March 2021 News/Columns

The Great Outdoors, by Larry Whiteley

The Great Outdoors


Circle Saturday, March 20th on your calendar in red. Put that date in your phone calendar with a special alert. Or, tell Alexa to remind you that this date is the official first day of Spring.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, on that exact date, you got up that morning to a beautiful sunrise with a chorus of angels singing “Hallelujah”?  Birds are also singing, wild flowers are blooming, and trees are leafing out.

Since this year the first day of Spring is on a Saturday, you probably don’t have to go to work. But, since we’re day dreaming here anyway, let’s say your boss calls and tells you he knows how much you enjoy spring so take the day off and go crappie fishing. Did I hear the angels singing again?

As I write this, I pause to look out my window at icicles hanging from bare tree limbs, the ground is white, the birds aren’t singing and neither are the angels. My crappie fishing gear sits in the corner waiting and so am I. Spring is coming isn’t it?



 “In March winter is holding back and spring is pulling forward. Something holds and something pulls inside of us too.” ~ Jean Hersey, Author



 We have computerized weather forecasts to tell us what the wind or temperature will be. We have tables and calendars which suggest the best times and days to fish. There are studies which tell us how much fish react to color. We know the temperature and dissolved oxygen content each species like best. We have the latest and greatest in fishing gear and electronics.

However, we are still faced with the same problem that anglers have always faced. No matter how much information or equipment we have, we really never know what a day of fishing will bring. When all the conditions are perfect for catching fish, you might not even get a bite. The opposite is also true. At times when a certain fish isn’t supposed to be biting, in water temperature and wind conditions which aren’t supposed to be suitable for catching that fish, you might go home with a limit.

Fish aren’t robots and their behavior can’t always be predicted. This fact makes them harder to catch but it also creates the challenge which makes fishing the great sport we love so much.


 How come on TV fishing shows, podcast and YouTube videos the fishermen never get skunked?


 With heightened interest in outdoor recreation activities and ways to social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer demand for new boats surged across America in 2020. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), more than 310,000 new powerboats were sold. Sales of freshwater fishing boats and pontoons boats, accounted for 50 percent of that number.

Maybe even more amazing is the fact that boating and fishing are the largest outdoor recreation activities in the U.S., adding $23.6 billion to our nation’s economy. As Paul Harvey used to say, “And now you know the rest of the story.”

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