It is the most exciting time of the year! The local lakes, rivers and streams are all thawing and the ice is coming off. We all have a few months of stored up fishing energy that we want to put to good use. Before we rush out to the bone chilling water temperatures here are a few things to remember.
Before you leave home, you should check the tire pressure of your trailer tires. While you are checking the tires, you might want to consider checking your bearings and pack them in grease. Also, you will want to check you trailer lights. I know that I usually have to replace light bulbs throughout the year and I usually start my year with new lights. Depending on what you had done before or during winter on your boats motor you may want to have it tuned, or at least buy a spare set of spark plugs.
Here are a couple personal rules that I follow and live by. When fishing from a boat in water less than 50 degrees I always wear my life jacket while the gas motor is running. The kill switch should always be attached to you as well. This should be practiced even with small engines. While fishing rough water with these cold water temperatures I find myself reaching for my life jacket. The life jacket may restrict or limit your motion, but if you end up in the lake or river these devices will be the main reason you survive. Tournament anglers and recreational fishermen alike should always be concerned with safety first.
Now we can talk fishing. That stored up energy that I talked about.
It can be a killer. You want to fish fast aggressive and cover water. If that is your plan then you might want to give the water a couple of weeks. You are going to have to work slow and be very patient. You are only going to get a few strikes and you may never even feel them. My lures of choice are suspending lures. Hard bodied jerkbaits and shad baits that suspend are my go to baits. The fish will range in depths from 3 feet to 15 feet depending on the lake and species of fish. Don’t expect your fish to have a bunch of hooks in its mouth either. More than likely it will barely be hooked. Fight your fish slow and make sure to keep good tension, but don’t put too much pressure on the hooks.
I hope your first trip to the water is a successful one.