2011 is behind us; the good, the bad and the ugly of it. All in all it was a really great year for fishing and the fishing experience. My son caught his personal best smallmouth bass on our spring fishing trip, which for me was equally as fulfilling seeing all the teaching over the years paying off. Fishing on the whole was pretty good all year once we figured out that Mother Nature’s calendar was almost a month different than in years past. After the appropriate changes were made, the mistakes in bait and lure choice on those “ugly early trips” were corrected, and catch rates went up. The bad portion of the year was caused by all the rain we had late spring and early summer making shore fishing very difficult in our area lakes and streams as water levels went up and down in large swings. Once again by the end of the year most of the shore fishing locations had produced a fairly good year. Busse Lake and Independence Park were stand out areas all year with consistently strong catches all year long, if you haven’t tried either of these two locations they should be on your places to try in 2012.

2012 is already starting out to be a great year. My sister, her two kids and their four young boys have decided they will be joining us this summer for two weeks at our summer hangout on Lake Vermilion, Minnesota. It will be a really great treat to introduce the boys to the north woods experience and to some great days fishing. It will mean my fishing will be limited as I teach, bait hooks, remove fish and generally have a great time with the kids. Another bright spot in 2012 calendar; my son and I are planning a spring trip for the opening of bass season in late May which will be highlight for me getting to spend some time with him. I do hope your 2012 will be truly great year, which your fishing trips are better, the catches are larger and the overall experience is the best. Makes plans now for an outstanding year on the water with friends and family. Until next time…keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.