Knee deep

I'm getting all twitchy. Ooh, it's a good feeling.

The winter is lifting, the water is flowing and the smallies are calling.

Seriously, the smallies are sending me subliminal messages. Come home to the river Dave, come to us and be one with us again.

I admit, my mind is a pretty spooky place, but I feel I must answer their call.

No, I'm not having some LSD flashback; I'm just jones-ing for a little wading in the icy-cold rivers here in Illinois. We have some spectacular river bass fishing options if you are willing to dip your toes into the icy abyss.

Your best bet is to get out before the spring floods hit. The water is brutally cold, but the bass are willing to smash your crankbaits.

It's so exhilarating when your lower extremities go numb. There is something cleansing to your soul about the cold water and the smallies pulling your string.

I'm not so sure what it is, but my mind clears as the bass visit me for the first time in the spring. They return the zest for life we all need to get sparked from time-to-time.

It all starts with some heavy breathing as I slide my waders on and realize my water pants seemed to have shrunk over the winter. It's amazing how they get larger the more I wade through heavy current during the year.

Then, it's on to picking the arsenal to play with my piscine friends. It's always the same, two rod and reel combos that have seen better days, but are nowhere near retirement age.

Then, a filthy fanny pack that's reeks of years of spilled Smelly Jelly and is prickly as a porcupine with all of the hooks lodged in its skin.

My faithful fanny pack is loaded with square-billed cranks, black or green-pumpkin tubes, spinnerbaits and a few rattlebaits.

The twitching is worsening. My mind is racing. I am in a crazed dementia to slam a few hooks into my best friends. It's time to freeze my backside off and renew my soul.

Dave and Kristin Landahl host The Fishing Fanatics, www.TheFishingFanatics.com, radio show on ESPN radio affiliate AM 1360 WLBK in northern Illinois Thursday evenings from 6-7 PM Central time. You can also tune in to hear The Fishing Fanatics at www.1360wlbk.com and check them out at www.walleyecentral.com