A Dream Of Spring

               A dream of spring is not just the name of the final book in the Game of Thrones Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. For most winter-weary people across the ice belt, it is finally a reality. After a particularly brutal second half; the winter of 2018-2019 is finally dead. This past weekend we saw ice-out declarations across the Twin Cities, including White Bear Lake and Lake Minnetonka.

Many lakes are seeing the first boaters and shore fishermen of the season.  This weekend, I was able to be one of them. I spent Saturday on a small Wright County lake, checking the boat and getting set up for the summer season. But I couldn’t let the chance to do a little fishing pass me by. Traveling around the small 300-acre lake, I found surface temperatures from 46 degrees on the south side to 48 on the north. This is typical as the sun angle shines more light on the north sides of the lakes and allows them to warm faster in the early spring, just after ice out.

Tucked in a small, shallow, dark-bottomed bay on the north side of the lake was all the fishing activity for the whole lake. These are the perfect conditions to start your search at the beginning of the spring. Several shore fishermen and a few boats patrolled the common shoreline, many finding willing crappies in 5-8 feet of water. This area is a common community hole and produces every year. And there is an unspoken set of rules that all the fishermen follow. The boats stay far enough off to not interfere with the shore fishermen, and everyone casts to the same general seam of water. Most fish were being caught with small jigs and plastics, a couple of feet under a slip float. Look for this pattern to be similar anywhere you can find a shallow north sided bay this time of year.

As the water temps continue to warm, look for the same pattern to become available in other locations around the lake. Once temps hit the low to mid 50’s the bite will really pick up. At this point casting and winding small paddle tail plastics or beetle spinners can be deadly.

My rig of choice was a 7’2” Medium-Light, Fast APEX Elite combined with a 30-size spinning reel and Northern Lights Plastics. The light, reactive tip of this rod allowed me to launch the bait and bobber to wherever I wanted. Though designed for walleye and bass, the 7’2” ML APEX Elite has all the versatility needed to be perfect in this situation.

Now is the time to be ordering for open water to be ahead of the game. As the countdown timer on www.tunedupcustomrods.com says, we’re only 18 days from the opener. Current lead times for builds are low and in stock rods are becoming available on our new storefront at https://tunedupcustomrods.ecwid.com/. Or stop by our shop in Coon Rapids, MN for a hands-on demo.

Tight Lines,

Dan Baker

Tuned Up Custom Rods