Friday, March 23, 2012

The Cruelest Month?

I spent yesterday on the phone with fishing guide and friend, Drew Price of Master Class Angling. Drew is a dedicated warmwater guy (although he's also an exceedingly competent trout bum), and the recent warm-up has him in fits. Apparently things are happening on Lake Champlain. He was so animated as he told stories of spawning bowfin and outsized pike, that the tremble in his voice was simultaneously exciting and alarming.

Drew with an outstanding Champlain carp
"They've already spawned out Mike."

"What, the pike? Early, sure, but really not that early. It is the third week of March, Drew."

"No Mike. The bass. The bass have already spawned."

"Oh, come on now Drew. New York and Vermont bass aren't spawning until April or May. Besides, how could you possibly know? Sorry but I'm calling Shenanigans. Shenanigans, Drew. Shenenigans."

"Just shut up and listen to me ... please. These fish are spawning. I spoke with Shawn Good - the fisheries biologist for Vermont Fish and Game - he confirms it. This is a year like we've never seen. The fish are aggressive, and they're accessible. You need to get up here. Yesterday."

And so was born a plan for what may end up being my first real warmwater trip of the year. Drew and I will be fishing soon, stalking the back bays of the big lake for carp, bass, bowfin, pike, and maybe even a musky. The great irony - of course - is that we'll be doing it in March, just days before the official opening of trout season in New York. I say that presuming that Drew isn't booked for a trip, and with the fishing heating up as it is, he very well may be.

Funny how quickly I can be convinced to forget about hendricksons.

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