Crappies, bullheads will soon start biting

By Bill Bartusek

Believe it or not, I was actually tired of ice fishing.

I wasn't sure when things would change until the rains came. The hard rains quickly melted the snow and now have really done a job on lake ice. So there we are, not far from ice out conditions. For me, I'm ready for open water. It's time to put the Auger away and start thinking about bringing the boat out of storage.

Before we do there are a couple of options to explore.

One is the yearly Crappie bite. Soon after the ice starts to go and fresh water starts to flow into the lakes, the crappies move in. Places to look for them are ditches and streams that flow into the lake. The fresh warm water will bring them there.

It's too early to think about spawning so only one thing brings them there — that is to eat. Because of this, they are very catchable. Before the water really warms up the bite may be better during the daytime hours. Later, as the water warms the evenings will be better.

Another option to consider is somewhat traditional, especially for me. It's the early spring Bullhead bite.

Many of us got our start fishing chasing these feisty characters. As soon as the snow leaves and nightcrawlers appear it's bullhead time. All you need is a can full of worms and a rod and reel. Head for your favorite lake and a shallow dark bottomed bay. As the nights get warmer the bite really heats up. All you need is a sinker and a good sized hook, about a 2/0 size. Thread a nightcrawler on and cast it out. Springtime bullheads are delicious in the frying pan, especially while the lake water is still cold. Some of our best fish fries occur right on the lakes shore. We'd catch, clean and cook the fish on a grill minutes after they were caught. They were great!

I'm sure both of the above options will be occurring in the next couple of weeks. Don't miss the action!

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