I was thinking (I know, I know that's dangerous) about Mother Nature and this crazy, unique, mixed up spring we're having. First, the ducks migrate back north a month ahead of schedule. That, I thought was an oddity. Then, the geese started building nests three or four weeks ahead of schedule. I was thinking something's wrong here. Spring's got to be farther off than this. We haven't had any winter yet. Then I saw my first robin. That's a sure sign. And then came the final blow no spring blizzard during the girls' state basketball tournament, and no deep snow during the boys' state tournament. And just when I was thinking Mother Nature didn't have all of her ducks lined up in a row, she dropped the other shoe I saw my first bluebird Sunday.
Monday, I saw farmers out in the field and some folks are already looking for mushrooms. I'm kind of thinking there maybe something to this global warming thing after all. Actually, his whole outdoor situation is moving pretty fast. We've had nothing but high winds for two weeks now, and that's whipping the lake and pond surface waters and bringing waters up rapidly.
I spent most of the day Tuesday on the phone and the general consensus is that we've got early fish bite. Things are looking up.
Little Wall Lake (Jewell): The best fishing is on the jetty at the north end of the lake. As I write this, both yellow bass and crappie fishing are good. Crappie jigs tipped with wax worms are the ticket here.
Lake Cornelia (Clarion): One of my favorite lakes. One dock is already in at the north end. Six-inch bluegills and eight-inch crappies are hitting on tiny baits.
Lower Pine Lake (Eldora): Besides being a great place to camp and picnic, the fishing is always pretty good. To everyone's surprise, northern pike are being hooked on slow-moving spinner baits, especially Colorado-style blades.
Clear Lake: Water is still and ice expected to go completely out by this weekend. Fishing, especially pan fishing is just starting to pick up. The docks won't be out for a while. Surveys indicate a high fish population.
Storm Lake: Ice is out and lake is open. Lots of catfish are being caught. Special walleye regulations allow three walleye per day and all fish between 17 and 22 inches must be released. Only one walleye over 22 inches can be kept. Southwest corner of the lake is the best. Try using a Mister Twister and a minnow with a bobber.
Spirit Lake: Walleye season closed and ice is rapidly melting. Lots of yellow perch being caught off Big Stony Point.
West Lake Okoboji: Right now, the name of the game is pan fishing. Bluegills being caught in Emerson and Millers bays, and up at the north end of the lake. Is light line and small jigs. Not all of the ice is out up there. Use caution.
East Okoboji Lake: Most of the action here involves catching channel catfish using cut bait. Night time fishing is the best.
Lost Island: This is everybody's favorite place to go. I'm told the lake is about 90 percent open and should be fully ice-free by this weekend. With warming water temperatures, the walleye action is expected to improve.
Briggs Woods: I don't know. I just don't know. There have been a lot of anglers out there. Pan fishing is slow. No reports of bass, walleye or perch. The north end is shallow and the fish should start hitting soon.
Brushy Creek (Webster County): I'm not going to hold my breath on this one. I keep hearing stories about bass being caught over there, but when I start pinning people down for facts, I seem to draw a blank. When you start working this thing backwards nobody is able to back up any of those wild stories. I think the water needs to warm up a bit over there and then folks will get serious about fishing.
Boone River (Hamilton County): It almost makes you cry when you think of all the old-time fishermen who used to haul lunkers out of the Boone, and of the tons of catfish and pike that were taken from this stream on moonlight nights. No more. The Boone is a mere shadow of itself, for the time being, anyway. I think the Boone is down for the count. The water level has been too low for too long and it's going to take several years to recover. On the other hand, I'm seeing people fishing down by the old dam near White Fox Road. Except for lots of shed, the Boone is nearly fishless.
And now, have a good weekend.