Now's the time to prepare for spring, summer fishing
Written by Sheboygan Press   
Tuesday, 03 February 2009 21:55
Sick of the cold weather? I don't know about you, but spring is looking more and more apppealing. I'm not much of an ice fisherman, there's no deer hunting going on and the only kind of hunting at the moment is for rabbits, or predators. While I do like getting out and chasing bunnies around or trying to outsmart coyotes when I get the chance, I'm getting more antsy to go open-water fishing despite everything being locked in a sheet of ice.

There is some limited open-water fishing available when the weather permits it. Power plant fishing for brown trout, or heading south to the shores of Milwaukee will offer some relief if you want to brave the elements, should the temperatures be a bit more tolerable.

But if winter-time Great Lakes fishing isn't for you, take steps now to prepare for the upcoming warmer weather months.

Take an inventory of your gear. Got enough hooks? Are they sharp enough?

Stock up on jigs, crankbaits, spoons or other assorted gear like bobbers and sinkers.

How about your rods and reels? Are they in good working condition, or do they need to be replaced? If so, now is the time to do it. Many retailers will have sales, and you will likely be able to get steals on items with the state of the economy.

Are your landing nets in good shape? Check those out too. The last thing any fisherman wants is to have a landing net in bad shape and find out the hard way the first time you hit the water.

Are your electronics in good condition? While those are generally more costly, there will be some decent sales coming soon. Replace if need be.

How about waders? If you have waders, check them out now to make sure they are free of holes. Stepping into an ice-cold stream and realizing they leak isn't going to make you happy. Patch kits can be bought for a minimal price if you don't want to replace your hip boots or waders.

The most important thing is your line. Change your line before you head out for the early part of the season. I make it a point to strip all my line off each year, and put fresh monofilament on each of my poles. Who wants to worry about the old stuff holding up when you get your first fish on of the year?

And if you have all that done, how about looking at, and studying lake maps of new spots you might want to try. Go and buy some maps, or go online, and check some new spots out.

And finally, don't forget about upcoming sportsmen's shows. Meet guides, attend seminars and perhaps get some fresh ideas that might give you an edge this season. I'm always looking for some different perspectives on how to approach my favorite kinds of fish.

Tackle some of these little projects now, and have everything ready. While I know it's only the first of February, and the Super Bowl party is probably on your mind, open-water fishing could happen in just a few short weeks if Ol' Man Winter lets his icy grip go. And besides, doing these things may give you warm thoughts.

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