The article was written by Jorge Tinkleton.
If you’re an eager angler, winter can be a slog. You’ve probably read and reread all the angling magazines you have. You’ve tied enough flies to last for the next few seasons. Your tackles are insanely well organized, and your fishing supplies have never been so pristine. All the equipment that’s proved useless has now been donated, and you’re eagerly awaiting the new fishing season.
With spring just around the corner, we know you, like us, will be eagerly anticipating the opportunity to fish in more hospitable conditions again (although, not much more).
Here’s our quick guide on how to get the best out of your fishing, in a season which offers versatile weather conditions and its own unique challenges.
1. Expect Cold Water.
Snow melting makes us eager to get out on open water with our rod, tackle and bait. However, the result of the changing seasons can have different effects on the water, depending on what region you live in.
Be prepared for any open water at this time of year to be cold. Winter has just ended, and it is guaranteed that snow and ice from higher ground will have run into it. That also means that the water may be higher than you’d experience in the summer or autumn.
You’ll need to make sure you’re wearing layers on layers and that your bib and shell jacket are highly insulated to mediate some of the damage the cold can do.
But this freezing water doesn’t mean the fishing won’t be good. With the right techniques, you can catch some of the biggest fish at this time in the spring season.
2. Prepare for Diverse Weather.
We’ve already discussed that the water will be colder in early spring. In addition, you need to prepare for the diverse weather, which poses another challenge.
Obviously, if it snows, it may be best to pack up and go home, but rain won’t stop your fishing if you’re determined. To fish well in these diverse conditions make sure you have the right gear. It comes down to good, protective layers again. Don’t forget picking up some good fishing sunglasses for those days when it’s surprisingly bright. A high-quality pair should last for years.
3. Use Tricks to Get Your Fish.
No, it isn’t the purest way to fish, but save patience alone for other seasons. If you want to actually come home with a catch in early spring, be prepared to bend the rules a little to get some fish.
The water which has run from snow will most probably be quite dirty. You need to increase both the visibility and smell of your bait in order to catch more fish.
Now is the time when even purists put attractants on the lures, even if they don’t the rest of the year. Smelly jelly works a treat, as does a lure enhancer that rolls on like a chapstick. The benefit of the latter is that it won’t make your bag or car smell bad.
Using something like a shiny spinner blade can make all the difference too. The sparkliness will pique the curiosity of the fish and attract their attention.
Something as simple as replacing the rear hook with a spinner blade can make the difference between going home with fish or leaving empty-handed.
4. Go for Crappies.
Stay on the right side of the law and don’t start your game fishing until early May. Of course, the legality of game fishing varies from region to region, but most prohibit game fishing until later in the spring.
However, not going for game doesn’t mean you’ll have nothing to fish. If you want to get fishing sooner, go for a fish like crappies.
Often after winter’s thaw, crappies are the first fish you can go for. Although fishing crappies lacks the excitement of bigger game fishing – don’t expect a tussle with these fish – doing it in early spring offers some of the most consistent rewards of any fishing season.
Want to know what’s the most attractive feature of crappies by our count?
They are absolutely delicious.
What other tips do you have to make the most out of fishing?