The outdoor show season is upon us, in the months of February and March most of us are already dreaming of the open water season peaking at the horizon. We all want to go outside and cast a line as soon as possible. Thing to keep in mind if we want to maximize our results, we need to make some preparations.
Whether you’re a newcomer in the fishing world, a long-time angler, a weekend tournament warrior or a seasoned veteran of tournament trails you can begin preparations without even taking out a single piece of gear.
What you can do will vary depending on your goals for the season and the degree to which you aim. It goes from planning out where you want/will fish, see what need to be ordered for replacement and replenishment, what need to be maintained, added etc. It also includes getting your sonar units, maps and all up to date.
The list of bodies of water is useful at all levels as it will help you plan out where you will go, do you need to take some holidays, plan lodging and related expenses. It will make it clearer as to what will need to be packed, adapted or bought.
Once that is settled and you figured what you need to get to make it all happen you could just sit back, relax and wait for the ice to melt but you can push further. Educating yourself by watching videos, seminars, reading articles and related information on techniques you know or want to learn.
One thing I like to mix in with the educational material is doing maintenance on my rods and reels. For the rods, it is quite simple. Take a soft cloth with warm water mixed with dish soap and clean the rod whole rod. From the but section to the tip, it all needs to be clean. The reel seat can sometime get gunked up pretty bad with algae residues or dirt. The guides are easy to check, grab a cotton swab and run it on all guides, if on one, some fibers get lodged this is a tell-tale sign of damage and should be replaced to prevent damaging your line. Once that is done, comes the reels.
For the reels, it’ll depend on your level or dexterity and how mechanically inclined you are.
For myself, all reels with be taken apart completely, cleaned, reassembled with new grease and oil on critical components. The line needs some attention too. Braided line benefits from a longer lifespan compared to say monofilament, fluorocarbon or copolymer line. For braided line it is easy to check, look for over discoloration and fraying. One thing I like to do with braid is also flip it on my reels. To do this, you will need two empty spools. Transfer the content of a reel onto a spool and then transfer it back on the second one. Once done spool it back on your reel and what was used during the season will now be at the bottom of the spool and the bottom part that barely saw the light of day will now be on top ready to do. For the other types, I would advise to replace them each season as these lines don’t work well with sun exposure and temperature changes.
You are now at that moment where you can say “Let’s wait for the good time to come!”. The places that you plan to visit are known, what needed be was bought. Updates are done, rods and reels are good to go. Last thing to do is wait for the time to come. For those that have watercrafts of all shapes and sizes you just need to get them ready and I will take care of that in a later text.
Until then, be patient, be safe and to a great season!
Bearded Bass Projekt