Here in the Midwest, fishing season ends and begins with ice-fishing.
For those of us who enjoy open water fishing and ice-fishing, our 2010 fishing season ended on the ice, and our 2011 season starts on the ice.
Or, another way of looking at it is that our 2010 season started and ended on the ice. Considering that, some would say that ice-fishing should be held in higher regard than open water fishing. I say we’re thinking about this too much: We should just go fishing.
In the Midwest and especially in Central Wisconsin, we have options, and options are good, but all the options can create difficult decision making. We have the option of fishing open water in the warmer months and not getting involved in ice-fishing, and some folks practice that option.
Then we have the anglers who only venture onto the ice to go fishing: They spend their summers watching baseball games and golfing or other activities.
Lastly, we have those anglers who don’t take a season off, and there’s a lot of them. They’re casting a bait to open water as soon as there is some open water, and they’re popping a hole in the ice as soon as the ice is safe, sometimes before it’s safe. Most anglers who live in the Midwest feel they are very fortunate to have the open water and ice-fishing options. They also know that they are fortunate to have so many specie options. We can chase fish species that are more susceptible to live bait, others that prefer artificial baits.
We have access to fish that are better to eat than others.
There are some Midwest fish species that live in shallow water, others that live in deep water. Strikes from shallow water fish are often visual and very exciting. Strikes from deep water fish are faint, but equally exciting. You can experience both in the Midwest.
Regardless of how you fish or when you fish or what you fish for, fishing, for the most part, is better now than it was twenty years ago. We have more opportunities to catch more and bigger fish now, overall, than we’ve had in recent memory. The opportunity to catch a truly big walleye or smallmouth or largemouth or musky is better now than ever.
That doesn’t hold true with all species. Some northern pike populations have been beat up, as have some panfish populations. But when those problems are recognized and addressed effectively, the problem can go away pretty quickly.
Fishing is better because of advancements in equipment, fish management, and water quality. The sooner we realize that we need to use progressive, modern management with our fish populations, the sooner we’ll realize even better widespread fishing opportunities across the Midwest.
We have outstanding fishing options here and across the Midwest twelve months a year. Many anglers already realize that, a good number don’t. Make this the year that you fully take advantage of the fishing options that the area offers.
Happy New Year!
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