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Thinking of open water fishing

Fishing the Midwest

— Submitted photo Mike Frisch with an open water smallmouth bass. Prepare for the open water season now.

Although there’s still a lot of ice-fishing to do in the next several weeks, and some of the best ice-fishing action of the year will occur during those several weeks, March is when many of us start thinking about open water fishing. There are several reasons why that is. One of the reasons many of us start thinking of open water fishing is because March is when many sport shows and boat shows are happening, and March is also when many independent fishing tackle retailers hold in-store events. These activities are sure to get an angler excited about open water fishing. Following are ways that you can take advantage of these events.

Most sport shows and dealer events feature seminars by fishing experts. These seminars are a great opportunity to learn about fishing techniques, fishing equipment, and fishing hot-spots. They’re also a very good way to ask specific questions of the seminar presenters.

Sport shows usually have lots of resorts and outfitters booths. If you’re looking for a new place to go on a fishing trip, speaking in person with the outfitter or resort owner can provide good information.

Perhaps the Number 1 reason a lot of outdoors-people attend events of this type is to see new equipment, or to see options for equipment that you already have but need to replace or upgrade. Dealer events and sport shows are probably the best place to do this. You can touch and feel and try on the products that you’re in need/want of. For example: Sunglasses. Sunglasses are one of the most important pieces of equipment that an angler owns. They prevent headaches and eye-strain, but they also provide eye protection. Sometimes when you’re fishing and you set the hook, you miss the fish and your bait goes flying. Sunglasses protect your precious eyes from that flying bait.

Good sunglasses also enable an angler to see better into the water. They allow us to see a stump that might damage the boat or that might have a bass next to it. I’ve worn a lot of sunglasses in the past forty years, and in recent years, I’ve developed a need for “reader” sunglasses. Flying Fisherman makes a pair that I really like. They have magnification in the bottom of the lens, the upper lens provide good water penetration, and their price is modest. Compare the various types of sunglasses and see which you prefer.

Rain gear is another important piece of equipment. Ineffective rain clothing will ruin a day on the water faster than fish that aren’t biting. There is so much truly good rain gear available to us today that it can be confusing trying to determine what will work best for you. What’s good for one person isn’t necessarily what’s good for the next person. Feeling and trying on different options is a real benefit. I’ve been very happy with the Guidewear that I’ve worn for the past twenty years. It suits me perfectly, but still, the opportunity to try it on before you buy is a big deal.

Last thing: Most sport shows in March will have hundreds, maybe thousands of fishing rods on display. You can read about rods on-line or in the catalog, but there’s nothing like holding and shaking a fishing rod before you buy it. Shake’em at a sport show or dealer Open House in March.

Don’t give up on the ice-fishing yet, but if there’s a sport show or fishing tackle dealer in-store event nearby, or even kind-of-nearby, I’m guessing it will be in helpful if you attend.

To see current and older episodes of Fishing the Midwest television, fishing videos and fishing articles, and to register to win a Vexilar sonar in celebration of Vexilar’s 60th birthday, go to fishingthemidwest.com

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