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Spring Into Opportunity

Well we’ve rounded the corner everyone. We’re moving into the next season that promises warmer weather and good times in the outdoors.

Soon comfortable temps and ample sunshine will bring flowers from their slumber. The first thunderstorms of the year will breathe new life and the essence of green will spread through the Cedar Valley. Water temps will climb and so will the number of anglers getting out to enjoy all that this remarkable season has to offer.

Yet even though this is one of the greatest seasons to catch fish always be mindful of the seasons to follow this time of year. Spring fishing is a close tie with the fall season for the best time of year to be an angler. If the local rivers don’t get too wild they offer phenomenal early season fishing.

As the season progresses all the different species we pursue will move shallower and find places to enhance your angling success for years to come. This also makes for the most vulnerable the fish will be to destruction of numbers and shifts in population. I’ve seen many times in the spring when we can get carried away on a great day on the water.

We can have much more of an effect on the spawn than what we may realize. One of the greatest things the DNR has done here in Iowa in the past few years for the panfisherman is making limits of twenty five fish per day. Growing up I remember times when someone would walk away at the end of the day with seventy five to hundred.

When you’re fishing the spawn keep in mind that for every fish you keep you just lost thousands more potential catches down the road. I’m not saying we should just release all the fish we catch. Natures candy should be enjoyed by all, just think your way through the day a little more than usual.

If you’re fishing for bedding bluegills or crappies hit a group of beds and catch a few then move to the next. Perhaps keep mostly males and fewer females. Females in pre-spawn can be carrying hundreds of thousands of eggs of which only a minimal percentage will survive to be an adult. For every female you keep in the fishing world during the spawn drastically affects the future of that body of water.

Another great part about the spring season is that it can be the best time of year to go after a trophy. The largest fish in any body of water feed hard before the spawn making themselves susceptible to ending up on the end of your line.

With today’s technologies it’s even easier to practice CPR out on the water. Catch Photo Release is how the acronym applies to the fishing world. The DNR also awards trophy fish awards each year to anglers that surpass certain guidelines for each species. You can consult the fishing regulations to see what size you have to catch of your favorite species to receive an award.

So get out there and enjoy the warmer temps we’ve waited so long for this winter. If the fish of a lifetime finds your lure enjoy the moment, snap a picture, and make the decision. Should she end up on the wall or in that picture that can be viewed just as easily? For the fish of a lifetime the wall is viable, but if you think about it, letting her go today may render the one that will be even bigger next time. Have a great spring everybody.

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