Catch More Fish In 2011

By Bob Jensen - May 1, 2011

Although the lakes across the northern section of the Midwest are still covered with ice, anglers are fishing almost everywhere else. There's a feeling in the air that anglers are anxious to get fishing. They want to be on the water chasing whatever it is that they like to chase, and nothing is going to keep them from doing so. They might be fishing closer to home this year, but they're going to go fishing. That's an outstanding attitude. Following are some ways you can enjoy your fishing even more this year.

Go fishing whenever you get the chance. Wherever you live, there's probably a body of water that holds fish nearby. It could be a large lake or a small pond, a major river or just a little tributary. It doesn't matter: If you've got a couple of free hours, grab a rod and put it to use. You might catch just a couple small ones, or you might hook into a big guy. It doesn't matter, you're fishing. Catching a few fish is still way better than mowing the lawn. Lots of memories can be made on those short, impromptu fishing adventures.

Fish for whatever wants to get caught. Lots of anglers consider themselves to be a "walleye guy" or a "bassin' gal". This year, be a "whatever's biting" guy or gal. Angler's have lots of fishing options wherever they live. They can be after panfish or bigger predator fish. It's important to have a plan when you go on the water, but we need to be flexible in that plan. If the walleyes aren't interested in getting caught, try to catch a northern pike or a bass. Something is usually willing to get caught, and it's a whole lot more fun to catch a bunch of bass than not catch any walleyes.

Just as some anglers consider themselves to be a "walleye guy", there are some anglers who describe themselves as a "jig fisherman". "If they won't eat a jig, I don't want to catch'em", I've heard these anglers say. And, if that's how they want to fish, that's fine. But if they would expand their arsenal of fishing techniques, they would catch more fish and probably enjoy their fishing a lot more. Make this the year you expand your knowledge of fishing techniques. If you're on a hot jig bite for walleyes, try using a live-bait rig. You'll find that by trying different things when the fish are biting, you'll get confidence in that technique and you'll be a more well-versed angler. Well-versed anglers usually catch more fish.

Sometimes when I go fishing, I just want to get something to pull back; I don't care what it is: It doesn't matter. This is when I tie on my go-to bait, a three inch Power Grub on an eighth or quarter ounce Slurp! Jig. Everything eats this set-up. You can effectively fish it over and along a weedbed, a rip-rap bank, or along a shoreline that has a lot of boat docks. Pretty much any gamefish will eat this rig. Go to a smaller Power Grub if panfish are in the area; try the four inch size if there are a lot of bass. The three incher will be best day in and day out if you're just looking for action.

2011 can be your best fishing year ever if you make time to go fishing, if you fish for whatever's biting, and if you try new tactics. If you do these things, I'll be able to say "I told you so".

Author Bob Jensen
Bob Jensen
Bob Jensen is the host of the Fishing the Midwest television series, a series of television fishing shows that highlight fishing locations and techniques throughout the Midwest. He also writes a syndicated fishing column and does fishing seminars throughout the Midwest. He is a former fishing guide and tournament angler. Visit Bob's web site at www.fishingthemidwest.com.