The beginning of the fishing season is an exciting and heavily anticipated time. Whether your favorite season is early spring for bass, summer for surf fishing, or winter for ice fishing, many anglers are getting ready to get back out on the water.
Before the fishing season begins, you can start preparing for your first catch of the season! It is beneficial to check in on your fishing gear and restock where necessary. Prep your fishing gear ahead of time so that you can get back out on the water as soon as possible.
Rod and Reel Maintenance
Your fishing rod and reel are the two most important pieces of equipment you’ll need. They’re also usually the most expensive pieces of fishing gear, so it’s a good idea to check on them first and ensure that they are in proper working order. Proper rod and reel maintenance can save you from having to buy new equipment and prevent breaking or losing gear out on the water, which can ruin a good day of fishing.
Clean your fishing rod handles with mild soap and water. Check the rod for any signs of damage – guides and eyelets are the most likely pieces to break, to ensure that everything is in proper working order. If there’s something off with your rod, consider having a professional check it out if you can’t repair it yourself.
Reels are highly sensitive and need lubrication to work properly. Save the manual when you buy reels so that you know how to lubricate or take apart your specific reel model. If you aren’t confident doing this yourself, take it to a professional. You should also unspool old line if it’s still on your reel from last season and be sure to replace it.
Some gear will need to be restocked and replaced. Live bait, of course, should be purchased right before or the day of your fishing trip. Fishing line should generally be replaced each year – most types of the line will wear down with UV rays, from use, and due to memory from being on the reel.
Hooks may also need to be replaced if they are rusty or too worn down. You can also re-sharpen your hooks. Older lures may also need to be thrown away if they are broken or rusty. Go through your lures and figure out which ones are worth keeping and which you may need to restock or buy a newer model.
Organize your tackle box before you get out on the water to save time. When you go through your lures and other terminal tackle, figure out what you need so that you can order new lures ahead of time. Clean your tackle box with water and soap if necessary, and let it dry before you put your tackle back inside.
Organize your tackle box by type of tackle (lures, hooks, swivels, weights, bobbers, beads) and then by size. Experienced anglers will also organize by type of lures and weight if they are so inclined. Doing this will make it easier to find what you need once you’re fishing. Use labels to help yourself stay organized and take advantage of tackle boxes with various compartments for all your needs.
There are a few other preparations you should consider before the fishing season kicks off.
Ensure that your fishing license is up to date, and renew it if necessary. If you have a boat, do the same for your boating license and registration. You should also prepare your boat by cleaning it and making sure it is tip-top shape before taking it out. Regular boat maintenance is key to keeping your boat functioning. Get it serviced well in advance of the fishing season, and inspect tires and trailers.
Check other basic tools like pliers, scissors, knives, and any other piece of equipment. Replace anything that is broken or rusting ahead of time, and organize it in your fishing bag or however, you transport it. Clean out coolers as well.
Restock sunscreen, insect repellent, fish attractant, and any other commonly used gear. Stock up on clean water to bring on the boat as well – it’s important to stay hydrated. You may also want to invest in hats for fishing if you don’t already have one, as well as sunglasses to protect your face. Rain gear should also be inspected for tears or damage, including boots, waders, and any other fishing attire.
Make sure you have a fully stocked first aid kit – go through and replace any items that were used the year before or add anything you deem necessary.
Prepare for the Start of Fishing Season
Now that your fishing gear is cleaned, replaced, restocked, and reorganized, you’ll be ready to kick off fishing season with a great catch – or a few! You can prepare even further by checking out the weather, water conditions, and fishing reports. Prepare ahead of time to increase your success and make your next great catch!