Even though the wind has been howling and Nor’easters keep trying to delay Spring, we have been thinking about getting our lines in the water as soon as the ice dissipates. Mother Nature keept extending this winter, but Father Time told us that the weather will warm up eventually – Well… finally – we get it! So, after we go around the yard to retrieve grill covers and inspect leaning fences our gaze turns longingly to the fishing poles in the garage.
We’ll be able to use them soon, we hope………
What if tomorrow were the day? What if Pete at Belsan’s Bait & Tackle said that the schoolies are all over the North River? That the trout stocking in the local brooks has begun? Would we be ready? This is a great time to check out your rigs. Are the knots good or should they be retied?
Now, we are by no means experts on fishing gear, knot tying, or catching keepers but we have accumulated some gear over the years and know that this is a good time to prepare. During a storm stuck in the house is a great time to inspect your line. Are there kinks, nicks, coils or knots that need to be fixed? Should you replace all the line? Here is an example of braided line that’s a few years old:
The line needs to be stripped and replaced. We use some mono backing to hold the braided line in place and then reel on some new braid:
Here is kids’ trout pole that has a “memory” issue from monofilament line. It has been on the reel too long so it instantly coils, which makes it hard to cast. This was replaced with brand new six pound test mono, tied off with a swivel:
And finally, if you are chunking bait, fishing macks at the mouth of the river, or chasing blues towards Labor Day, you’ll need to check your leader. Here is an example of a pre-tied leader with 40 pound test line, a barrel swivel on one end and a snap swivel on the other to quick change a hook or lure. These should get new knots each season:
So here we go. We are ready for schoolies, trout, bass, fluke, and whatever tugs on that line. It is the best feeling in the Spring when something grabs the end of your rig and the fight is on. Also, make sure your tackle box is on order as well. Are the hooks sharp, the connectors loose or did your favorite lure from last year rust during the Winter? Remember, you never know when the fish of a lifetime will be on the end of your rod, so you want to have the best possible chance of getting it on the boat/shore, snap a couple of pictures and send it back to fight another day.