Spring Time Mayhem Coming Soon!

Phones are ringing and emails are coming in droves! There is definite excitement for the 2013 season.  Many of the calls are touching almost to the point of emotional for us.  Usually the first words are “I have been waiting since I left last spring to get back to Rainy Lake”. I am fortunate to often hear in detail of each day or evening of our guests’ trip, they are in a zone recalling the special moments they experienced last spring.  It’s not all fishing; the camaraderie, campfire evenings, happenings with the group, the environment they are immersed in, all drive the close feelings developed on a Rainy Lake Houseboat spring trip.

May and June trips inspire people for a variety of reasons. Spring is the time of year where you witness change everyday you are on the lake. Leaves appear on the different trees at different times, often you see the small green leaves barely showing in the morning but by afternoon they are large and look like they have been there for days. The bird migration is on many different kinds of ducks, geese, swans , loons, eagles and songbirds stop and visit Rainy Lake, and many spend the whole summer.

I believe spring fishing provides more satisfaction for fisherman than any other time of the year.  Opportunities are endless; smallmouth, walleye, huge pike, and crappies and crappies are using shallow water for an extended period of time.  Many fisherman are set in their ways and catch gobs of walleyes on a jig and minnow long lined behind the boat, others use a Lindy rig with a piece of live bait and catch all the fish they want day after day.  The recipe is pretty simple, fish the shorelines and points that the wind is blowing into in water from 4-8 feet deep, 1/8 oz. jig, or ¼ oz. Lindy and you are in business.

Spring also offers the opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and experiment with plastics, stick baits, inline spinners, and other artificial baits. You don’t know what is going to hit; is it a huge walleye, northern pike, or a crazy smallmouth bass? You just don’t know, but I can tell you this much; I am entering my forty seventh year of guiding and I cannot wait for the open water season to come.

 I often like to divide the day up into sectors. I start by examining the weather, will it be cool or warming etc. Usually in the first part of the morning I will fish subtle plastics or a stick bait with a pretty tight wobble. As the day gets older I may switch to a bay that has a decent mud bottom with last years weeds and probe the side of the bay the wind is blowing in. Black bottom bays will warm up during the day and pike pile in to these areas in schools. Buzz baits, Glide Raps, spinnerbaits, Streamers on a fly rod all are great ways to catch these pike.

Smallmouth congregate on points adjacent to spawning areas.  Plastics, jerk-baits, sinko’s, inline spinners and even top water plugs are all great choices, read the weather and decide which bait to start with. Cool and cloudy go subtle; warming weather you can get more aggressive. Experimentation is the key.  I fished with a gentleman many years ago who has passed on; he was a very good fisherman. Our reels were Phlueger Supremes and Mitchell 300 spinning reels at that time, lures we used were Lazy Ike’s, L&S Bassmasters, Sonics, Sparkletails, and some that I am sure I have forgotten their names. A comment he made has forever stuck in my mind.  He had made a cast with an L&S Bassmaster and he said “you know most fisherman cast these baits out and think they are in a road race: he who gets back to the boat with the bait wins. He was stopping the bait jerking it forward picking up slack with the reel and bang he would get a strike and fish on. He then said “ He who gets back to the boat with a fish on wins”. Baits were harder to work then; you could not buy neutrally buoyant baits like the ones being sold everywhere today.

I am getting excited…