Michigan’s Opening Day

Lakes starting to thaw.

Lakes starting to thaw.

For us Michiganders, the last Saturday in April is a day that rivals opening day of deer season or Tigers baseball opening day. The start of the Lower Peninsula’s bass catch and immediate release, musky, pike, walleye and trout on Type 1 and 2 streams draw fisherman to all bodies of water. This is the sign that summer is on it’s way.

Michigan residents are drawn to the water right from birth. We even flock to water during the winter and Michigan has some rough winters, especially this year with the most ice coverage on the Great Lakes since the 70’s and snowfall totals in many areas setting new records. So, when late March and early April come and the inland lakes become unsafe for travel and rivers swell past their banks, it’s time to start thinking about summer. There’s a short period in there when Steelhead flood the rivers to take our minds off summer, but for the many that don’t live near a Great Lakes tributary this isn’t an option.

At the beginning of April we start to get antsy. Every time you drive by a lake you’re checking the receding ice. Drive by a river and you’re observing the flow. As the ice melts along the shoreline and the rivers begin to withdraw back inside their banks we start to think about it while at work or just watching television at home. We think about summer time fishing constantly.

And so the preparation begins. You’ll start to see people hauling boats out of storage. We start going through, organizing our tackle boxes, buying new lures, tying every fly pattern that might work on our favorite stream. Planning where to go when that day finally comes. Do you go to your favorite bass spawning ground, trout stream, or walleye river? Is there a new spot that you’ve read about or seen recently just waiting to be fished? We start to think about that monster trout that followed a spinner out from behind that rock and if there is a chance that he’s still there. What about the numerous 30″+ pike you saw last year being caught on a fly rod while bluegill fishing? It’s all going to be available to you on that Saturday.

For the unprepared, there will be many line twists, snags, lost lures and boat problems. For the prepared maybe less frustration, but maybe more. You never can tell until you get out there. One thing is for sure, with all the thinking and waiting for this day to come, it will be the best day since the season closed. Now go get ’em and have fun.

For Michigan Fishing reports and tips check out www.FishMich.com