Fishing’s fine this time of year

It may be winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go fishing. If there’s ice, you can go ice fishing. But you can also find open water any time of the year.

It’s a little more than two weeks before spring will finally have sprung. But don’t let the fact that it’s still winter keep you away from the lakes and streams.

There’s plenty of open water to be found. And there are fish in that water that are looking to fill their bellies. They may be a little less active than they’ll be in May or June, but you can still have a great day on the water.

There are some things about fishing in March that make it more enjoyable than fishing in the summer months. First of all, there’s very little competition. Even on fairly warm March days, not a lot of people take advantage of the nice weather. You’ll very likely be alone on the stream. If you go to one of the more popular areas, like Gray Reef or the Miracle Mile, you might run into like-minded, die-hard anglers. But you still won’t have to work around nearly as many people as you would in the warmer months.

You also won’t have to find something else to do in the middle of the day. In the summer, or even on hot days during the spring, the fish will stop biting when the water gets too warm. That’s obviously not a problem in March. You can sleep in, then take your time getting out to your favorite fishing hole. You don’t have to worry about wasting the best hours of fishing time, because this time of year, the best time is all day long.

As I said in yesterday’s program, once April rolls around, you’ll have other things to do. The spring turkey season starts next month, and you’ll probably have a shotgun in your hands, rather than a fly rod. So you’ll probably miss the official beginning of the open-water fishing season. The spring bear season starts in May, so it’ll be quite a while before you can devote your full attention to fishing.

Sure, you can combine a turkey hunt with a fishing outing. You can also pack a rod along on a bear hunt. Or you might get your turkey early, leaving the rest of April for fishing. But why take the chance? Like they say, life’s uncertain, so eat dessert first. On that note, you might as well do some fishing whenever you can.

Dust off that fly rod or the spinning reel and go drop a line wherever you can. You shouldn’t have much trouble finding a chunk of bank all to yourself.