Spring fishing, turkey hunting - sure signs of warmer times

By Bill Bartusek

Spring fishing began in earnest last week after some warm days. Anglers got out on creeks and channels on many lakes and found panfish ready to bite. Along with my sons, I visited one of the many channels on Lake Tetonka in Waterville. Fishing with light equipment, we were able to catch quite a few panfish in the shallow water as it warmed up. We were fishing from shore as there was no need to use a boat. However, as the week progressed and colder weather arrived, fishing slowed down. The fishing there and on lakes will improve as soon as the weather warms again.

The turkey season continues, and early reports indicate the harvest is progressing well too. In many areas, harvest numbers are well above last year's record harvest. Again, I'm not sure how the cold weather this past weekend affected the hunt. I'm sure it made things a bit more difficult. It was extremely windy; turkeys don't like that, and they also don't gobble in the wind.

Spring thaw is quickly progressing north. Lakes are opening up farther north each day. Lake Mille Lacs has quite a bit of open water now. In fact, a friend drove by Monday morning, and the spring netting is already in progress. They are getting some nice walleyes. Farther north the smaller lakes are quickly losing their ice. The lake at the cabin is almost completely open, and the ice should be gone by Tuesday. I'm sure we will be putting in the docks this weekend so they are in for the opener.

Everyone is quickly getting boats ready for the opener, which is only two weeks away. I worked on my boat this past weekend. The bearings on the wheels were checked as well as the air in the tires. I also cleaned and waxed the boat and reloaded the gear I took out last fall. I haven't run the motor yet but hope to before the boat heads for the cabin. The batteries are charged, and so am I. I'm looking forward to open water fishing and wonder how the high fuel prices will affect the opener.

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