It has been a long winter here in Montana. Some of you may be looking forward to fishing some open water for your favorite fish. It won’t be long before that happens so now is the time to start to get prepared. It might be helpful to make a checklist and use it as a guide for getting things ready.
The first item on the check list is to get your 2011-12 fishing license. Your current license expires next Tuesday March 1st. I like to buy my license at my local sporting goods store so I can look to see what new items might be hitting the market this year. It is also a good time of the year to take advantage of special discount pricing that they are offering on ice fishing gear.
The second thing might be to check your tackle box. If you are like me you have not completed an inventory on what type of terminal tackle you might need to replace since last fall. By going through your tackle box it is a great time to organize and make a shopping list. The rods and reels are next on the list. Make sure you have adequate line on all your reels. You can tell by trying to put some pressure on the line after you tie a knot. If it breaks easily then replace the line on the reel. Then check your fishing poles to make sure all the guides are in good shape.
Now it is time to go through your boat. Take a physical count of the life jackets in the boat so you know how many you have on board. If you are like me then you probably took one or two out for one reason or the other and didn’t replace them or put them back. Your boat needs two new free validation sticker decals for 2011 through 2014. This will replace the green decals on your boat that expires next Monday February 28. Go to FWP Montana Boating Laws page on the FWP website for how to get these decals. Check the batteries in your boat. Place them on a battery charger and make sure they hold a charge. If they don’t hold a charge then check the water level in each battery cell. If they still don’t then take them to get checked out they might need replacing.
The boat trailer is next on the list. The wheel bearings are always must to get packed. If you take them to a tire shop or do the work yourself make sure the bearings don’t need to be replaced before you pack them. Check the wiring on your trailer by hooking up the plug to your towing vehicle to make sure all the lights on your trailer are working properly.
This is a great time of the year to get started on preparing your equipment for the upcoming spring and summer fishing season. So when you hear the fish are biting you will be ready to hit the water.