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23 Apr

The Last Days Of Winter…..Fishing Season’s Longest Wait

February 16, 2024

The clock on winter fishing is slowly, but surely ticking to an end. Slow fishing days, cold hands and feet are about to fade into the past in the fishing history books. Many anglers are starting to prepare for the 2024 fishing season by performing tasks like spooling on fresh line, oiling their reels, checking rods for cracks and flaws such as faulty eyelets and other items that may need attention. It’s a time to check the boat trailers and make the necessary greasing of bearings and checking lights. Let’s not forget that our boats need attention too. Things like the health of our batteries, and fuel left over from last fall. Not to mention the navigation lights, electronics and safety gear….this is a must.

While most of us think that we do this to get ready for the warm weather fishing season, we really do it to get back in touch with the thing we love… fishing… saltwater fishing. During the cold days of winter for many of us, it’s all we’ve got. In the shorter days of winter, we’re unable to head out to fish after work or fish after sunset as we do on the warm evenings of summer. Prepping for the fishing season is our way of connecting with the past while thinking about the future of our love of fishing. From now until we make the first cast of 2024 that connection will become stronger and stronger. We’ll watch fishing YouTubes and make multiple trips to the tackle shop to see if there are any new miracle lures that will help us make this year the best one ever.

Then we have a few warm days in March and rush to believe that fishing has begun only to find out that there’s a few more days of winter left when the cool winds return to remind us that it’s not yet that time. After a few false starts we want to give up, believing the fishing season will be greatly delayed this year. April arrives with a few warm days that we fear are only a trick, then it happens. The Bonitos arrive a few miles out. Massive schools of live bait are breaking the water just out the inlet. Tales of screaming reels and images of caught fish suddenly appear on Facebook. It’s here, the beginning of the fishing season. The wait is finally over. The boat ramps that were empty last week are packed on the weekends now. Tackle shops are busy, and friends are calling friends arranging fishing trips. At that time, our lives became normal again. The fish have returned to taunt us, entertain, and feed us. It’s fishing season yet one more time… and it happens every year.

Take a deep breath. It’s coming. Trust me on that. As for myself, I’ve seen it come for 67 years in a row and it excites me more every year. See you out there, but please remember not to “run and gun” into the bait schools. A lesson I learned from my mentor, Captain Lee Parsons.

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