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5 off-season activities to prepare you for spring
By Glenn Walker
winter ahead of us, many anglers stow away their boats and tackle
until they get that spring itch in March.
But there are many things an angler can do to help prepare
themselves and their tackle for next years fishing season.
I have outlined my top five off-season activities that will not
only keep you busy, but help keep you one step ahead of your
#1: Treble trouble
the treble hooks on your crankbaits is one activity that can keep you
plenty busy during the winter months.
What I like to do, is first go through all of my baits with
treble hooks and determine if any of the baits are not useable
anymore. After that I
separate the baits into piles based on if they need new hooks or not.
I am not a big fan on sharpening treble hooks, if I have the
time to put a new one on. That
is why I take full advantage of my down time during the winter to put
new treble hooks on my baits. This
saves me time from having to change them during next season.
This also gives you the opportunity to upgrade the size of
treble hooks on your baits or you can put on a red treble hook on.
When I start looking at my topwater baits, such as Chug Bugs or
Pop-R’s, I like to replace the rear hook with a new Eagle Claw
dressed treble hook. These
Eagle Claw dressed trebles come in a variety of colors and sizes.
So I urge you to experiment and find a color combination that
fits each situation that you may face on the water, my personal
favorite is the red treble with dressed in white.
The other item I recommend picking up before you start this
project, is a high quality split-ring pliers.
I have gone through several cheap pliers over the years and
this past winter purchased a more expensive pair.
Changing out treble hooks has never been easier!!
#2: Get organized
nothing better to help cure the winter blues, then going through all
of your tackle and organizing it so when next season comes around you
are ready. When I go
through my tackle, I am looking to pull out baits that I no longer use
or that are broken. At
this time, I am also able to put together my shopping list.
No only is this fun, but by organizing your tackle you will
save time next season when you go to get a bait out of your tackle
box. Everyone has their
own way of storing and organizing their tackle.
I prefer to keep my baits in Plano Stowaways that have a
specific type of bait, this keeps my baits organized and protected.
athlete, I workout and play hockey throughout the winter months.
But the weight lifting and running I do, also prepares me for
next fishing season. There
is no need for a complex workout; all you want to do is hit the major
areas of your body that get fatigued during the fishing season.
These areas include your back, neck, arms and legs.
Getting a membership to a local health club is the best idea,
because they have machines and free weights that will hit each of
these muscle groups. Usually
these places also have trainers there that can help develop a workout
just for your needs. In
your workout, I would also include some abdominal exercise and of
course some running. This
cardio work will help you fight off fatigue when you are fishing in
the dog days of summer.
you have prepared your tackle and your body for next fishing season,
it is time to prepare your mind. I
am talking about doing some research, which could constitute you
exploring the internet for tournament results from this past year on
the bodies of water you will be fishing.
through fishing magazines is another beneficial way to acquire
knowledge. My two favorite
ways of “researching” are reading books that not only talk about
fishing, but also the mental side of it as well.
One of my personal favorite books is the autobiography of Mike
Iaconelli. I also enjoy
doing a little research and development in the winter months.
Tinkering around with baits is a fun way to help pass the time
when there is ice on the lakes. Coming
up with new color schemes for you baits or fine tuning a crankbait
might just help you put another bass in the boat.
#5: Clean and lube
off-season activity that will greatly benefit you next season and help
keep you from spending more money on fishing tackle is take the time
to clean and perform some basic maintenance on your rods and reels.
By spending a couple minutes on each rod and reel, you can
greatly increase the life of the product.
I like to start by wiping off the cork handles and the rod
blank itself with a warm, wet rag.
A Q-tip works well when it comes time to clean out the guides.
Taking care of your reels is of vital importance, that is why
if you feel uncomfortable taking apart your reel, leave it to a
professional. I like to
take the general frame of the reel apart, this allows me to clean all
the muck and grim off of the reel.
Once I get the reel cleaned, I like to apply some Quantum Hot
Sauce oil and grease to the moving parts of my reel.
When the lakes and rivers freeze over and the snow is on the ground,
you know have five activities to keep you busy and prepare you for
next years fishing season.