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This week's Feature Blog

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Seasons Come & Seasons Go

At Fishing 411, spring is my favorite season. In a typical year there are so many places to fish and so many species to target, we as a TV production crew can’t even scratch the surface.

Case in point, to date this spring I’ve fished the Detroit River, Lake Erie, Milwaukee Harbor, Lake Ontario, Green Bay, the Niagara River, Benton Harbor and Grand Traverse Bay. For every place our TV crew has visited, there are two or three others we want to visit and just can’t find the time.

In short, spring is a productive time of year for fishing because almost everything with fins is biting in April and May. The down side to Spring fishing is the unstable weather that often spoils the fun. The spring of 2019 will go down as one of the worst when it comes to bad weather and bad fishing conditions.

Usually in April the Striker Ice Suit gets put away for the year, but this year exceptionally cold, windy and often wet conditions have led the author to keep his insulated parka and bibs handy.

While all of the destinations outlined above produced fish for our crew, none of them lived up to expectations. In the game of fishing weather is the great equalizer and lately it has seemed almost like Mother Nature is determined to keep us from catching any of her children.


Back in my tournament fishing days I actually hoped the weather would turn ugly prior to and during an event. I discovered pretty quickly that most guys are not mentally prepared to fish in rough water, wind, rain or snow.

By doing nothing more than coming prepared to fish in lousy weather, I made myself more comfortable and better able to keep a positive attitude. Having clothing that keeps you warm and dry is as important in fishing as owning a good assortment of rods, reels and lures in my opinion.

Spring is Mark’s favorite time of year to fish because of all the variety available, but spring can also be one of the most challenging times of year to fish. Weather is the great equalizer and lately it seems like Mother Nature has come out on top more often than not.

The adage that suggests “layering” is the best way to stay warm is true, so long as those layers make sense. I recommend using a polyester or wool base layer next to your skin, followed by a fleece pull over or wool sweater, topped with a fiberfill vest. The outside layer I wear depends on the temperature. If it’s down right cold I’ll be wearing my ice fishing parka and bibs. If the weather is mild, I’ll finish out my clothing layers with a breathable rain parka and bibs.

A warm and waterproof hat, waterproof and warm boots and several pairs of gloves complete my foul weather set up.

The beauty of layers is you can always take one off or put one on to regulate your body temperature and comfort level. Carrying a waterproof stuff sac in the boat is a great way to keep your layers handy and dry when you need them.

I’m a firm believer in that you get what you pay for in this world. When it comes to foul weather clothing I insist on quality gear that isn’t going to let me down when I need it most.

Considering the cost these days of boat, motors, electronics and such, spending a few hundred dollars to properly outfit your body isn’t a bad investment. In fact, quality foul weather gear is ultimately the equipment that will determine if you fish hard enough and long enough to be successful when facing weather like the spring of 2019.

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