Mars may come like a lion, but by the time it comes out like a lamb, sports enthusiasts should be ready for a road trip. You can match the waning intensity of the month by hunting snow geese early in North Dakota and setting dry flies in front of trout on small creeks in the Black Hills to close them.
March can be a tough month because you’re just around the corner from all the excitement of spring. If cabin fever is driving you crazy, March is the perfect time to spend evenings putting new line on your reels and a weekend afternoon tuning your turkey gun. Still, don’t make the mistake of spending the whole month of March preparing for what’s to come. There are amazing outdoor activities to enjoy in the Midwest all month long. Here are six options for getting outdoors this month in the Midwest:
North Dakota: Light Goose Conservation Order
North Dakota is your last chance in the Midwest to make a dent in the overcrowded numbers of light geese before they cross the border and return to the northern tundra. If you don’t spill a few more, they will return to Canada, causing serious damage to the habitat needed by competing waterfowl, such as mallards and Canada geese. Spring conservation ordinance season is open until May 10, so there’s plenty of time to do your part for conservation.
Indiana: Northwestern Indiana Steelhead
Rainbow trout fishing is exciting everywhere. But trying to land one of Indiana’s Chrome Rockets on Lake Michigan from a small, wood-choked creek is an exhilarating fishing experience. Rainbow trout fishing is a man-made bonus in the Midwest. Michigan may be home to most of the action, but Indiana is blessed with excellent rainbow trout fishing. Three small tributaries to Lake Michigan with annual rainbow trout passages are the Little Calumet River, Salt Creek, and Trail Creek. The St. Joseph River is the premier destination for rainbow trout in the state. Spawn bags, line spinners, and night crawlers all produce fish. Like all regular steelhead flies, like Wooly Buggers and Egg Patterns.
Kansas: Fish urban lakes and ponds that receive stockings
If you’ve ever driven through Kansas to Colorado or any other western destination, you know that the term “urban” isn’t easily associated with the state. However, the state is
is home to population centers. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism manages fishing opportunities for those who live in or near the city. Starting in March, major cities like Kansas City, Wichita, and Topeka, as well as smaller cities, like Dodge City, Colby, and Great Bend. receive stockings in lakes and ponds. For a list of these waters and their planned stocking dates, see the Urban Fishing Schedule on the KDWPT website.
Missouri: beaver trapping
Long before Lewis and Clark left St. Louis to open up the American West, beaver trapping was a major industry in Missouri. Today, there are fewer and fewer fur trappers, but the opportunities still exist. The season ends on March 31, so you have the rest of the month to bag some Beavers. A Missouri trapping license is required. An excellent source of information on how and where to start trapping is the Missouri Trappers Association. Visit their website at www.missouritrappers.com.
South Dakota: Trout Fishing in the Black Hills Streams
The Black Hills region of western South Dakota is one of the few special destinations in the Midwest that really has it all. Deer, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep and mountain lions roam the
Hills. Swimming in the waters you will find crappie, walleye, pike, perch and of course trout. Trout are special because they only live in the most beautiful places, and you could say that the Black Hills are as beautiful as anywhere. Hitting the little creeks in the hills in March means you’ll likely have plenty of water to yourselves. Check out Spearfish Creek for rainbow trout and Rapid Creek for browns. Keep your eyes open when wading. You might find a nugget of the famous Black Hills Gold.
Illinois: Rend Lake Crappie
It’s hard to argue that Rend Lake isn’t Illinois’ premier crappie fishing destination. If not, he certainly seems to be the best known. At 19,000 acres with an average depth of 10 feet and a maximum depth of 35, there is plenty of water for crappie to spread out. In March, crappie anglers manage to finesse fish 1/8 ounce jigs over brush sunk in 10 to 12 feet of water. A 2019 study by IDNR showed that 35% of crappie were over 10 inches tall and 30% between 9 and 10 inches. White crappie dominates 93% of the population.
See you on the trail.
Brandon butler writing a outside column for the Republic. Send comments for [email protected] For Continued Driftwood Outside, Check outside the podcast to www.driftwoodoutdoors.com Where everywhere podcasts are broadcast continuously.