JUNE 2, 2020
A MESSAGE FROM THE DEPARTMENT:
As COVID-19 continues to force all of us to make changes to our daily schedule, the Department would like to remind you that together we can make a difference. To help minimize the spread of the virus:
- Practice social distancing
- Wash your hands regularly
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Wear a face covering
- Avoiding interacting with large groups
Click the flyer to the right. Please share it with your friends and family.
Stay healthy and safe.
In this time of change, the Department would like to encourage anglers to continue COVID safe practices; it is a great time to mend equipment, stock tackle boxes and prepare for upcoming fishing trips. In the weekly fishing report, provided by Dustin Berg of Go Unlimited (supporting disabled anglers) and the Department of Game and Fish, we will continue to share tips and tricks to help you be ready and to safely go on your next adventure.
With state parks reopening, many people are preparing to go fishing. It is important that respect and being informed are a part of those preparations. Let’s keep this forward momentum positive.
Be prepared and respect each other
When going to a lake or river, respect social distancing. Stay as far away from other people as possible. The fishing is usually better away from the crowd anyway. In the angling community, there is an unwritten rule that you give your neighboring anglers space. How much space? At a minimum, far enough a
part that your fishing lines cannot reach each other, at least 30-feet, but hopefully more. If two or more fishing lines are close enough to reach each other, they can become entangled. That could cause a terribly frustrating situation and unnecessary conflict.
Aside from the potential for creating a combative fishing environment, fishing too close together defeats the purpose of many angler’s journey into the great outdoors. Anglers often seek solitude with nature and respite from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Let’s not bring that hustle and bustle into the great outdoors by parking ourselves too close to each other.
The further away from the crowds you get, the more natural your surroundings become. This can be great for fishing. The fish are usually more at ease and likely to be fooled by an angler. Fish can travel long distances, and they will if they feel over pressured. Disperse into the lower pressured areas and be rewarded for your efforts.
Tips from the wildlife and rewarded efforts
A nice quiet spot on the bank of a river or lake is a great piece of temporary realty. If there are not a bunch of people around, you might be pleasantly surprised by an impromptu wildlife viewing to parlay with your fishing adventure. If you watch closely, wildlife behavior can give you telling hints as to where fish are congregating. For example, diving ducks and fishing birds feeding on minnows tells you that there is a congregation of prey fish species in the area. These are the same prey fish species that larger predatory fish are feeding on.
By watching the birds, you can visualize what might be happening underwater. In this example situation, both the birds and predatory fish are feeding on the same minnows – and that would probably be a good spot to try your lure.
From home, it is good to research areas for future angling expeditions. You can locate access points, and, by viewing satellite images, identify nice spots to fish from. In today’s era of technology, satellite images can be very helpful in identifying structures that could potentially hold fish, such as rocky ledges, coves, points that protrude into the lake, slack water in a river bend, etc. Google Earth is an awesome tool to explore for satellite images and more.
Take time to go over your gear and make sure it is in good operating condition. One common mistake anglers make is using old fishing line that has expired past the point of being able to wrangle in a fish. It is an easy mistake to make. Father time and exposure to sunlight will eventually cause a fishing line to lose its integrity. Once fishing line is well past its prime, it can break easily at knot points or even just anywhere along the line. Before heading out (and with time to go purchase new fishing line if need be), pull a few feet of line out from your reel and give it a hard tug to see if it is strong enough for your angling intentions. You should also try tying a hook or lure on and giving that a good tug to test the line strength at a knot point.
Bonus no brainer – remember, hand sanitizer and soap are good for getting that fishy smell off your hands and keeping the coronavirus off, too. Please use both if you have them.