March is the light at the end of the tunnel that shines in the distance as anglers peer forward from the depths of winter. As a peppering of sunny days and early spring weather brings dormant grasses and wildflowers to life all around us, life beneath the waves has begun to awaken. As the sun's warmth unlocks winter's grip, shallow water tempts and beckons fish from their deep winter refuge. Spring sunshine starts building blocks of the food chain. Aquatic life blooms beginning with algae growth as the water warms. Warming shallows become habitable allowing the fish to move shallow to spawn. As winter erratically transitions to spring, migration from deep to shallow can have many reversals and false starts. While some of the fish may still be in their winter depths, large schools of fish and minnows tend to move to the zone between winter deep and spring shallow as they wait for the full moon lunar phase and sunshine's warmth to raise shallow water temperatures to comfort levels suitable for feeding and spawning. While fish are moving shallow, comfort can tempt warm weather anglers to wait for perfect Sunday picnic days before testing their luck. Fish will be testing the shallows long before water skiers and personal watercraft compromise the outdoor experience. Recent "field research" expeditions reveal confirmation of occasional shallow fish with large groups of "pre-spawn" schools of fish staging in the nearby mid depths. As water temperatures are still cool, successful connection with our quarry usually requires slower, repeated and deliberate presentations garnished with patience and stealth. March is one of the yesterdays referred to in the old saying "you should have been here yesterday". It's March. It's springtime. It's game on!
Notes on a scorecard: I chatted with representatives from Monterey County on Feb 15. There is a chance that Lake San Antonio could have a limited opening in April (Weekends, like last fall). Input from the public has made a difference. They were targeting late May for a full opening. They said no promises but they are trying to make it happen. They said it can't hurt to contact the Board of Supervisors and tell them you are in favor of opening for the spring. One of them said emails really help. Here is the contact information link: http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/cob/supervisor.htm