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Pro Tips….Preparing For 2018 Fishing Season

February 23, 2018


The definition of luck is “when preparation meets opportunity.”  This is so important when it comes to fishing.  My wife marvels at how long it takes me to get ready to go out somewhere, yet, can have my boat hooked up and be headed fishing in less that 15 minutes.  It comes down to one word…preparation.  Here are some tips to make sure you are well prepared to take advantage of every opportunity on the water.

  • Check all your fishing line.  I change my line a few times a year on reels I fish almost daily.  At least change any monofilament line you have used in the past season.  The sun and salt are hard on line, it is inexpensive and is the connection between you and the fish.  Don’t try to save money here!Replace you lines with braid or back your high capacity reels with braid and a top shot of 100-200 yards of monofilament.  The initial cost is more, but braid can last for multiple seasons.
  • Go through your lures and jigs.  Sharpen or replace hooks on lures, if it has any rust replace it.  The rust weakens the hook and you can not sharpen rust.  Replace rusty jig hooks, sharpen good ones.  Remove the hooks on your clark spoons and polish back to a shine with fine steel wool.  Replace rusty hooks.  They are notorious for breaking.  It’s embarrassing to pull up an empty spoon with a broken hook.
  • Inspect offshore trolling rigs and lures.  Look for nicks in monofilament lures and kinks in wire leaders.  Those equal lots of fish!  Make sure your hooks are sharp and not rusty, replace and sharpen as needed.  Only use ball bearing snap swivels.  They are worth the money.  Keep them lubricated and they will last multiple seasons and also swivel more freely than standard swivels.
  • Examine the guides on your fishing rods.  On ring guides look for grooves and cracks.  To find small imperfections use a Q-tip sliding it over the guide.  The cotton will grab hard to see nicks and cracks.  Replace them with new guides.  Make sure roller guides roll freely and are smooth.  Lubricate or replace them as needed.
  • I always rinse my reels after every fishing trip in fresh water with a light spray.  Do not use a directed spray which can force water and salt into places they should not be.  After the water you can spray down the reels with a water displacing spray.  Look over the reels for lubrication points.  Common places are spinning reel bails, rollers, handle knobs, bearings, drag and clutch levers, and level winds.  If reels are beyond your ability to repair, consider a repair shop to bring reels to tip top shape.
  • nowadays many repairs are within the ability of mechanically inclined Do-It-Yourselfers.  The internet offers a wealth of resources to help.

This is just an overview of the preparations you can do in the off season to help you make ready your tackle for the coming season.  I look at it as a great way to extend the season by prepping for the next while reminiscing about the last.  Add some luck to this season by being prepared!

Courtesy of Capt. Jim Sabella – Plan 9 Fishing Charters – captjimsabella50@msn.com – 910.367.2224


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