I hate to admit it…I wasn’t ready. What was I thinking?

I was doing some chores around the house last Sunday evening after spending my whole Saturday helping a friend put a new roof on his house. I was tired. I was sore. I was looking forward to some down time once I knocked out a few more chores. Then my doorbell rang.

It was my neighbor stopping by to tell me he was getting ready to hook up his boat and head to a local lake and he was inviting my son and I along. He said he’d be ready in 15-20 minutes. He could probably detect the tension in my face…I had several chores to wrap up, I was tired and sore from roofing, and I didn’t even have my license yet this year. I politely said I didn’t think I could this evening, but appreciated the invitation. He told me if I changed my mind, he’d be in his driveway hooking up the boat.

I was torn. I wasn’t ready. So I did what any self-respecting man would do. I lamented to my wife.

To make a long story short, I went online and purchased my fishing license and my son and I joined my neighbor that evening for a few hours of fishing. My son was the only one who caught anything. The only thing I came back with was the picture at the top of this post. But it was definitely worth it!

Don’t be like me. Don’t forget to prepare for the new season. Even the ordinary outdoorsman can take a few simple steps and be ready for a new season of fishing.

1. Organize and inventory all your fishing gear.

If you are like me, you probably quickly stowed all of the gear haphazardly last winter. You needed to make room in the garage for the seasonal shuffle and didn’t take the time to gather all your fishing gear into one spot and organize it. Well, what are you waiting for? Before you have to start mowing the lawn, use that time to go through your gear, clean your equipment, and get a good inventory of what you have and what you will need for the season.

2. Plan a “restocking” trip to the local tackle shop.

Whether it’s plastics, hard baits, line, weights, rigs, etc., my guess is that you are low or completely out of something. Your goal, now that your gear is accounted for and organized, is to figure out what you need in order to hit the ground running on that first trip to the lake. Plan a trip to the local tackle shop (or shops) and grab the things you are going to need. It’s fantastic to have this done so you are ready to go when the moment arises.

3. Change your fishing line.

Changing your line is often overlooked by the ordinary outdoorsman. True, the line you put on last year could last through another season. However, if it’s more than one season old, you are better off changing it especially if it is monofilament. I prefer to change line every year. A fresh spool of line casts so much better.

4. Buy your fishing license.

If you do nothing else ahead of time, do this! There is nothing worse than having to say no to an early fishing opportunity because you haven’t purchased a license for this year yet. Many states allow you to purchase your permits online which is handy in a pinch, but even that can take 10-15 minutes and requires internet access and a printer.

5. Get out there ASAP!

No excuses! Sometimes you just have to get out there. You won’t regret it. Even if you can’t do steps 1 – 3 (like I couldn’t in this situation), get your license and get out there! Even if you don’t catch any fish, there are few things more enjoyable than a few hours on the lake.

How about you? What do you do to prepare for fishing in the spring?

Categories: Fishing