Spring is a much anticipated time for outdoor enthusiasts.
Many of us suffer through the difficult months of February and March with little to do outdoors. Some brave the cold weather hanging onto those last few hunting seasons that linger around, but I have discovered that I am a little more passive about them now.
However, I am anxious about what lies ahead.
Like many of you, I was glued to outdoor television shows about fishing, aggravating the couch sores on my rear end that remained irritated from basketball's "March Madness."
I completely missed out on one of my favorite activities that used to keep me active in February and March -- shed antler hunting. However, I vow not to let that happen again.
Spring is flush with outdoor opportunities that have helped to get me off the couch.
With the weather beginning to warm the waters of my favorite reservoirs, I followed a tip from respected anglers and took part in some of the most fantastic walleye fishing I have ever had.
Webster Reservoir was my playground for this outstanding adventure. But first, I had to check some of my spots for early morels. Vegetation on the woodland floor was beginning to reveal green sprouts, but my Spring foray was still hiding beneath the surface. After a good hour of searching and listening to the turkeys gobble in the woods nearby, I headed for the dam. I grabbed my dust-covered fishing rod from my trunk and walked out onto the rocks toward a group of anglers already casting into the churning waters.
My journey along the dam was like mountain climbing -- every step was challenging. I have never been very comfortable trekking on those boulders, but after working my way along the dam for a few hundred yards, I found my land legs and began skipping from rock to rock like I did in my youth.
It wasn't pretty, but I managed to navigate the challenging shoreline more swiftly and without incident.
Casting an eighth-ounce jig with a 4-inch silver and chartreuse Walleye Assassin, I found a honey hole filled with white bass. After catching a few of them, I ventured a bit further down the dam where the walleye were stacked like sardines in a can of mustard sauce.
It was awesome!
The walleye were smokin' my swim-bait on nearly every other cast that evening. After landing a 22-inch male, a string of mishaps reduced my pocket full of prepared jigs from six down to two.
I had to be more careful.
I lost two baits to snags, and two in the mouths of walleye as I determined that their razor-sharp teeth must have cut into my 8-pound test line like a knife through butter.
The fish were engulfing my jig.
I struggled to keep my presentation in the water in front of the fish and tried to react quicker on hook set as the chilly wind whipped the waves up from the northwest. The cold breeze and adrenalin helped me react faster to each strike, which seemed to solve the problem of the hungry walleye completely swallowing my jig head. I landed four more nice ones before I lost my final two jigs.
As I headed back to my vehicle in the dwindling light I had a spring in my step as I realized the flush of outdoor opportunities that were just around the corner.
It was an incredible outing, soon to be followed by many more.