Understanding the Fishing Year Calendar

By Lance Valentine

Like many anglers in my age range, I learned my fishing foundation through the IN-Fisherman network. When I started giving seminars over 25 years ago, I wanted to focus on “teaching” fishing concepts, not just talking about hot lures or techniques. One of those foundation elements I use in my teaching to this day is the IN-Fisherman calendar periods, a breakdown, in 10 distinct “periods” of fishes’ behavior throughout the year. Understanding the calendar is a great first step to making good decisions on the water. Here are the 10 calendar periods and a brief description of each.

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This calendar is a great guide to determine what you can expect gamefish to be doing, where they will be located, what they will be feeding on and what presentations should be best.

Obviously, each period is NOT the same length and may not even happen at the same time in nearby lakes, if they are a different lake type. For example, a shallow weedy lake will warm much faster than a deep, clear, rocky lake just a mile or so down the road. Walleye in the shallow lake may be in post-spawn while fish in the deep lake may still be in the pre-spawn period.

Also, the timing of the calendar is different for different species of fish. While walleye are spawning, largemouth bass in the same lake are just entering the pre-spawn period.

Understanding and applying the basics that the IN-Fisherman calendar periods offer, is a great first step to making good decisions in your pre-trip planning and adjusting on the water every day.

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