In the last article we talked about going to the fishing show so we could begin planning this year’s fishing trips. We thought it would be a good idea to talk about the how and why of trip planning.

First we have to decide whether it is to be a fishing trip for the family or just a “fishing trip.” Then we need to decide what we want to fish for — walleye, bass, crappie or northern pike, if that matters — because some lakes and resorts are better than others for some species.

This year, for example, we are looking to make an early spring trip down to Kentucky Lake for some of the best crappie fishing anywhere in the country. It will be a family trip, so when we head to the shows, we will be looking for resorts that have more than just a bed and shower. We will search for resorts with facilities for the family to enjoy — hiking trails, a swimming beach, kayaks or canoes, a game room. We will also look at what is available nearby — historic sites, scenic wonders, parks or animal sanctuaries. For the fisherman, we will check out the boat/motor rentals, bait shops and guide services. The best part of the sports shows is that there will be dozens of resorts to talk to and check out. Once we agree on a resort, we can book our stay and start planning our next trip.

For early summer we usually plan a trip to Northern Minnesota for the opening of smallmouth bass fishing season. This will be a just a fishing trip, so all we need is a clean room, a shower and a bed, because we plan to fish all day every day we are there. There are many resorts listed as fishing camps that have all the amenities for the fisherman – guide and dock service, fish cleaning, bait on site and meals, usually served in large communal dining rooms.

Those planning trips this year can take advantage of the sports shows in our area — Rosemont, Schaumburg, even Milwaukee — to locate the places they would like to go. It is a lot better than just looking them up on the Internet. Until next time…keep a tight line.

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