April’s Outdoor Column

Spring is finally here. There will be a lot of outdoor activity starting up as the weather finally breaks. Mushroom hunting, turkey hunting, fishing and trout fishing begin in April check to make sure you have the proper licenses.
 
Let’s talk about fishing. Many boats have been heading up and down the road for well over a month now as anglers head for the warm water power lakes in search of a place to fish during the cold weather. Some of the best fish I have ever taken as far as bass is concerned come during the early part of spring on days when most people wouldn’t even think of going out.
 
Here are a few of my secrets: Bass fishing, or for that matter, fishing for most anything. The more times you go fishing the more likely you are to be in the right place at the right time when a big bass is going to feed. You won’t catch them sitting on your sofa watching the pro’s fish a tournament. A big bass doesn’t feed often and being there when she is ready is the key to putting her in the boat. I live with the jig and pig during the spring of the year. I like a jig trailed by a split-tail eel and I use black almost all the time. I make my own jigs with a very soft weed guard and work the brush of the lake.
 
Another bait. Crankbaits, look for the lead hook on the front treble and cut it off leaving me with five hooks instead of six. look at how your bait would be traveling on your retrieve, observe the lead hook and cut it off with a pair of side cuts. This allows me to fish the crankbait around and in the brush without hanging it up. If you can bounce your crankbaits off the brush and not hang it up it will increase your number of strikes. Remember, if you’re not in the brush, you are not in the fish! This is an old saying that has been around for a long time.
 
Another old saying. That ten percent of the fishermen catch ninety percent of the fish. This is because they know how, when and where the good fish are going to bite.
 
Your local Big R Stores supply all your fishing needs so come in and see what is new for this spring and stock your tackle box, so you are ready to go!

About Big R

Bill and Pat Crabtree originated the Illinois Big R Stores in 1964 opening the first store in Watseka, Illinois. To date 20 stores have been opened in Illinois and Indiana; 2 stores in Ohio and 1 store in Wisconsin and we are still proud to be family-owned and operated. Our 12 Illinois stores are located in Watseka, Gibson City, Danville, Tilton, Pontiac, Morris, Pekin, Washington, Rochelle, Homer Glen, Streator and McHenry. Our 8 Indiana stores are located in Warsaw, 2 locations in Elkhart, Rochester, Wabash, Crawfordsville, Michigan City, and Marion. Our 2 stores in Ohio are located in Lima and Findlay. And 1 location in Wisconsin in Burlington. The offices and warehouses for Big R remain in Watseka, IL. Farm and Ranch store owners in the western states started the Big R brand name; they chose the name "Big R" to convey the "Ranch" identity. The Big R group is now comprised of 12 independent owners with store locations throughout the U.S. They all are members of Mid-States Distributing Company of St. Paul, MN. The Mid-States Coop has over 600 stores throughout the United States and Canada.