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Where Have the Fish Gone?


By Richard Zieger, Iowa

It has been a slow spring for fishing. The crappie never did really spawn at the lake I fish over my lunch hour. Joe Hyde can tell you they usually stack in along the shore, where you can see them. He wrote about this last year when he came up and caught a hundred fish along the riprap.

I would catch a few, but it was by moving along the shoreline and casting. It was not the thing of standing in one place and catching a lot of fish. The fish were really scattered. I was told by one person in a boat that he saw large schools of fish, suspending about 15 feet deep out over the middle of the channels. He assumed they were crappie, but he did not fish for them.

There were several others who fished the area and were not catching many fish. They used a variety of lures and baits to try to catch the crappie and it did not happen.

As I go to the ponds I am not catching the number of fish that I had before. Part of it may be that the ponds are dirty from all the rain that we have had. But I have caught fish in dirty water before. Maybe the water is just not warming up very fast. But I thought that dirty water would warm faster than clear water would. Maybe the dirty water is keeping the sunlight from getting deep enough to stimulate weed growth. Maybe the sunlight is not getting deep enough to get the nymphs to working in the ponds.

The things that I have done before are not working the same now. It is time to change, adapt and find out what the fish are looking for. Time to get back to the drawing board and start trying other things.

I have a bigger brain the fish do and thus I should be able to outsmart them. I have been told that there is a fallacy in every theory. But I will work on it. There has to be something that will work. Hope always springs eternal that the next fly will work better.

Usually by this time of year I have had a few hundred fish days. I have not approached anywhere near that. That just stimulates me more to see what I can do to change that.

This does not mean that I have enjoyed the fishing any less. A good day is when I can get out fishing, and a great day is when I catch a fish.

I have talked to some other fisherman in the area and the fishing has been slow for everyone. It has not mattered what style of fishing is done, they just have not been many fish.

This is a stimulus to figure of what if going on. I will prevail and find the fish. I do not know what changes need to be made, but they are going to be made.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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