Andy Whitcomb 1/31/2012 We have been on a continuing quest for the perfect family boat. Where else are we going to see hundreds of boat models, RVs, and such under one 445,000 square foot roof? We can visit with dealers and other boat owners and […]
Month: January 2012
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Andy Whitcomb 1/24/2012 South Carolina and now Florida have been especially newsworthy states over the last couple of weeks. However, bass anglers talk about the names of these states year ‘round. One way to know you are in great shape as a fishing state is […]
Tom Keer 1/19/2012 Many years ago, more than I care to admit, I drove to my favorite trout stream. My friends who fished it the preceding weekend reported that stellar hatches were coming off, trout were rising everywhere, and everyone was catching fish. I was […]
It’s the dead of winter, and for many of us trout fishers, that means spending more time in the warm indoors than making casts in the great outdoors. Of course, the intrepid among us are still making trips to unfrozen rivers. Heck, in some tailwaters (rivers that flow from bottom-release dams), the trout barely notice the difference between January and July. Though the days are indeed shorter and the insect menu might be a little different, near-constant water temperatures mean it’s still “game on.”
I’ve always felt that fishing is a state of mind, whether you actually wet a line or not. As such, there’s no better way to beat the winter doldrums than to tinker with your fishing gear and make plans for the coming thaw.
For me, that starts with reorganizing my “office,” a.k.a. my fishing vest. Whether you wear a vest or a pack, now is the time to lean on the New Year’s adage, “out with the old and in with the new.”
Spread out some newspaper on a workbench or your kitchen table, and empty out your vest or pack. Sometimes, that literally pays dividends, as you find a few spare bills or some loose change, maybe that lost car key, or something else you’ve been missing. I actually use a vacuum cleaner attachment to suck out all the grit and grime, loose split shot, spent flies, bubble gum wrappers, and so on, from my pockets.
I also wash my empty vest without detergent in a gentle rinse cycle, then hang it to dry (though I understand some of us wear the smudges and spots like badges of honor). A wash is purely optional.
If you fly fish, open your fly boxes. Inspect your hooks for rust. Leave your boxes open so that they are completely dry. I sometimes slip little silicone packs like one finds at the camera store in my fly boxes to make sure all moisture is wicked away.
Test your lines and tippets. Old, rotted spools will inevitably break on fish. Now is the time to make sure that won’t happen when you hook Mr. Big.
Take inventory. If you’re missing that extra box of split shot, or you misplaced your pliers/hemostats, go ahead and replace those things now. If you’re missing some hot fly patterns, now is the time to reload, whether you tie them yourself, or visit the bargain bin at your local fishing shop. You don’t have to load your vest or pack now. If you’d rather, keep everything in an organized box, and load up right before you hit the water.
But believe me, having your “office” in order now in the winter is one of the best things you can do to ensure a positive start to your fishing season, whenever that happens.
Andy Whitcomb 1/17/2012 Appliances such as the trolling motor, depth finder, and bilge pump receive most of the attention from anglers and boaters. However, not everyone appreciates chilled bait next to the celery. And you will only make the mistake of tracking down the announcement […]
Kirk Deeter 1/13/2012 The weather has turned cold in many places throughout the country, but that doesn’t mean the fishing action has to slow down. And you don’t always have to drill through thick ice or seek out a sandy saltwater flat to scratch that […]
Try as we might, we just can’t fish and boat all the time. However if you are reading this blog, you may already be utilizing a helpful tool for making the most of your downtime: social media.
There is a theory known as “6 Degrees of Separation” where everyone on the planet is connected to everyone else by a maximum of six people. Thanks to the likes of Facebook and Twitter, any degree of separation is rapidly disappearing. We can send messages directly to actors, sports figures, even the next President. We also can use this resource to pick up the latest fishing reports, tips, and aquatic news.
I’m still trying to figure out this whole social media thing. (Not even sure that these social media platforms know what they are sometimes.) It is odd to be followed or befriended by a complete stranger. However, if I get a friend request on Facebook and you are holding a fish, you are guaranteed success.
But how long to wait? What is the social media equivalent of the second ring? The next day? 30 seconds?
What posts achieve “legs” or “traction” also constantly surprises me. Sometimes I’ll try to post something relevant, funny, or provocative about fishing and not get a single comment or retweet. (“Tap-tap-tap… is this thing on?”) Meanwhile, a friend will post something about the quandary of asking a neighbor for her brownie pan back, and she will get 347 comments.
Although they often share the same information, Facebook seems a little more intimate. It might be used to reconnect with old fishing buddies. Twitter is more like grabbing the loudspeaker at a Bass Pro Shop and making an unscheduled announcement.
If my math is correct, in the last 9 months the number of “likes” for TakeMeFishing.org has increased 1300%. That means there are a lot of anglers and boaters who are using this resource to share fish stories, photos, and information. Connecting with people who share in the common love of fishing and boating activities, not only helps with “cabin fever” but also can help make your next outing more successful.