Thursday, January 26th, 2023
Thursday, January 26th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

It’s prime time for quality angling

Sure, there are good reasons for being careful and using social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but not going fishing is not one of them, according to Tim Lesmeister, who has been taking advantage of the open water to get out in his kayak. (Photo by Tim Lesmeister)

The ice is gone or will be soon on the lakes across the northern tier of the United States. In the no-ice zones of the country, lakes, rivers, and reservoirs are warming. Anglers should be happier than a crow on a fresh carcass, because this pre-spawn period delivers an aggressive bite that no one should ignore.

My friends in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and other states with closed seasons often whine in April because walleyes, pike, and bass are off limits in most of their states. But there are places they can catch gamefish.

The lakes on the Minnesota/South Dakota border have some incredible early-season walleye fishing and the Mississippi River on the Mississippi River on the Wisconsin/Minnesota border is known far and wide as a tremendous pre-spawn walleye fishery.

In states like Iowa, the farm ponds will be producing some of the best bass fishing of the year. If you live down south, the big reservoirs in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama are already showing signs that the bass fishing is beginning to take off, and Texas… well Texas never slows down, does it?

Some of you are thinking, “What’s wrong with this dude? Doesn’t he know there is a pandemic going on and we’re not supposed to leave the house?”

Sure I do. But at some point we will have to learn how to combine social distancing with our ability to enjoy the outdoors. We still have to grocery shop, pick up our mail, visit the drug store for prescriptions. When we do, we maintain all the precautions necessary to keep from catching the dreaded Covid-19 virus. We should maintain all of these same precautions when launching boats, fishing from shore, or visiting a local popular fishing hotspot.

In some states the governors have closed fishing. Closed fishing? This is ridiculous. Fishing is an essential part of many of our lives, and it’s a simple sport where it’s easy to maintain social distancing. It also gets people outside where they can breathe fresh air, get some sun, and stay healthy, which is what we should do in these trying times.

I’m not saying our political leaders are overreacting to this pandemic, but I do believe that everyone who takes precautions should not be shamed or chastised if they want to spend a day on the water when the fishing is prime.

If you’re still stuck inside, now is a good time to get out the tackle boxes and tune up gear. Polish hooks, shine those spoons, get those crankbaits in the right slots, oil those reels, put new line on the ones that need it, and just get that equipment into peak shape, because the optimum fishing period is upon us, and there’s probably good angling near you. And if someone tries to shame you into thinking you shouldn’t be on the water, ignore them. They don’t deserve the time it takes to educate them on the importance of being outdoors.

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