Fishing & Boating in the Northwoods

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Think Spring and Spring Fishing!

Purple Flower Buds in Field

As I sit here and look out the window at the snow swirling around my house, wondering if we are really going to get that foot of snow that was predicted, my mind begins to wander. All of a sudden, it hits me… it’s March 2nd! I need to think Spring!

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For a guy whose boat has been sitting in a cold barn for the last five months, the only thing that I can now think of is the fact that the fishing opener is just around the corner! In fact, it’s actually here… at least for early trout in Wisconsin. It also means that walleye opener is not too far behind.

Good Information Sources

My boat is crying to be released from its winter storage facility and there are lots of things to do to get ready for the upcoming fishing and vacation season. One of the first things one can do is visit the website for the Wisconsin DNR and/or the Minnesota DNR to get lots of useful information. There is plenty of news about places to camp, hunt and fish. And there are downloadable maps and regulations, as well as permit applications and lot of other important information.

These are also great places to get your hunting, fishing and camping licenses and permits online. Speaking of “online”, this is a good time (if you’re not shoveling at the moment) to take a look at those fishing poles from last year.

Lessons Learned

I learned the hard way that just about all fishing line that has been exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun for the entire fishing season is going to deteriorate. Now is a great time to strip off about 15-20 yards so that you have fresh line to put in the water this spring.

Better yet, if you’ve given those poles a good workout (and maybe you haven’t put on new line in a while), why not just re-spool them with new line altogether. As they say: “there’s a spooling choice for every budget.” Face it, tying on new line, snap swivels and leaders sure beats losing that first big fish of the season because of old and tired and/or frayed line!

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s are sending out their newest catalogs, packed full of deals on line, reels and rods. Being prepared is the best way to start a new season.
In the face of a weekend seemingly offering little more than some couch time watching re-runs or basketball games, why not peek into the ol’ tackle box and see what needs repairing or replacing?

Check out those reels, too, to make sure they are lubed and ready.

Why not do some re-organizing so that your first fishing trip of the season doesn’t find you cursing the fact that an important lure lost to a giant bass never got replaced? Double-check to make sure that your first-aid kit is still full of the necessities like aspirin, band-aids, and allergy meds for the possible reaction to a bee sting.

Make a List & Make a Plan

Even if it is still in storage, you can always make a list of things to check on when you get your boat back home. Do you still carry an emergency signal flare (one that’s not way outdated)? Are your ropes/mooring lines still in good condition or could they use replacement? Is there ample sunscreen on board? Is your fire extinguisher in need of replacement or servicing?

Spring can sometimes be a frustrating time of year. The ice has that grey or black and waffled appearance that announces the end of the hard water season. But Spring is also a great signal that it’s time for renewal of both land and spirit.

The days lengthen, the sun rides higher in the sky, and the annual spawn is at hand. Take the time to rejoice that warmer weather is soon to follow. Think positively. Think spring. But think and plan ahead, so that when the time comes to head for your favorite fishing hole… you are ready!

As always, I hope to see you On the Lake!

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R. Karl

Angler, Author & Epicure

Fishing since the age of eight.  Seriously writing since the age of 16. Chef and foodie from the age of 22 years… and counting. So much to learn and so little time. I have enjoyed every minute of it all.  Whether on the water (where I like it best), in the kitchen, or at the keyboard, churning out content, I feel like I have found my place.  I am sharing it with you in the hope that some of what I love to do will rub off on you. I hope to see you On the Lake!

R. Karl