Hey folks, Old Man Winter has finally turned loose and it’s time to get the kids out and hit the water. This month will have multiple possibilities .The hatchery supported trout streams will be opening. This is a great time to get a kid hooked on fishing as most hatchery supported waters will be teaming with Rainbow, Brown and Brooke Trout. Stock trucks usually focus on any bridge passing over the creek or any pull off close enough to the water to make it a simple transition from stock truck to stream.
The lake fishing will also be wide open, with the crappie spawn and white bass spawn being at a frenzy, at times. Bass anglers should be willing to be versatile as some days fish will be right up on the banks and some days, out in the middle portions of the lake chasing bait. Walleye should be pretty much done with their spawn and be looking for good clay banks where they will ambush bait fish and nightcrawlers. This has always been a great time to night fish for walleye. I always like to pull a live nightcrawler on a painted lead head. Placing one about a foot off the bottom right under the boat and casting one right up on the waters edge and slowly fishing it back to the boat. Hits will be subtle and very hard to detect.
My buddy Marvin Oliver always likes fishing with a Rapala ice jig right under the lights and is one of the best at this tactic.The fish usually start taking the ice jig better as the minnows start coming around the lights and circling the boat. When you hook one on an ice jig, you better have the net ready when it surfaces or it will get off. Otherwise, your better to just highpole it in the boat and really watch the trebles on the ice jig, as when it comes out of the fish’s mouth, it’s easy to get hooked and it sure doesn’t come out of a hand as easy as the fish’s mouth. Perch seam to really like the springtime water temps and a live crappie minnow or small jig should get you a great mess of these tasty fish.
Warmer temps mean more comfort for you and your young fishing partners, so don’t miss a chance to get the family on the water. Give me a call if you would like to book a trip or just need a good spot to take the family out and need a few pointers. I’d love to help in any way. Stay safe and, as always, take a kid fishing.
Ronnie Parris is owner and head guide of Smoky Mountain Outdoors Unlimited-Fontana Lake Fishing Guides, headquartered in Bryson City, N.C., heart of the Great Smoky Mountains (www.smounlimited.com; (828) 488-9711).