- April 25, 2018
“A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work.” How many times have you heard that little quote? Well, I don’t buy it; a better thought is, “A good day of fishing is better than a good day at work.” Yea, I know it’s nice to just be out there enjoying nature even if you aren’t catching fish. I enjoy that part of it too, but I like it a whole lot more if I’m also catching fish, and the more fish, the better it is. So, how do you go about catching more fish or even just catching fish each time you head out?
While I can’t guarantee that you will catch fish on every outing, you sure can improve your odds by diversifying. I’ll admit that these days that word “diversification” concerns me a bit, but when it comes to fishing, there’s no question that your ability to diversify increases your chances of connecting to your quarry at the business end of your fishing outfit. There are a lot of fishermen out there who like to concentrate on one species of fish using just one type of fishing gear or technique, but I’m not one of them. Like I said earlier, I like to catch fish — lots of fish — and in many different ways.
There are several ways to diversify your fishing. First, be willing to pursue a variety of species of fish. Second, be willing to use an assortment of equipment, also be willing to look at different locations and water types. Finally, learn as many techniques or different approaches as possible to put a bend in the rod — any rod.
There’s no way I can cover all of this material in one article, so we can explore this over several weeks, but let’s start with pursuing more than one species of fish. I know trout season starts on the 14th and right now most people are concentrating on catching trout — me too. In fact, I have already been out and caught and released a good number of trout on the various special regulation stream sections. If, however, you are only a trout fisherman you are missing out on some great fun catching other species of fish, and right now, I’m thinking crappie fishing. While April and May are probably two of the best months to take trout, this is also one of the best times of the year to take both black and white crappies.
I’ll admit it; taking a trout on a #16 Blue Winged Olive dry fly is very high on my list of fun and exciting fishing techniques. In fact, I just caught and released several trout last week doing just that, but you can bet that I will also have a lot of fun in the next few weeks taking crappies on an eighth-ounce jig head with a white Berkley plastic grub.
Let’s face it, taking trout in late summer becomes more difficult; not impossible by the way if you know a variety of techniques and you can use different equipment — but catching bluegills in late summer can be a blast.
Bluegills are for kids, right? Not so, I still have a lot of fun taking bluegills, especially with a fly rod and a ting bug imitation or popper. Bluegills, in fact, are one of our most sought-after species in the entire country. Oh, and did I ever mention that my friends and I caught literally hundreds of bluegills, crappies, and perch through the ice all winter long? Yes, we even caught them in the freezing cold through 10 inches of ice, and it was fun doing it.
By the way, some of the best catch and release bass fishing is in the spring of the year, especially for smallmouths. Both largemouths and smallmouths can be taken readily clear into late fall.
Don’t forget; we have some pretty decent musky fishing in parts of our area as well.
If you want to have some fun this summer and try some different fishing, go for pike or pickerel. Pickerel are more abundant in our area, but you will likely have to fish the weed edges of the lake for most of the action.
The point of all of this is your willingness to diversify. Be willing to pursue more than just one species of fish, and your chances of catching fish on more outings will also increase — and catching fish is more fun than just fishing.