Who would have ever predicted we would be where we are now? It was never on my radar that is for sure. We've been staying healthy and I hope everyone else out there is too. This virus, shelter in place, and effects on fishing have certainly been eye opening for sure. We've been extremely fortunate throughout the whole ordeal so far. I feel for everyone who has been hit by illness or are out of work. Amanda and I have both been able to work from home which has meant a lot of time with the girls. June is at a stage where she is really starting to figure out how to use her arms/legs and sit up on her own. It seems like every day is a little different so if I can come up with one positive out of this whole thing. It's that we have actually gotten to watch her develop and learn things we would have missed if she were at daycare. It has been a bummer that my parents and in laws haven't been able to see the girls lately. Hopefully we can make up for that this summer.
This isn't the place for me to get into my general thoughts on all things pandemic nor do I want to. But I definitely have some thoughts on how it has affected fishing. There aren't a whole lot of things that can really trigger me, but the thought of "closing fishing" down is definitely one of them. Once we started to get some weird vibes about boat ramp closures and all of that. It sure seems like common sense would take over but it appears people really pushed the issue (and they still are). Bad timing with it being at the peak of the walleye run in the Detroit River, walleyes definitely make people a little crazy. I also feel bad for the all the multispecies guides who are normally really are busy this time of year. It's one of my favorite times of the year to get out with buddies and fun fish so it certainly is disappointing for that to be off limits for fishing with people not in your household, but I get it. It hasn't affected my routine to get to the Lake at all. I bring a big bottle of water from home and whatever snacks I need, plus I topped the boat off as soon as gas became cheap. So I don't need to hit the gas station for supplies at every outing, I am all about minimizing my time out in public right now.
I'm certainly glad it stopped short of closing fishing/boat ramps because I'd have been first in line for a ticket at the if they "closed" fishing. It's amazing to me that a state like Washington banned fishing and shellfishing. Something where someone could actually be going out to get the next meal for their family. I hope if something like that were to happen in Michigan that hunters and anglers would band together and take action. It concerns me that so many people asked questions on social media when this first came out asking if they were still allowed to fish. Are people really going to give it up that easily?
We as anglers need to be conscious of how this is going to affect out local retailers too. Now is not the time to be buying tackle from mega stores online. Showing some support to local retailers with actual store fronts would be really appreciated right now. Most of them missed out on their in store shows as well as any larger shows they may have attended. They do a lot of business at those events so I'm sure they are feeling it. Many of the Michigan retailers have an online presence or can take orders in many different ways. ClearH2O Tackle for instance is still shipping everyday and taking orders on their website, phone, email, social media, and offering curbside pickup. Pretty simple contact them and get them a list of what you need because odds are you'll desire items that aren't on the website. I'd encourage everyone to support all non fishing local retailers (farmers that would normally be going to a farmers market and take out from restaurants are easy ones) especially during this time too.
It's just strange how everything seems to be on standby, I've never felt so weird out in public. I'm anxious to see how this is all going to affect tournament season. It's got to be an uneasy feeling for directors and sponsors. West Michigan Bass did a cool Facebook live the other day to answer questions. Definitely got some good info from that and it appears like a lot of people are in a holding pattern waiting to see what's to come. It's going to be a great season, I just hope we can fish the entire schedule. All anyone can do is just wait and see how it shakes out and try and stay healthy.
The fishing however has been ridiculous. It's a little less fun now that many more people are out and I've been basing some of the days I go fishing on the worst weather instead of the nicest days. I'd rather have stuff to myself than be comfortable (thank you Blackfish Gear). The bite is at least diversifying now and a bunch of baits and areas are in play. I've actually been fishing less than normal because it is tough to juggle Amanda and I both working from home and watching the girls. I have had more time to get my tackle in order since there has been less fishing. There isn't going to be a mad dash to get the boat tournament loaded this year. Most of it is ready to go and just needs to be put in the boat. One thing that is fun about this time of year is there isn't a whole lot for fish to hide in and they are so grouped up. Humminbird SI has been huge factor in producing bites this spring. MEGA has given away their position so many times, it really makes fish "pop" compared to other frequencies. It is challenging finding exactly where to throw based on SI from the back transducer. I'm adding MEGA 360 and a Helix 10 to run it this year. When fish aren't hidden by vegetation MEGA 360 is almost going to feel unfair.
Until the next one everyone stay healthy and catch some fish. This is a great time of year to be outside.