Anglers Warming Up to Early Season Start

The warm weather has naturally drawn more and more people outdoors.

Walkers, runners, and golfers aren’t alone. Anglers are taking their fishing rods to places like the Rogue River in Rockford.

“This is a first for this time of year," said James Moore.

"This is unreal. This is still March, man. This is great fishing weather.”

Moore had success out on the river and caught a steelhead. The spring steelhead run has popped up a lot earlier this year because of the warm weather.

Although there are more fish than usual for this time of year, the competition for a catch is still high, as more people take advantage of the 70-degree temperatures.

“I've hooked into three of them, and almost landed one," said Eric King. "So we`re doing pretty good."

More fish and more fishermen equals more green for local bait and tackle shops. “We`re in full force currently,” says Glen Blackwood, owner of Great Lakes Fly Fishing Company.

Blackwood says the business at his Rockford shop is up about 10 percent over last March. “Not only in gross dollar sales, but in foot traffic and transactions this year over last,” he explained.

Fishermen are traveling from all over the Midwest. “We`ve had customers here today from Detroit," said Blackwood. "We`ve had customers here today from Indiana and Ohio."

Blackwood is enjoying the warm weather business while he can. “Ya know, last year, Mother Nature held on grips for a long time and we`re taking advantage of the sunshine this year,” he said.

Most of anglers FOX 17 spoke to are after steelhead right now. Believe it or not, the trout season opener is still over a month away.