Early Spring Fishing Lures
March weather is always fickle, but even so,
it’s time to start fishing. Water temperatures above 50 degrees put fish on the move, and
early season angling is a great way to shake off the winter blues. Last year, about 285,000
anglers fished in Kansas, and it’s a good bet most of them are itching to start fishing
this spring. If you’re new to fishing or just want to
restock you tackle box, shopping for lures can be overwhelming. Thousands of products
line aisles and fill catalog pages. Many of these are best suited to summer fishing. If
you want an early start, here are some reliable artificial baits to have on hand. Remember, fish are sluggish in cool waters,
and they’re not quick to chase a meal. Slow is the word. For crappies, jigs suspended
from a bobber and fished over structure help hold the lure in place as wave action provides
tantalizing motion. When the cork bounces or goes under, set the hook. Many anglers hit March lakes and ponds in
search of lunker black bass. In-line spinners, such as a Mepps, provide flash and often trigger
strikes. A slow and steady retrieve works best. These lures are deadly and easy to use. Another favorite is the jig-and-pig or similar
lure, fished in a slow, bouncing motion along bottom structure. These lures mimic a crawdad.
Hook a pork trailer on a quarter- to half-ounce bass jig. Use a heavier jig in deep water
or thick vegetation. Most strikes occur as the jig is falling, so set the hook when you
feel a twitch. Crankbaits are especially good early in the
year. Suspending stickbaits like a Rogue catch a variety of gamefish from bass and stripers
to walleyes. Twitched underwater, these baits mimic an injured minnow. Strikes usually come
when the lure is paused. Vary the speed of retrieve as well as the length of the pause
until the fish tell you what they want. Anglers often fish at dusk along Kansas dams
where spawning walleye congregate. Here, a favorite lure is the floating, minnow-type
crankbait like a Rapala or Rebel. Other shallow-running crankbaits like Hot-n-Tots are also productive.
Reel steadily to keep the lure just underwater. Curly-tailed twister grubs are also good for
this type of fishing. Don’t miss Kansas’ early spring fishing.
Buy a fishing license and check department website fishing reports for the best places.
Gear up with these early season lures, and you’re on your way to Kansas outdoors adventure. I’m Mike Blair for Kansas Wildlife and Parks.