THUNDER BAY – It used to be that anglers planned their fishing trips way in advance, and many still do. However, in conversations with resort owners and tourism people anglers are becoming very spur-of-the-moment planners. They decide on Tuesday they want to go on a fishing trip for the upcoming weekend, maybe Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I’m getting to be like that myself. Every now and then I find myself with some unexpected time on my hands, and I want to do something with that time. I decide to go fishing. Here’s how I take full advantage of that spur-of-the-moment fishing trip.
First of all, my fishing equipment is usually ready to go. I keep all my stuff in the back of the truck or in the boat once fishing season rolls around. I always have several rods that are spooled with good line, the trolling motor batteries are always charged, I’m pretty much ready to go fishing whenever the opportunity presents itself. The rest of my life might be in disarray, but my fishing tackle is always ready for action.
Now it’s time to find a place to go. You can call friends for ideas, maybe you have connections near some potential destinations. Check out fishing reports on the Internet. Some of those reports are reliable, some aren’t. Of course things can change by the time you get to our destination, but up-to-the minute reports can be very helpful when trying to decide where to go fishing in the next few days.
I try to go to bodies of water that have progressive regulations whenever possible. The fishing, for the most part, on these lakes and rivers is just better. For instance, I was on Storm Lake in west central Iowa a few days ago. Five years ago the walleye fishing on Storm Lake wasn’t that good. Then a slot limit was put in place: Walleyes between seventeen and twenty two inches must be released. The walleye fishing has exploded: You’ll generally catch lots of fish, some too big to keep, but still lots of eaters. Storm Lake is close to lots of Midwest anglers and is now one of the best walleye lakes in the Midwest because of progressive regulations.
Another good example: I just spoke with my friend Craig Brown. Craig and his wife Paige own McArdle’s Resort on Lake Winnibigoshish in north central Minnesota. He described the walleye bite on Winnie right now as a “suicide bite”. Winnie is another lake that has benefitted greatly from a slot limit.
In many areas of the country largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and muskies have seen tremendous results from progressive limits. Areas that have reduced the panfish limits have also seen great improvement in panfish quantity and quality. If you’re planning a spontaneous fishing trip, it would be a good idea to look first at areas that are effectively managing their fisheries.
Now you just need someone to go with you on your spur-of-the- moment fishing trip. It’s almost always more fun to fish with someone. A family member might be able to come along, or maybe a friend can get away. You can share costs and companionship. That’s always a good thing. The key is, when you get the opportunity to go fishing, you need to take advantage of it. And, if you don’t get the opportunity to go, make the opportunity.
Published on NetNewsledger.com courtesy of Jim Shepard and The Fishing Wire.