Getting ready for another seasonPublished 9:53am Tuesday, January 7, 2014 Updated 12:00pm Tuesday, January 7, 2014
So the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is in the past and for those who absolutely can’t wait for open-water fishing the countdown begins. While open-water fishing for those living in the “ice belt” is probably a ways off yet, it is time to get started making preparations for the coming year.
Preparing now can help insure that the busy days of spring don’t keep us from being fully ready when open water finally arrives. Not only that, but preparing is a great way to “scratch the itch” in a way as we wait for the season’s first casts. Here are some things anglers can do while they bide their time waiting for spring.
There are tons of great fishing destinations across North America that anglers can journey to. Now is a great time to do some internet research or attend a sport show or two and check out some of the angling destinations available. Lots of resorts and lodges offer “sport show specials” for those booking trips early and, planning now is also a great way to insure that the resort or lodge of your choice still has vacancies.
For those who employ the services of fishing guides, this is also a good time to make inquiries to potential guides regarding the coming guiding season.
As a full-time guide myself, it is a lot easier to spend time with a client now on the phone or over email providing all the needed information than it is during the actual fishing season.
Certainly good guides make time during the fishing season to provide potential customers with the information they need . However, lots of times those calls or emails are made later at night when the guide’s time on the water is over for the day. The offseason is usually the time when open-water guides are more readily available by phone. Plus, scheduling now can help insure you secure that guide’s services during the time frame you are requesting.
It seems that no matter how hard I try, by mid-season my tackle boxes are not nearly as neat as they are during the season’s beginning. And, by season’s end, they are often in near total disarray.
Now is a great time to get those tackle boxes you stored last fall out from storage and to start reorganizing them. This might not seem like that big of a task, but when you actually get all your tackle boxes in one place, you probably will be amazed (as I usually am) at how much fishing “stuff” you actually own!
Cleaning and reorganizing tackle boxes is actually a big task for most avid fisherman and what better time to get this done than right now when our favorite summer fishing spots are still covered by snow and ice.
One thing anglers with lots of money invested in their tackle sometimes fail to consider is the storage components their lures and tackle components are stored in.
Nothing is worse than to have expensive tackle get wet. For that reason, I depend on Plano’s Waterproof StowAways to protect my tackle.
Tackle boxing cleaning time is also tackle inventory time for this angler. That can only mean one thing: what new fishing “stuff” do I need?
One of the joys of the off-season for fishermen is that it is a time when we can look at all the new lures, baits, and tackle coming for the new season and start stocking up on the ones that we think will help us catch more fish.
As a professional angler, I at times get to sample some of the new lures before they actually hit the market. Late last summer a couple of new products that I sampled really impressed me for their fish-catching abilities.
The Impulse soft bait line has a new 3 1/2” tube that was deadly on several bass fishing trips late in the 2013 season. The Impulse scent and flavor formula has proven very effective for attracting and catching fish and this tube is no different. I rigged them on jig-heads and guide clients and I caught lots of smallmouth and largemouth bass with these presentations last fall.
A new walleye hook that I also sampled last year should prove to be a hit amongst anglers.
The new Crawler Hauler Hook has a bend that adds to the action of a night crawler when pulled behind a bottom bouncer. Adding action to a crawler is something that has increased walleye catches in many situations the past several years. This hook not only adds a frantic action to a crawler, but also has what’s called a Snap-Back-Barb bait keeper that does a great job of preventing the crawler from sliding down the hook.
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The open-water 2014 fishing season is still a ways off. Now, however, is a great time for anglers to start their preparations for the coming season. Paying heed to some of the suggestions just offered can, in fact, help increase the odds for fishing success when anglers do hit the water.
Mike Frisch is a western Minnesota fishing guide. Visit his website www.fishinwithfrisch.com or follow him on Facebook: Fishinwithfrisch.