Grip and Grin: Ice-Out Pickerel | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
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Ryan Anderson fish a partially unfrozen lake to hook up with a few pickerel in early spring. Ryan Anderson fish a partially unfrozen lake to hook up with a few pickerel in early spring. Photos: Ryan Anderson

It's not even technically spring yet and anglers are already hooking up to good fish.

"Spring hit early this year, and I was only too happy to take advantage," said Ryan Anderson. "The lake was partially opened in the morning, with most of the lake ice melting as the sun came out in the afternoon. Despite water temperatures barely above freezing, the pickerel were active.

Ryan Anderson snuck out early this year for pickerel and perch on the partially unfrozen lake.

I started the day shallow, hitting smaller pickerel on a variety of shallow crankbaits, moving further out into deeper water later in the afternoon to pick up some bigger fish on deep diving Rapalas and big inline spinners. Firetiger was the key, I was getting short hits and slow reactions to natural patterns, but a switch to the brighter colours brought a flurry of bites. Only pickerel and Perch are open on most local lakes this time of year, but double digit days of any species are a bonus when there's open water in March.  

So you can see what this year's early spring means to me, a photo from March 18th 2015 is also attached. That snow and the associated frozen lakes didn't go away until the end of April.

Ryan Anderson wasn't able to get out this time last year because the world was covered in snow and ice.

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