How To Prepare For The Fishing Season
Here in Colorado the ice is starting to melt off many of the lakes. This has many people, including myself, thinking about fishing. Many people think of the spring and summer when they think of fishing. You may not be ready to hit the water yet, but you might as well start getting ready to.
First off, get yourself a license. My Colorado license is good until the end of March, so I have a couple more weeks, but will need to get a new one soon. Check with your state or a local fishing shop to get your license and check out any changes in the regulations. Many states may adjust parts of their regulations from year to year depending on the previous years fishing harvests. It is also important to check the regulations for the specific lakes or rivers that you will be fishing in. Some lakes and rivers will follow the standard state regulations, but sometimes individual lakes will have their own limits on the fishing to help manage the resources of that body of water.
Next you will want to dig your fishing gear out of the basement or garage and dust it off. Now is a good time to check the condition of your equipment before it has a chance to ruin a trip. Are all your rods and reels in working condition? Do you need to replace anything or change parts to make sure your equipment is working right? Now is also a good time to check your lures, weights, hooks and bait. Maybe you need to pick up some more hooks, or fresh baits. It is better to figure that out now.
Checking Your Fishing Tackle
While we are talking about replacing equipment, check your fishing line. How old is the line you have in your reel? If is is more than a couple years old you should probably go ahead and replace it. The older line was probably lost some of the flexibility and possibly elasticity that it started life with. This could lead to lost tackle and lost fish.
I used to keep the same line on my fishing pole until I had lost enough of it that I couldn't cast as far as I wanted. I was young and naive and didn't realize the reason that I started to loose more fish and break my line more after a couple years was due to the fact that the UV light, use and temperature changes in my garage would make my line much less strong as compared to when it was new. Now I tend to change my line yearly for my main pole and every two or so years for specialty line like lead core line.
Next you want to start planning your fishing. Maybe you have a local body of water that you spend most of your time on, or maybe you are traveling across the world to pursue a new species. Either way start thinking about what you will need to take now. Stock up on snacks, sun screen, insect repellent and any other times you like to take with you when you fish.
Now that you have your license, your tackle in order and have made a plan, get out there and fish. Enjoy the time out on the water and make sure you take a friend or family member with you. You can throw the fish back for another time, or keep some and try out a new way of cooking them, like maybe smoking. Either way, have fun!
Choosing Salmon Lures
Remember The Snacks!
You will also need to remember to bring snacks, water, rain gear and other items that you might use while fishing. It is easy to get caught up in remembering every new lure and piece of fishing equipment. You will want to make sure that you bring snacks to help keep your energy up, as well as plenty of water. The hotter the weather, the more water you will want to bring.
Don't forget to bring clothing that is appropriate for the season and location you are fishing. When you are near the water, the sun reflects from the surface and increases your chances of getting burned. The water also tends to cool off the wind that is blowing, making it feel colder along the water than it would from the nearby parking lot. If you are fishing in the spring you could have thunderstorms or even snow storms move in during the afternoon.
Make sure you are prepared for any rain or snow that might come your way. I know that some of the best fishing that I have had was when it was rainy, or the weather was otherwise uncomfortable. If you are dressed for the conditions, you can keep fishing and catch more fish, even when everyone else has gone home.
Is there anything else that you do to get ready? Let me know in the comment section below what you do to get ready. Whether it is a big trip, or just a afternoon at a local pond, what makes it work out well for you?