I love early ice out. I love seeing the water in motion after watching it stand idol for 4 months. Also, seeing lakes in their pre busy-summer state is very peaceful. There’s no noise or commotion and the shoreline is in pure form–it’s not dotted docks and lifts and pontoons and jet skies and gadgets. Also, I think shorter winters are good for me now (I must be getting old). My ice fishing service is cool and good and I’m good at it and my guests have a nice time, but it’s not open water guiding. Open water guiding is who I am. After 22 years of it, it’s what I am. I’m not really sure who else to be on the water? The 2017 will be my 22nd season–already. It seems like I was just starting, and just learning how to guide. Now I have folks calling me and telling me they can’t make it anymore; that we’ve been fishing together for 20 years and they have finally gotten to old to get here–or are dying or are dead. Those are sad phone conversations, and it’s been happening often the past couple of years. They are usually older guys and they cry when they tell me they can’t make it anymore–they love it here. These are ends to eras–mine and theirs. Time flies.
Any way, I’m looking forward to getting the 2017 year rolling. I ordered my new Lund Boat and Mercury Motor, and am looking forward to being sponsored by Berkley this season. My favorite fishing rod as a kid was a Berkley Lighting Rod. I still have it–in my fishing archives. Skip forward to present. . . . and my favorite fishing rod is the Berkley Heritage series. I love those rods. The Heritage is priced right and have a great feel and are strong and sensitive. The 6′ Med Light spinning is super versatile. I use them for walleye, small mouth bass, crappie and sunfish. They are great rods. Anyway, I’ve loved Berkley gear and line and lures and rods forever, and now I get to be a part of it–it’s awesome and I’m grateful.
For fishing this spring, it’ll be an extended panfishing season. Sunfish and crappie will be entering the shallows soon and good fishing will soon follow. Get your boats ready. Make sure your batteries are good (make sure they hold a charge), and get your rods and reels ready with some new Trilene line—it’s fishing time. Fish Good, By Ross Hagemeister, Meister Guide Service.