It’s that time of years again, you know, when winter is pretty well all over, the snow is all but gone, but it’s still to early to really call it spring.
If nothing else, however, it is a good time to get ready for the upcoming fishing season.
Spend a few hours checking over all your lines, leaders, and tippet to make sure the lines are clean and there are no knots in your leaders left over from the last fishing trip.
I use a solution of slightly warm water and a very small amount of dish soap to clean my lines, although the commercially made ‘line wipes’ are just as good and a lot easier to use.
I don’t know how many times I have started to load my electric trolling motor into the vehicle only to suddenly remember that I forgot to charge the batteries.
A smarter person would have put their battery onto a trickle charger when they got back from their last fishing trip. I use two deep-cycle batteries.
That way, when I’ve gone fishing for several days, I can have one charging at the cabin while I am out on the water with the other. My point is that a battery without a charge isn’t much good when you arrive at the lake and want to head out fishing.
Another thing that I have neglected to do when I have returned from a fishing trip, is to clean out the cooler and put the ice packs back in the freezer. On more than one occasion, I’ve gone to put food and drinks in the cooler, only to open the lid and see my ice packs sitting there on the bottom – at room temperature. And even worse, I’ve looked inside and found blue-green mould.
I have also learned – again the hard way – to make sure that I bring along a number of packages of matches, as well as a bundle of newspapers and some fire starter.
I put a couple of packs of matches inside a plastic baggy in with my stuff in the cooler, a couple more in one of the pockets of my fishing vest and a couple more in my tackle box. I even have matches in my first aid kit, which is another thing that you should make sure always gets restocked.
Sitting around, listening to a fire crackling in the wood stove is for me one of the more pleasurable parts of going fishing and staying at the cabin.
Looking for matches to start a fire is one of the less enjoyable things.
Waders and rain gear are another one of those things that seem to get put away and forgotten about at the end of one fishing season, an action lamented the following season when leaks are discovered. Proper repairs should be done indoors, at one’s leisure, prior to heading off. Having said that, an emergency repair done with gaffer’s tape will be good enough to get you by for the day.
Take it from me, sometimes the smallest of things can completely screw up even the best planned fishing trip. I’ve learned the hard way, to keep a spare stopper for my boat in my tackle box. Over time the rubber on the stopper can get hard and cracked. It only takes a small amount of water leaking into your boat to get everything that’s sitting on the bottom wet.
A couple of rolls of toilet paper, flattened down, do not take up very much space but they sure can come in handy. So can garbage bags, soap, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, gaffer’s tape and some rope – all things that I have forgotten to pack at one time or another. They are also the kind of things that get used up.
I guess when it comes to finding the time to do the small things that need to be done in preparation for a fishing trip, what better time than the present – especially now as I look out the window and see that it’s snowing.