A New Open-Water Fishing Season

by Bob Jensen  |

It’s a new fishing season!  After a spring unlike any other in memory, we’re finally getting the lawn mowers ready for action.  That’s the down-side:  The up-side is that the fish are biting, and the bite is just going to get better.  Following are some things that you can do to make your fishing season even better this year.

First of all, make sure you have a current fishing license.  Some states offer options on fishing licenses.  For instance, in Iowa you can buy a three year license that offers a cost savings.  For me, even better than the cost savings, is the fact that I don’t have to remember to buy a fishing license in Iowa for a couple of years.  Also in Iowa, you can buy a license that allows an extra line.  For a few dollars more, you can use three lines, which can be an advantage when you want to pull planer boards or use slip-bobbers.

Be aware of any new regulations that may have been implemented.  There are frequently changes that we need to be aware of in daily and possession limits and size limits.  Minnesota has changed the northern pike laws in some areas:  Be sure you know the rules.

Be really aware of the trailering law in some states that requires boaters to pull the plug out of the boat when you’re on the road.  This is to prevent the spread of invasive species.  In year’s past, I’ve put a spare plug on the key ring for my boat’s motor so I remember to put the plug in when launching.  I might not need to do that this year.  I’ve become pretty good at remembering to do so.

Also remember to pull weeds off the boat trailer when you take the boat out of the water.  This is another attempt to slow the spread of invasives.  If you develop a routine when loading and unloading, loading and unloading is very quick and easy.

Make sure the line on your reels is in good shape.  Your line is the only connection between you and the fish.  Use good line!

Make sure your landing net is in good shape.  Replace the bag if necessary.

Netting a fish is an important consideration.  If you’re going to keep the fish, netting it increases the odds of getting it in the boat.

If you’re going to release the fish, the proper net will increase the odds of the fish’s survival.  Some nets damage fish, a few nets are designed with the fish’s best interest in mind.  Beckman Nets are the best nets out there.  They have a model of net that will fit any angler’s needs, and they’re easy on the fish.  If you’re in need of a new net, be sure to look at a Beckman.

Now is the time to start investigating some of those close to home spots you’ve always thought about trying.  See if you can get permission to fish from area pond owners.  Fish in ponds are often the first biters of the year.  Most ponds have bass and panfish and maybe some catfish.  They can provide outstanding early season action.  Get permission, then get out there.

Last of all:  Do what you can to make this a safe and pleasant fishing season.  Drive carefully and be patient at the boat ramp.  If someone is having trouble loading or unloading their boat, ask if you can help.

It’s time for open water fishing, enjoy the season.

Feature Photo: Bill Bunn with a nice Clear Lake Iowa May walleye.  The fish are eating, get out and get some.

 

To see new and old episodes of Fishing the Midwest television, new and old fishing articles, and fishing video tips, visit fishingthemidwest.com and don’t forget to join us at Facebook.com/fishingthemidwest.

 

A New Open-Water Fishing Season

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