Spring has officially arrived on the calendar, but, in fairness, we really did not have much of a winter this time around.

Ice fishing was almost non-existent in these parts. Most of the ice fishing contests were cancelled this year due to unsafe ice, so we are really looking forward to open water fishing this year.

Every lake I checked on in our area is open with no ice and water temperatures already in the mid-40 degree range.

With this warming of the water, some of the fish species begin to get more active. Walleyes will begin moving up rivers and in lakes, moving to the rocky reefs and shorelines, looking for spawning areas.

Crappies will be starting to move to the mouths of creeks and streams, preparing for the movement to dark bottom bays for spawning. The larger predators are becoming more active, looking to put some weight on after the long cold-water dormant period.

The reports I have seen this past week or so confirm all of this. The fishermen are having a good early season on Lake Michigan for Coho salmon.

Most of the action is from the City south where the water is just a few degrees warmer. Reports are that fish are being caught 50-100 feet from shore in shallow water.

Up on Lake Geneva the hot bite appears to be crappie; fishermen are locating schools of crappie in the dead weed beds in 6’ to 12’ of water. Closer to home, both Busse Woods and Beck Lake report very good early season bass fishing, and Skokie Lagoons are also reporting some good early season shore bites, using a slow presentation with a spoon plug.

Those who missed the outstanding Sport Show last month in Schaumburg, have another chance to see the latest in fishing gear and speak to fishing destination representatives for later this year.

The Milwaukee Fishing Show is coming up April 1-3 at the Wisconsin Fair Grounds in West Allis, Wis., just west of downtown Milwaukee, off I-94.

It is also quite inexpensive as shows go, less than $10, with half off for veterans.

I am heading up there on Saturday to look around.

Until next time…keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.