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The Tackle Box asks…
Why Winter?
 

by Ralph B. Spoerl
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            A northern fisherman once asked me why we had to have winter (it’s a long season of waiting for fishing to resume).  I really didn’t have a good answer (beyond the will of Mother Nature).  If we just had spring, summer, and fall, that would sure make fishing life easier here in the north.  There’d be no hard water (ice), so we’d still be able to cast; and we wouldn’t need to put the boats away for months at a time.  Yes, that would be sweet!

            But hey… wait a minute… what would I do with my snow-blower?  And what about those great times on my skis or my snowmobile?  More importantly, when would I have time to get my fishing stuff set up?  Good grief!  I guess winter does serve a few purposes and does offer a nice break.  Maybe winter’s not so bad after all.  As a matter of fact, we should probably thank Old Man Winter for giving us this time to properly prepare for the fishing season.  Oh yeah, and if you ice-fish, a “thanks” in that direction is probably in line as well.

            As for the Tackle Box, we’re headed to the basement to start cleaning reels, rods, and crank-baits.  Isn’t it also about time to throw some whitewall cleaner onto a rag and clean up the cork handles on the rods?  And are you sure you released the drag on your reels yet?  Have we all pulled out our maps and updated our best spots, checked our log books, and made sure our records are legible (penmanship sure takes a beating when you’re writing on a rocking boat in the wind).? Speaking of wind… that reminds me of those two maps that sank on me before I could get them back in the boat (like most, I hit the throttle before I rescued the maps from the water.  Whoosh!  Gone!).  Helpful reminder… waterproof maps sink FAST in the water.

            Back to those winter activities…

Grabbing a notepad and doing some inventory might not be a bad idea (mine will read, “Order tungsten hooks and beads”).  Checking those blades on the spinner-baits and checking the hooks on the crank-baits and rattle-traps wouldn’t hurt, either.  And this year, where possible, the Tackle Box is resolved to get rid of those lead weights (an environmental thing that I believe all fishermen should be conscious of… and from all reports, most are).  And then there are the upcoming sports shows… must have time to attend as many as possible and pick up the latest information and supplies.

            You know… when I think about it… by the time we’re done with all the clean-up, repair work, and preparation… spring will be here!  Yes, for the northern fisherman, the Tackle Box has definitely figured out the “why” of winter—and is glad for it.

 

 Ralph B. Spoerl is a freelance outdoor writer from Mukwonago, Wisconsin. He has been actively involved in tournament bass fishing and the professional bass fishing industry, both as participant and a writer, for more than 15 years. He currently fishes as a pro-angler on The Wisconsin Alliance of Bass Tournament Anglers Tour and contributes to futurebass.com, adventuresoutdoors.org, Badger Sportsman Magazine and other fishing publications.