Fishing 'tweener' time
We are at that unique time of year now that I refer to as "tweener" time. It happens to us in the Detroit Lakes area two times a year. We experience this now and again in that period in the late fall/early winter. It is "tweener" time now because the ice is not very safe to venture out on at this time, and we don't have any open water to fish yet. This is when we explore our options.
We can head north to the short walleye season on the Rainy River; get on the ice at Lake of the Woods, head south to the Mississippi River, or go west to the Missouri River system. These options are sometimes interfered with by the nature of our spring. West and south aren't much for options right now due to river flooding.
Another consideration to keep you plugged into your fishing interest is to utilize this time to put away your ice fishing gear and start organizing your summer fishing gear. You can use the money you save on the travel expenses to purchase what you may want or need for the upcoming open water season. It is a good time to get the boat out of storage, go through tackle boxes, charge batteries, test run your motors, grease trailer bearings, re-spool your reels with new line, and make your "to do" lists of all the other little things that go into making a smooth transition into your open water season.
This time of year I also get hooked on watching all the fishing shows and reading fishing articles.
The weather has been nice and it teases me into the excitement of the upcoming season. These are the activities that make up my "March Madness."
This is also the time of spring that I spend some time reflecting on what worked, what was good, and what didn't work so well on my fishing outings over the past year. I look to set goals of things I want to do this next season that I have gotten away from.
I also look back over my trip calendar from last year. It is amazing how much a person can remember from trip to trip with simply having it on a calendar. I have the advantage of logging my trips because of my guiding, and this helps me increase my odds of creating successful trips for the next year. I always keep the last two years as references. I used to be really good at recording water temp, wind direction, air temp, barometric pressure, depth fished, presentation used, etc. I believe that really helped me to formulate patterns and repeat successful patterns for success. I have gotten away from that habit the last few years. One of my goals is to get back into some of that documentation after successful trips for future reference.
Last year I set a goal to do more slip bobber fishing for finessing walleyes as I have been in and out of seasons that I hit that technique hard and then some seasons don't utilize that as much as I could for appropriate situations. I have to admit that I love to jig and rig, so I sometimes spend time catching them the way I prefer, instead of catching them sometimes the way they prefer.
Last season I didn't pull spinners in the peak summer period like I have in the past, so another goal is to make sure I get back to that when the fish are ripe for that aggressive bite. It is easy to justify how I got away from that last summer as I continued to have success jigging and rigging from early season through the fall.
Did we have a peak summer period last summer? I remember the weather being unseasonably cold, windy, and weird all summer! Anyway, still a goal for this summer also.
Spend a little time of reflection of your own and set some goals. Maybe it will be working on a technique, maybe getting out with someone you have been meaning to get out on the water with, taking a kid fishing, fishing a tournament, or traveling to get on a bite you have wanted to pursue. It is exciting when the weather gets nice, because it won't be long now for our open water adventures.