As the 2014 fishing season gets closer, now is a good time to look back at the 2013 fishing season. I get to travel quite a bit in my fishing and I always enjoy reliving those travels and fishing trips. This past year was a busy one, and many of my trips were quick there and back trips. One of those there and back trips especially stands out in my memory.
I left my home in north central Iowa about mid-day on a Sunday in early August, headed for Sturgeon Bay in Door County Wisconsin. Sturgeon Bay is about a seven hour drive from my home. We arrived in Sturgeon Bay about 7:00 p.m., had supper and went to bed. Monday was going to be a busy day.
We got up at 3:30 a.m. to go salmon fishing on Lake Michigan. By 4:00 a.m. we were catching salmon and trout. By 7:00 a.m. we were back at the dock and headed for Green Bay to fish for walleyes. Caught the walleyes good too. Loaded the boat at 2:00 in the afternoon and drove home, arriving about 9:00 p.m. Lots of driving in a short period of time, but the fishing was good.
Another quick turn around trip was our annual visit to Kabetogama Lake in north central Minnesota. I have fished Kab in the spring and fall, but never in the dead of summer. We arrived Monday afternoon and hit the water right away. The lake was flat, the sky was clear, and the walleyes were biting. Fished that afternoon and for about an hour the next morning and returned home. Kab is an outstanding fishery: I would like to spend several days there sometime.
HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED that much of the time we drive by a good lake or a good fishing spot on a lake to go somewhere else farther away? I’m guilty of that. I don’t know how many times I headed straight to the north side of the lake when I’m on the south shore, and vice versa.
For the past several years I’ve driven right by Clear Lake in north central Iowa headed for a body of water somewhere else much farther away. I used to fish Clear Lake a lot, but hadn’t been there at all in the past few years: Big mistake! Clear Lake is becoming one of the premier multi-specie lakes in the Midwest because of major renovations. I spent a day on the lake with Kevan Paul this May and caught’em good. We caught lots of walleyes, some above the fourteen inch minimum length limit and some under.
We caught yellow bass: Yellows are abundant in Clear Lake and they’re great to eat.
We caught crappies up to twelve inches and lots of eight inchers, so the crappie outlook is good on Clear Lake.
We didn’t fish for muskies, but my friends who do chase them report that if you focus on muskies your chances of getting bit are outstanding.
I guess the point of all this is, fishing across the Midwest is outstanding, and in many areas getting even better. Although it might seem like open water is a long way away, now is the time to be researching and making plans for the next open water season.