If you haven’t noticed yet…spring fishing is here or will be very shortly. You might want to check your licenses as most will expire soon; probably like mine on March 31st and the last thing you want is a silly ticket due a license expiring.
You might also want to consider trying your luck at some trout fishing and there are some waters in our area in Indiana that offer decent trout fishing. I like going to Minnehaha and fishing Island Lake which is just north of Hwy. 54 and east of Sullivan, Indiana. Island is a larger lake and allows only electric motors which makes for a nice quiet fishing experience. The season there starts April 1st and as a side note Island is closed for fishing from March 15th until April 1st as they are preparing the lake and releasing the 2200 trout. If you are going to trout fish you will need the $11 dollar trout stamp in addition to a resident fishing license which will sale for $17 dollars this year…or you can buy a combo hunting/fishing for $25 dollars. A youth permit for both hunting and fishing can be purchased for $7 dollars and is a real bargain for all it allows a young Hoosier to do…it will be the best 7 dollars you spend this year. Another possible site for catching a trout is Airline Pit in Greene-Sullivan State Forests. If you have never fished on Airline you are in for a treat as this is one of the most clear lakes anywhere around. You can clearly see down 30 or more feet and the lake also has access points for boats on both ends. If you are not familiar and need information and or a map of Greene-Sullivan…go to the DNR forestry web site.
For those of you who boat, canoe or kayak it is also time once again to purchase your launch permits for lakes controlled by the state of Indiana. A non-motorized permit will cost you $5 dollars and you will need one for any craft that will not be powered by an electric or outboard motor. A motorized permit is then obviously needed for any craft that will be powered by either electric or gas powered engine and those permits are $20 dollars. Permits can be purchased at state parks, reservoir and forest properties…when staffed. I always get mine at McCormick’s Creek State Park. You might also try going online at the DNR’s store, Mother Nature’s Mercantile and try buying permits via this website; I haven’t gone this route but apparently it is a possibility.
It is going to be an earlier spring this year from the sense that we really didn’t have any ice on the lakes and our bodies of water should warm up quickly; that being the case you will want to keep an eye on temperatures of the lakes and watch for that magical temperature of around 57 degrees as most fish will start their pre-spawn activities from the mid 50’s to and up and through the lower 60’s. Without question some of the best fishing of the year happens when these temps crawl up out of the current 40’s and into the upper 50’s. It is my favorite time of the year, as a streamer fisherman I love getting fish into a chase mode and the warmer temps will certainly do that.
If you have never tried fly fishing then the spring is an awesome time to give it a try. There are numerous sales going on and you can pick up a cheap fly outfit for somewhere in the under $100 dollar mark. A great place to start is Cabela’s…try clicking on their bargain section and then select fly fishing. If you are a little patient you can pick up a combo with line, rod and reel for a price that will not bust your budget and will allow you to give my great sport a try. One more tip…in our world of video you can find most anything you want to learn; try searching for Lefty Kreh and fly casting because if you need a lesson and are going to learn…you might as well learn from the very best.
Through the years now of writing this column I have had a lot of folks say that they read the article each week but really don’t fish…there is no better time to start than right now. With gas soaring and the price supposedly heading towards 5 bucks…there are lots of small Indiana waters just waiting for you to wet a line; hope to see you there as we all Enjoy the Great Outdoors.