Open for business March 1

Open for business March 1

Since mid-January I’ve been fishing my way across the deep south in alabama, Louisiana. and Arkansas. Finally got back on the River yesterday–1st open water adventure since 1/7.

Averaged about 9 walleye, sauger & perch per hour, pitching B-Fish-N tackle B-3 blade exclusively. About 35% “keeper” size. Many shorts, one fat girl 25+”…and enjoyed a 15 minute dance with a big sturgeon.

This caused a great degree of introspection. Other than sugar sand beaches, gators & armadillos and fishin’ in a tee shirt why travel south?

This will be my final year of guiding on the Miss. My primary motivation in guiding is to teach others about the River and try to put them in touch with many of the 130 species of fish which swim here. Nothing is sweeter than putting a veteran hook on their PB of a target species or seein’ a young’un experience serious rod bendage from an angry pig-beast of a fish.

Sadly, after 51 years of guiding government bureaucracy a steady parade of self-entitled weekend warrior “bassholes” have goaded me to pull the pin. Technology exists to release fish on site. But coliseum tourneys persist with my home River pool, pool 9, the epicenter of basshole invasion. Tourney guys come in here, take quality fish out of the pool and give absoutely NOTHING to the resource. It’s all about money. Greedy communities and young turks seeking glory.

Meanwhile, the FWS charges me $3 for every client who shares my boat and ends the trip a better angler than when they came aboard. Enough!

My final guide season kicks off 3/1–2 wks. earlier than usual. My dance card is wide open thru mid-March but i’m only gonna work 5 days max.

Friday night I’m doing a FREE walleye seminar at the Community Center in New Albin. Show starts at 6 p.m.

Between now and then I expect 100 walleyes/saugers will come across the gunnel of my boat, Lord willin’, if the catch rate is even close to yesterday. The very best time to catch numbers of quality fish is between ice out and sharp River rise due to snowmelt.

This may be a non-issue in 2024 cuz there isn’t much snow up North to melt. Also, River levels are low from Minnesota almost to the Gulf. Last year we experienced low levels not seen for over 30 years.

Will this be a year of extreme low level or perpetual flood like we experienced three years ago? I don’t know. Will this season be a scorcher like 1988? Will early Spring turn into unseasonably cold weather in April & May? Don’t know that, either.

Either way I hope to be out on the Immortal River 4-5 days a week til winter comes again and try to blog more frequently. tigh lines.

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