Fishing season arrives



Finally, the weather has begun to align with peoples’ expectations of Spring.


And, as luck would have it, the fish also have begun to bite in the lakes and farm ponds that decorate southeast Iowa.


Such welcome news should bring broad smiles to fisherman of all ages. Aside from those hardy souls that combat the creeping claustrophobia of cabin fever by braving the elements and taking up ice fishing, other fishermen have had to rely solely on memories and patience to get them through the tyranny of a slow winter.


Personally, I’ve found fishing books to be a good antidote to the yearning that seizes fisherman during the middle of winter. Because, hey, the second best thing to fishing is reading about it. Anyway, here’s what area bait shop owners and employees reported about fishing last week.


Robert Wisneski, owner of Lines & Tines Hunting-Fishing in Drakesville, reports crappie and catfish being caught in farm ponds. The fish have mostly been biting on the north banks, which is exposed most to the sun during the day, he said. The crappies have been caught on pre-rigged worms and the catfish are have been landed on nightcrawlers.


Meanwhile, Tammy Norris, a sales clerk for Treasure Chest in Albia, said people have been reeling in walleye, catfish and crappie in the spillway at Rathbun Lake. While there are flathead and blue catfish in the lake, most of the catfish being caught are channel cats, she said. Norris said the walleyes and crappie are hitting minnows and the catfish are being caught on nightcrawlers.


Mike Mitchell of Troublesome Creek Outfitters in Keosauqua said crappie and walleye are being caught in 20 feet of water in Lake Sugema. He said the fish are suspended about 12 feet down in tree structure and are hitting minnows.


Over on Tug Fork West Lake and Tug Fork East Lake, Mitchell said fisherman have caught bluegill and largemouth bass. The bluegills are being caught on nightcrawlers mostly out of Tug Fork West, while bass are being landed in both lakes on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and nightcrawlers.


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