Spring fishing is often some of the best for the entire year. Water temperature allows for fish to be active during the entire day and many fish are in spawning mode, which usually means they are close to shore and willing to bite..
“Late May and early June is an excellent time to take kids fishing because many species are spawning and do not spook as easily,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Bureau.
Fish close to structure, like rocks or a pile of brush or gravel to find bluegills or crappies. Bass will be around brush or boat docks or rock piles. The new online fishing atlas contains fish structure locations or you can download structure location maps from the DNR’s Where to Fish website.
“Remember to keep the hooks, bobbers and bait small because panfish have small mouths,” he said. “The biggest problem we see is anglers using too heavy of line, and large bobbers and hooks. Use as light of tackle as you can. I would suggest using four pound line, a bobber the size of a quarter and a size 8 hook.
“Parents can make the trip more memorable by bringing snacks, taking photos and celebrating each fish as if it were a record breaker. It is up to parents to help pass along this Iowa tradition,” he said.
The Iowa DNR has a first fish program that commemorates a person’s first catch with a certificate suitable for framing.
“We want to celebrate fishing and bring more people to this high quality, family-friendly activity,” Larscheid said.