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Editorial: Spring Comes Early

Editorial: Spring comes early in California

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Mar 07, 2018

The calendar says the first day of spring arrives on March 20 this year, but as far as outdoorsmen in the Golden State are concerned, it’s already here.

The Fred Hall Shows have always been the unofficial kickoff of the season for hunters and anglers. In the southern half of the state, saltwater anglers also look to it as time to start looking for monster white seabass. In fact, in the past, tanker seabass caught during the Long Beach (going on right now) or Del Mar show make their way into the show and get put on display in an ice-filled cooler. That’s a much better way to get foot traffic in a booth than a bowl of Jolly Ranchers or free pens! While the Shows are great for us to get gear and intel, they also get us pumped to get out there.


Spring kicked off in the Eastern Sierra with the March 3 “early opener” which made available to anglers all the waters from Independence south to Lone Pine and west of Highway 395. That means, the shockingly low number of anglers taking advantage of that situation get almost a two-month jumpstart on Sierra trout fishing over the big crowds that will make their pilgrimage to the area for the general opener on April 28. While we loved last year’s record breaking precipitation and snow pack, 2018 will be a return to normalcy up here even after this mini “Miracle March” the region is experiencing.


In our lakes, in water as cool as 57 degrees (according to the gobs of reports that arrive at Western Outdoor News headquarters on a daily basis), bass are being spotted shallowing up or even pairing up in ahead-of-schedule pre-spawn maneuvering. And let’s not forget the arrival of Daylight Savings Time on March 11 when we “spring forward” and exponentially more “after work” fishing and shooting options are on the table.


That being said, we do have to wait for “calendar spring” to arrive for certain things. There is the aforementioned Eastern Sierra general trout opener on the last Saturday in April and spring turkey season kicking off on March 31. Call that a cruel twist of fate as two of the most obsessed brands of California angler and hunter don’t get to chase their quarry until much longer than almost everyone else.


There is no doubt that we don’t live in a state that makes things easy for hunters and anglers, and it seems like something is always being taken away from us. But, at the very least, we get to play outside in the most diverse region in the country with access to the ocean, varied coastlines, mountains, deserts, rolling hills, wetlands and forests, and there is always some kind of fishing or hunting to do, well within range of wherever we find ourselves.


Spring starts a month early, summer can last well into fall, and most of us don’t ever need to shovel snow on the driveway.


It’s not all bad here.


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