Summer is the Season to Get Outside, Don’t Wait!

Each July I promise myself to fish more the rest of the summer.

It’s usually because I’m wondering where the first month of summer went and I realize I haven’t gotten out as much as intended … thus far. 

I do know I’ve never made it to fall freeze-up and said I’ve spent way too much time fishing, but it’s always good to focus on spending more time outdoors, this summer especially. North Dakota has never had so many lakes with good fishing prospects.

The state has about 420 “managed fisheries,” and there is little argument that fishing in North Dakota is better than ever. Certain bodies of water may have had more or larger fish at one time or another in the past, but statewide we’ve got water and fish and just might be living in the good of days of fishing.

So the point is, now more than ever, to get out and enjoy the resource and opportunities.

Even on the best lakes at seemingly the best times, sometimes the fish don’t bite, but like many anglers I don’t know if I have any record of bad memories of fishing. Just going fishing, and maybe even turning the outing from fishing into catching, is a success. While a “perfect” day with weather and fish on the stringer is the ultimate goal, it’s difficult to recall a time, even when coming home empty handed, when I’ve found myself wishing we’d never gone out in the first place.

When I fish it’s usually with all of my kids, and sometimes Mom goes along as well. It’s a tradition in our family that began with car seats and strollers and is already more than a decade old.

Our fishing trips are handcrafted and made just for our family, which is part of the draw compared to other activities to which the whole family might go, but only one or two might be participating. If it’s raining, you can still go fishing, or not. No need to call or check a website to find out if fishing is on for the day. We have indeed fished in rain and drizzle, or called off a trip, depending on the situation, but it’s all on our own accord,.

As is the case with most adults who take young kids fishing, our outings tend to involve lots of variables beside filling a stringer or landing a lunker. We’ve got our tried-and-true good spots and a pretty successful routine of who gets the bait, loads the rods and puts together the snacks and needed gear to get out the door and down the road, to minimize the time from “Let’s go fishing!” to first cast. 

Of course, it wasn’t always that way, but now that we have a routine, that’s something worth keeping.

Doug Leier

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