There’s so little time and so many things to do with my fishing tackle.
It’s almost half-past April and I have yet to get all my tackle ready for the summer of fishing ahead.
Check the monofilament line on your reels. Chances are it needs to be replaced. There are many ways that fishing line can go bad. Exposure to direct sunlight is one of the most common. Another is being exposed to insect repellent. Remember when you sprayed to keep the mosquitoes or bugs off you? You might have inadvertently sprayed a little on your fishing line at the same time.
Check your reels and make sure they are working in proper order. Test the drag and make sure it is working properly.
Make sure your fishing rods are not broken or have hairline cracks. Rods are broken in car doors, house doors, or through poor storage. Proper rod storage in your boat will prevent rod breakage.
Go through your tackle box and take a quick inventory of how much tackle you have. And get it organized. Prepare a tackle box or separate tray for trout, northern pike, bass, lake trout, and lake whitefish, for example.
Don’t forget to check the hooks on your spoons, spinners and crankbaits. Are they broken or bent? Do they need replacing? They likely all need a little sharpening.
Once you complete this inventory, it will much easier for you to know what you need to replace the next time you go shopping. And make a list so you don’t forget what you need when you go to the store.
It’s worth noting, too, that spring is a great time to shop because many of the stores are clearing out last year’s stock to make room for new merchandise coming in this year.
If you fish with electronics turn them on before you get on the water. Your batteries in your boat also should be checked and the trailer lights should be plugged in to make sure they are in proper working order. Inspect the tires on your trailer as well as the wheel bearings.
You will need to make sure your boat is licensed. You will need a new Coast Guard sticker. Also check the fire extinguisher, life jackets, throw cushion and anything else that is required by Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks to legally operate your boat.
Get your personal gear in order. Got sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellant, jacket, rain gear? And how about a new fishing cap to top it all off?
Finally, make sure you have your fishing license and, if needed for where you fish, a warm water fishing stamp.
With cold winds and periodic snowstorms still kicking across the mountains at this time of year, you can put your free time to good use. You’ll be better prepared to have fun out on the water in the fishing days ahead.