Subbin' In: May is here, so let the theories begin

The author poses for a photo with a 25-inch, 4.4-pound Northern Pike he caught on Saturday of the fishing opener.

It is May! That’s a fact. Here are more facts: The Twins are in trouble with their pitching staff; the Timberwolves are among the worst teams in the NBA; hype over the Vikings continues in earnest; and, the Wild has just begun playoff action. Facts. Indisputable.

However, it is theories, not facts, that I want to discuss, and May is the month of theories. For example, most of us gardeners consider various layouts for our gardens because we believe in “rotating” our crops. We place some plants in places where the sun often shines and position others in the shade of their neighbors. Using theories, we predict that our efforts will yield fruit.

We also theorize over optional techniques for preventing diseases among our plants, and some gardeners (well, at least one that I know of) has pounded tall stakes around his garden and strung fishing line between them to heights of five feet with hopes of preventing the deer invasions that have frequently occurred in past years. We rationalize our decisions by giving credence to theory.

Yet, at this time of year, it’s likely that fishing theories rise to the surface just as often and just as seriously as theories about anything else. It’s understandable. Images of bullseye casts, bent rods, and epic battles with huge fish have occupied the minds of fishing enthusiasts throughout the entire covid-clogged winter, and finally, the fishing opener arrives!

I always theorize as I prepare for the long-awaited fishing opener. I use information from past years to formulate a fishing plan of attack, and my seismic successes and frequent failures add to the bank of “scientific data” I mentally maintain. That growing database will be picked over all summer and fall.

You see, speculation begins long before I even pick up a rod or open a tackle box. When the leaves appeared on the trees during the very first days of May, I was already theorizing about the opener.

To me, the leaves indicated that lily pads will already be emerging from the lake bottom and new weed growth will be mingling with last year’s old vegetation. Certain locations of the lake, perhaps the shallow water by the inlet, will be warmer than others.

In the spring, temperature drives everything. From leaves on the trees and lily pads in the water, to baitfish in the shallows, and to gamefish chasing baitfish, it is temperature that establishes nature’s annual progress.

Success begins with location, but location isn’t all to consider. Lure selection and presentation figure prominently into the equation. After all, once fish are found, you need to make them “bite,” and there are an infinite number of selection and presentation theories to toss about. All that is what makes fishing fun!

My two-day fishing opener involved nine family men and five family boys ages 6-13 years, a 250% uptick in attendance over snowy, cold, covid-ravaged 2020! The weather was grand; the fishing, decent; the conversation, lively!

Hey, if you haven’t found yourself a friend or two with whom to share the ever-exciting seasonal changes, or just a cup of coffee, get on it!

Outdoor lunch update: My monthly outdoor lunches continue to bring delight with not-so-often-seen friends. So far: December 21 with Brian; 25 degrees; January 12 with Terry T., 30 degrees; February 12, Chad, -8 degrees; March 4, Rick, 35 degrees; March 29, Terry H., 60 degrees; April 12, Kathy, 42 degrees; and, May 4, Emma, 55 degrees. Who’s next??

LOREN BRABEC is a contributing sports writer for the Isanti-Chisago County Star and author of several Braham sports books.

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