Just go fishing, anyway!

Predicting the weather in March and April is usually done one day at at time. Anything past tomorrow is just a 50-50 thing, no matter how many radars are tracking the next front coming through. Sure it may be 75 and calm today; but, tomorrow it could be 20 with the wind out of the north at 25 mph. For that matter, it could be 75 again with the wind out of the southwest at 40, just as easily. Picking the "best" time to get out there to fish in March and April is nothing more then a poker game, at best. So, it's always been my attitude to just go anyway. The worst day fishing beats the best day working every time. This time of year you can predict one thing with certainty, White Bass are either running or about to run. Regardless, if you can find them, 40 mph wind or not, they are likely to rip a rod out of your hand if you can get a lure in the water. That's the way it was last year and I expect nothing less this year. An SR5 Rapala Silver Shad Rap is my go-to bait every time. Sure you can catch White Bass on a lot of other lures and I could spend a dozen paragraphs talking about them; but, it's what I've got tied on my rod this time of year more times then not. An interesting little side note is that Walleye consider them delicious, as well. I spend a lot of time in March and April in my canoe on streams.Right at the point where a stream enters a lake is where I'll be. Doesn't matter which Lake, just pick one out, and look for the stream, creek, ditch, whatever that's feeding the lake. You may very well find me perched there in my canoe because THAT'S where the White Bass are and there is no since going somewhere else. Just shut up and fish! Right there with them, most often in the deepest water, are the Walleye. No telling how many White Bass I caught last year because I turned most of them loose; but, I can tell you EXACTLY how many Walleye I caught; and, where! The thing is, you've got to find that point where the stream becomes a part of the lake. Depending upon how much rain we've had and the level of the lake, that location can vary as much as four or five miles. Last year we had a lot of water. So much so, that the lakes could not keep up with the drainage. Some lakes reached all-time record highs. On one of my favorite streams to fish for Whites, I put my canoe in at a local access and within twenty minutes I was at the lake. And, that's where the White Bass were, along with the Walleye. Normally, I would have floated a half day to get to the lake. I prefer to use my canoe because it's quiet, easy to maneuver and to tie up once I find fish. On this particular stream last year you could tie up in the last shoal above the lake and catch fish until the world looked level. When I got tired of catching fish, I simply turned my canoe around and headed back up stream to the access where I had launched. I noticed that other fishermen had launched downstream in the lake and had motored up river to find the fish. The smaller the boat the better because there can be tight places on a stream and big boats simply can't go far enough upstream to find the fish. The best thing you can have for a small boat coming upstream is a "jet prop" on your outboard motor. Too often a normal propeller will shear a pin on rocks and logs in shallow water and is simply not practical for use. Jet propulsion allows an outboard motor to use water instead of a metal propeller and it's the only way to go if you want to go just a little further upstream then the normal fishing crowd. That's why I like to use my canoe. Getting there isn't a problem because I can simply float down and stop when I get there. Yes, it requires a little more time; but, you've got a lot more peace and quiet. Plus, you get to see a lot more. Gobblers are beginning to get active and I like to scout for them in March and April. Plus, you can often just pull over to the bank and gather a mess of Morel Mushrooms to go along with your fish dinner. I did take a few folks along with me on some of my float trips last year and they often kept the White Bass. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing out of the ordinary about keeping White Bass to eat. When cleaning, if you take the "red meat" off of a White Bass they can make a very tasty fillet, particularly if you are hungry for fish after a long winter. As for me, I just like to catch them! Because when you find White Bass it can be an "every cast" fishing trip! Now, that's all the motivation I need to fight the wind and the cold from one of my canoes! If I pick up a Walleye or two that's all the fish I want for the skillet. Do you need a canoe to find White Bass in March and April. The simple answer is no. Canoes are just the tool that I use and my usual mode of fishing is to put in on a given stream and "fish down" to where the White Bass are schooled. When I get there, I stay there. If you catch a White Bass in March and April there is little reason to move elsewhere because there is a good chance there are hundreds, if not thousands more, right there. So, why move?