With Spring right around the corner, anglers everywhere are gearing up for the upcoming season. Trout bums, crappie fanatics, and bass maniacs all coming out of the woodwork, ready to scratch the itch of cabin fever and finally wet a line. Sure, fishing in the winter can be great, but most of the crowd is gearing up for Spring. These are the times when 55 degrees feels like 75 and when the fish can be as aggressive as the anglers who chase them. On any given cast, history can be made, legendary stories written, and memories etched so pure that they’re stamped into brains for a lifetime. Spring is when nature is blooming – birds nesting, turtles sunbathing, turkeys gobbling, flowers budding, and new speckled fawns are being born every day. Spring isn’t only just a good time to be fishing, it’s a good time to be outside.
It doesn’t matter what you’re chasing or where you live. There’s a good chance we can all take a few minutes to gear up for the Spring.
Here are 5 things I plan on doing or have done in the past to get ready for the Spring season.
1) Dust Off The Gear
Walk into the garage, down to the basement, or reach into that closet where you keep your fishing gear and do a little inventory. Examine your equipment to get an idea of what needs to be done. Do you need to replace a guide? Lube up an old reel? Or write down the grocery list of the spring fishing lures for that trip in April? Whatever you need to do, get it done now because nobody wants to be the person spooling a reel on the riverbank while their buddy is slamming bass on crankbaits.
2) Clean Out The Tackle Boxes
Starting the season with a clean slate and an organized tackle box will lead to success. There is no need to color coordinate or organize lures alphabetically, but a little effort will go a long way. Plus, cleaning a tackle box is a good way to remind you of what you already have. If you’re like me, slightly unorganized with a questionable amount of fishing tackle – cleaning out your fishing corner can be like going to the tackle shop. I almost always find a misplaced rig, lure, or spool of line that I forgot about.
3) Text Your Fishing Buddies
Pump yourself up and the people you fish with by sending out that Spring fishing text. The other day, I texted my buddy Al to get in touch and prep for the upcoming Spring fishing season. Our conversation was short and went something like this:
Me: “You ready to hit the backwaters in a few weeks?”
Al: ” I ordered my Golden Hawk flat back canoe the other day. Got one with a solar panel.”
Me: ”Oh he** yeah!!’’
Al: “Yea. It should be dope. I’m pumped. Let’s camp off of it.”
**Al recently upgraded from a one-person kayak to a handmade 12’9″ square stern canoe equipped with custom swivel seats and a solar panel strong enough to charge his phone on sunny days. He’s a panfishing junky, and we know spots loaded with big crappie that you can’t reach on foot or with a big boat. A flat back canoe’s agility and ability make it ideal for float trips or dumping into small ponds and remote lakes. Plus, you can duck hunt out of them in the Fall if you’re into that.
4) Practice Pitching And Flipping
When I first learned how to fish with a baitcasting reel, I practiced flipping jigs into cereal bowls and, eventually, coffee cups in my parent’s basement. Doing this allowed me to familiarize myself with equipment while gaining the muscle memory it takes to make consistent underhand flips while gently thumbing the spool of a casting reel. Flipping jigs is like shooting free throws in basketball. The best people are usually the ones practicing the most. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Get dialed in at home, and you’ll be calling your shots on the water.
5) Replace Old Fishing Line
The fishing line is the one thing that connects you to the memory of a lifetime. So, spend a few minutes before you hit the water, looking over your line. This is especially important for fluorocarbon, which is known to coil, become frail, and be susceptible to knicks and frays. Check your line from last season and if you feel confident with it, use it. If not, replace it. It’s that simple.
I would guess that only 30-40% of the braided line on a fully spooled reel leaves the reel on each cast. So, oftentimes, the section of exposed line that leaves the reel is the only section that needs to be replaced. The remaining line that is still spooled, which is often the majority, is perfectly fine and can be recycled. How do you ask?
Well, you need a second reel that is free of line. You attach the tag end of your worn-out line on the fully spooled reel and begin winding that line onto the second, line-free reel. Now you’ll have a spool full of strong, buttery smooth braided line without costing you a dime. Please note, this works best with braided lines.
Also, secure your braid to the spool with an effective knot and then apply a small piece of electrical tape. This will prevent the braided line from spinning freely around the spool. A common problem people face when lining braid straight to a baitcasting reel.
Get It Done Now
With the spring season approaching, it’s best to get your ducks in a row now. Start gearing up for what is arguably the best time of the year to be fishing. If you’re missing hooks, weights, lures, or lines, or anything else, Karl has you covered. Get the best deals on the premium spring fishing baits, available at Karl’s Bait & Tackle.
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