fish.
But, if we want to grow the sport of fishing, we need to be able to show new anglers, regardless of age, what it’s like to catch fish. Lots of fish. Big ones. Youngsters and not-so-youngsters that are learning about fishing need to catch fish to develop a greater interest in fishing. If someone new to fishing goes fishing a couple of times and doesn’t catch much, they probably aren’t going to keep going.
However, once they feel a tug on their line and see their rod bent over and a fish thrashing alongside the boat, you can bet they’ll be looking forward to their next trip to the water. Bodies of water with regulations that tightly restrict harvest will enable anglers to feel that tug, have a bent rod, and see that fish thrash more often.
There will be some folks that complain about being required to release their fish or their big fish, but there are more complaints about not catching decent-sized fish or any fish.
Again, I truly believe we need to be able to keep some fish on most bodies of water. But for those anglers that just want to catch some fish, we need a few lakes where our keep is very limited. These are the type of lakes that will enable more people to enjoy fishing.
For more from Bob Jensen go to fishingthemidwest.com