There is only one thing that we need to address in the outdoor scene this spring: The weather. Granted, the weather is always a factor in what we do out of doors but arguably this spring is pushing the limits, and the patience, of most outdoor enthusiasts. We are simply well into a too-long transition from true winter to true spring. The calendar may say spring; reality says otherwise. In truth, this weather is far more typical of early March versus mid-April.
And all this weather, all this snow, all this long-lasting ice, all of this is really impacting outdoor sports. Take ice fishing. This time is, historically, the best time for pan fishing through the ice. This spring, the combination of cold weather, rain and snow has left ice conditions tough for travel and that is cutting participation. The good news is that those anglers who are getting out (and yes, it is more work) are doing well. Crappies are steady with the promise of better to come.
Perch are coming on and they typically will stay strong to ice out and beyond.
Turkey hunting kicked off a week ago and speculation is that this will be about as slow an opener as ever. Bad weather combined with birds that were still in wintering areas to slow to a crawl the early hunt. Birds this past week have been dispersing, but slowly, and last week’s snow and cold will not help. We expect some warmer weather this week and that should kick the hunt into high gear.
Here is the sheer, simple reality: We need a strong shot of good spring weather to kick things into gear. There is growing concern about ice on lakes for the opener (we think most lakes will be open; all it takes is a few warm days and some rain) and any spring sports, whether it is bicycling or fishing, turkey hunting or kayaking, are all at the mercy of the weather. It says a lot when we have reports of good XC skiing in mid-April; and this week, we heard of die-hards finding exactly that!
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander.