Fishing NOT Phishing

12539568474?profile=RESIZE_400xIn case you have not heard, 2024 is a big year for cicadas.  Cicada (family Cicadidae) is a family of more than 3,000 species of sound-producing insects. Cicadas are found worldwide in tropical and temperate areas and occur in deserts, grasslands, and forests.  Cicadas have been used in folk medicines, as religious and monetary symbols, and as an important source of food for humans and many other organisms. The cicada appears in the mythology, literature, and music of many cultures, including some Indigenous peoples in the Americas, and the males of certain Asian species have even been kept in cages for their melodious songs.[1]

Cicadas are not computer bugs and Fishing is unlike Phishing that most readers have experienced.  Consider leaving your keyboard for an afternoon and go fishing.  These hefty periodical bugs, often the soundtrack to summer, will be emerging in numbers that we have not seen in 221 years.  If you live in the Southeast or Midwest or plan a trip there, the next month and a half can offer some of the most exciting and aggressive top-water action you have ever experienced. 

To help you take full advantage, we have provided a one-stop spot for information, tips, and reports as the bugs emerge.  In the following weeks, Field and Stream magazine will publish stories about where the cicada hatch is occurring, what fly patterns and lures to use, fishing tactics, and how to target several different fish species with these bugs in mind. 

Welcome to The Cicada Report.  Cicadas are periodical bugs that emerge in cyclical patterns.  This year, Brood XIII, which runs on a 17-year life cycle, and Brood XIX, which runs on a 13-year life cycle, will co-emerge for the first time in over two centuries.  Brood XIX, also known as the Great Southern Brood, is the largest periodical cicada brood in the world, too.  All that adds to the most epic cicada hatch we will see in our lifetimes. 

Regarding cicadas, every angler wants to know when and where the bugs will emerge.  Entomologist and biology professor at the University of North Georgia, Evan Lampert.  He said that states like Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama should be the first to see bugs around late April 2024.  Once the first cicada emerges in a particular area, they should continue to hatch for about five to six weeks. It should be soon if you have not seen bugs in those states yet.

It is also important to note that one of the main triggers of the hatch is the ground temperature of 64 degrees Fahrenheit, to be exact.  This means that The Great Southern Brood (Brood XIX) will emerge first in the most southern states of the brood’s range due to the warmer climate.  As spring continues and temperatures warm, the hatch will move north, eventually entering the Midwest, where The Northern Illinois Brood (Brood XIII) will emerge. 

No matter where you end up fishing, there will be a few similarities. Big groups of cicadas will emerge from the ground, especially along riverbanks and edges of other water bodies, take to the air, sing that familiar whining buzz, and fall into rivers, ponds, and lakes in large numbers.  Trout, bass, carp, bowfin, pike, walleye, and other freshwater predatory fish species will be gorging on these big bugs.

It is difficult to predict which waters will see the most bugs and fish the best. Author and cicada fishing expert Dave Zielinski is currently following the hatch and will report from the field over the next few weeks about bug numbers, fish behavior, and what techniques are working for him. A hatch like this only happens once every 221 years, and there were no computer bugs in 1803.


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