Longer days, more sunshine and continued warmer weather seem to be the pattern our spring has taken this year. Despite a real need for rain to cut down on our fire risk this will be remembered as one of our mildest springs on record. Most of the lakes already have the ice off them and ready for you to put your boat in.
I have talked to several people who have been out fishing halibut and they all have been successful in bringing home fish. This time of the year is my favorite time to catch my winter supply of halibut as we seem to have less boat traffic and a whole lot less skate to battle with too.
Bear season is also here and another reason to put off the garden or yard work to venture out in search of that new bear rug and some sausage for the freezer. I have heard of many reports of brown bear in both the Mackey Lakes area as well as Robinson Loop. In most cases it was Brown bear that were being spotted in these areas. I'm sure most of you have already heard about the guy being mauled in the Mackey Lakes area by a brown bear a few weeks ago.
Fishing our smaller legs should mean great fishing too this time of the year. I normally have a real simple philosophy for early season fishing each spring. I like to fish in the shallow water early and fish deeper water later. If the lakes have rainbows in them they will be in shallow water looking for a place to spawn and the other fish there too looking for eggs to eat. A small spinner or even a fly tipped with a tiny piece of shrimp (not the soft mushy cocktail shrimp but a small piece cut off a jumbo shrimp). Eggs of course also work very well at any time of the year but are a whole lot messier to use then shrimp.
Several other things that work well are cut bait from hooligan, herring, clams or even the scented marshmallows if you can keep your fishing partners from eating your bait. I used partially frozen hooligan for halibut last year and did real well on them too. You can generally get yourself a years supply of bait in just a few dips in downtown Soldotna each spring. These fish should then be laid out separately in your freezer and then bagged up once they are frozen to prevent them from being all frozen together once you take them back out for bait. It also helps to keep them on your hook if they are still partially frozen. Mr. Halibut does not seem to mind a little frost still in his lunch.
This is a very busy time of the year for all of us and as we all know if your going to have fresh produce it is something we must all get started doing now. If you don't get going time will slip past us making it impossible to get that garden crop planted in time to get a crop back.
I'm planning a bear hunting trip or two myself this year and with all the modern day conviences out there for the avid hunter it makes our job easier and easier each year. You see, with the cell phone you can real easily tell whether your bear hunt is over or not. One simple call and you can find out if your wife and kids have the lawn raked or not. You can also check and see if the lady of the house is finished with her massive spring-cleaning project. You can check and see if the tomato plants are all repotted and the garden is planted. If they are not then you might have to hunt bear for a few more days.
The couch is not a very good place to take that spring nap if the spring-cleaning project is still going full force. The sound of that old Kirby trying to chew through a pile of cans beside your couch is very distracting to say the least. Why hasn't anyone figured out a muffler or some type of silencer for those vacuum cleaners? Just think how many good naps would not be interrupted if the machines were just a little quieter. And another thing....how about installing a lift kit metal muncher on that Kirby?
Many of our senior citizens need help this time of the year with their gardens and yards. Drop in and surprise your elderly neighbors by raking their lawn or help them with the outdoor projects many are having difficulty doing. If you don't have the time or ability to help them yourself please call me up and I'm sure someone will bring me the phone on the couch where I will be able to write down the directions for my wife Taby and kids. Hopefully while they are working over there they won't leave the vacuum cleaner running here! See you next week!
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