One of the best meals on a Missouri float trip is a fish fry. And what could be better than frying up the freshest fish ever from your catch of the day? Experienced Missouri anglers find that fishing in early spring requires different fishing strategies than those used in summer and fall. Early spring water is still generally cold. The following early spring fishing tips will help you with catching more fish.
True anglers believe a bad day of fishing is always better than a good day at work. In fact, they practice this belief by fishing as much as possible and getting out on the water whenever possible. They also watch the weather, an essential fishing technique in early spring. If you have a limited number of vacation days throughout the year, look for unseasonable warm days and approaching weather changes. Such weather patterns make for ideal fishing conditions.
Once you make it to your preferred fishing hole, be sure to go small and slow. In early spring when the water temperature is colder, the fish are swimming slower. Opt for smaller lures that are fished slower because sluggish fish aren’t as likely to put up a fight when it comes to striking a large prey fish. Slower and smaller fish are an easier meal and more attractive to fish in colder water.
If your goal is simply to catch fish, simply using bait is the way to go. A plump, lively night crawler is desirable to nearly any fish regardless of warm or cold water. For young and beginner fishermen, fishing with bait is the best wait to experience the thrill of catching that first fish.
Fishing in early spring requires patience. It’s important to remember that just as fish take their time swimming about in cold water, fish also take their time when it comes to eating and getting a lure into their mouths. So take your time because the fish are taking their time too.
When it comes to finding warmth in early spring the fish are no different than we are, seeking the sun whenever they can. Savvy anglers keep an eye out for the sun and shallow water. The afternoon sun warms early spring water in the shallows, drawing fish to these areas.
Early spring means lots of rain in Missouri that causes muddy water in rivers and streams. How will fish see your lure in the muddy water? They’ll see it better in cloudy water if your lure is brightly colored or dark. And some of the best places to fish are the edges where clear water meets muddy water. A good place to find this is along tributaries coming into lakes and rivers.
While anglers get up early in summer and fall, they sleep in when it comes to early spring fishing. This is because early evening makes for the best fishing in early spring. The water warms throughout the day, making fish more active in the evening as the sun sets.
Finally, don’t forget to experiment. When fishing is slow, early spring is the perfect time to experiment with new lures and fishing techniques that you can use the rest of the year.