Wintertime is here, and it seems like spring and summer fishing is light years away. Many think that all we can do is wait by the fireplace for the warmer 2023 fishing season to arrive. But actually, it’s not. Prepping for the coming season can play a big role in how successful your year will be. Many fishermen simply wait till warm weather, then drag out their dusty tackle box or bag filled with dull hooks, unrecognizable plastic lures, rusted snaps, and weights in every compartment. They then reach for their reels with an old, frayed line that hasn’t been unspooled since October. Let’s not forget the rods with the broken and bent guides. If you’re not guilty, you probably know someone that is.
Winter is THE time for fishing gear preparation. Don’t let the time sneak up on you, then find yourself getting a late start due to a lack of preparation. Get started now. That way you’ll know what you’re up against. I like to start by unspooling my reels, saving the line when I can. However, I don’t take chances with line breaks. If your line is over a year old, I would consider replacing it. It’s hard to determine if a line is bad by just looking at it, and it’s a good idea to note when you replaced it. That way, you can refer to your notes to determine if it’s time to change. I take the reels to a local authorized dealer, depending on the brand. These guys have the right equipment and are skilled at applying the line correctly. Next, I check all my rods, looking for cracks or anything that may cause a snag or break. I don’t forget the guides and make sure they are secure and not damaged in any way.
I then empty my tackle box, placing all the contents on a large table. Taking inventory of all the contents allows me to determine what I’ll need in the way of lures and other gear. It gives me a chance to clean out the items that no longer serve a purpose. I start a list of all the things that I’ll need to buy at the tackle shop. This way I won’t overlook anything only to realize it later when I need it. I always make sure that my purchases are well in advance of the start of spring fishing so as not to find that some items on my list are out of stock in the tackle shop. It leaves me time to look for other sources of getting tackle. With the slower supply since Covid 19, this is a must.
The next step is to clean out my tackle box, making sure there were no leaked fluids that may damage my lures and other gear. Then it’s time to organize things. Placing the hard lures in one section, soft plastics in another, and then continuing to the hooks and other items.
Prepping for the coming season is not a daunting task for me. It’s a fun way to spend a cold, damp weekend day in my garage man cave. I just turn on the ballgame and get to work. Try it, you’ll be glad you did. Especially when it comes to fishing time again.
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