It all started innocently enough! I went down to Presque Isle Saturday to help out at SNOW DAYS sponsored by the PRESQUE ISLE PARTNERSHIP. Of course, nature played a trick on everyone and there was no snow to be seen anywhere. Surprise, surprise, that did not seem to bother most people. By 9:00 am, one hour before scheduled opening of the event, we had over 50 people in the Rotary Pavilion.
I got what I though was an easy job. Jim Butts said, “Hey Gene, how about you get a roaring fire going in the fireplace. I put plenty of wood just outside the door,”. Ok, with me, so I got started right away. Two hours later the fire finally was roaring. Have you ever tried starting a wood fire with wet wood? Well maybe “wet” is not the right word. How about dripping, soaked, or waterlogged wood. It was a good thing that the food vendor had a lot of cardboard boxes that were on their way to the dumpster. But by 11 am, the fire was rousingly under way.
While I was doing this, the “Sons of Lake Erie were setting up their display table right by the fireplace. We started talking about the spring and sumner fishing season and a couple of the avid fishermen in the group said that with the weather we have been blessed with, they have already begun to do their annual fix-it-up or replace the tackle-box cleaning chore. That got me to thinking, I really needed to get going on my own fix-it-up, clean-it up or throw it away party. God only knows what condition my supply of lures, rods, and other required equipment is in. Basically, when the season ended, my fishing expert, who just happens to be my youngest grandson was in charge of organizing my garage fishing area.
When I arrived home I took a look. I really wish I had not. Sure enough, some idiot stacked a bunch of lawn chairs, two tables, a large swing and 24 garden pots stood in a pile between me and the fishing equipment. Some real jerk must have done this that way back last fall. Oops, that would be me. So what else is new.
It turns out that Steven, my grandson, did a fairly good job organizing until he must have grown tired. So I decided that first of all I needed to make a list of what I knew need to be done before mid-April. The following are some of the upcoming fishing equipment jobs on my to-do list.
Since I sold my boat (I am looking for a new one, well that is now just a definite maybe since without a boat my habits will be making big changes.) I now have 18 rods on the wall in the garage and may not need many of them. Some are like new and some qualify as junk. Two of my best rods have broken end tips which need replacing. Seems someone must have slammed the car door shut on the tips when down at the Outer Banks. Of course, no one, including me, admits that little error in judgement. Good thing I can sand, glue and replace the all important tips. Here I come Field and Stream!
When that job is done, the next job will be a good cleaning of all the rods. Here is another job for good old WD-40. I just spray it on the rod, let it sit for 10 minutes and then wipe it down with a clean cloth. This usually will clean and polish the rods till at least August, when I do it all over again.
Next I will open the tackle boxes and take everything out of them. When I say everything, I really do mean that. Even the two dried up worms that someone left in the bottom of one the boxes. Once the box or boxes are empty, set them outside and fill them with hot water and add ¼ cup of Simple Green. Than they need to sit for 30 minutes or so. Now depending upon the condition of the boxes, I may empty them and rinse them with the hose or get out the power washer and do a really good job. Most times I just rinse and clean with a rag. Now just let them air day on a warmer place. Notice, I am saying said boxes. With myself and at least four others fishing out of these boxes during the summers, I have at least three going at all times. One huge, two medium size and at least two small for in the back of my car. Oops, I mean one more because we have a family salt water ocean fishing box that I take to the Outer Bans each and every year on our family vacation.
Now that the boxes are clean, it is time to tackle the tackle. I usually spread a plastic table cloth out somewhere. For me that is almost always on a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood which I lay on two saw-horses. I sort the tackle between types, lures, spinners, hooks, sinkers, and miscellaneous other important fishing items such as snaps and leaders. NOTICE: I do not include fly fishing flies and such as only my grandson is a fly fisherman and I let him handle his own equipment for fly fishing. That is one form of fishing that I never had patience enough to try.
Next, it is time to clean, fix or trash the lures, spoons and spinners that have been rusting in the tackle box because it was too cold to clean them last fall. You should clean them with a good metal rust remover, and once this is done, grab the WD-40 again and coat with a light spray. Make sure you look at the hooks attached to them. Do they just need replacement or can you get away with just sharpening them? I will almost always vote for replacing them. It is easy and inexpensive and pays off in the long run.
Now is the time to take a good inventory of your equipment. Do you need a few new spoons, sinkers. Look at that pile of last year’s leaders which are just a tangle in the corner of the table cloth, maybe you should also consider some new leaders. Now is a great time to take a trip to the sport stores and at least window-shop for some of the needed items.
But maybe before you do that, you might consider either taking the reels (well, at least a couple of them) to the sport store and spending a couple bucks having them clean and service the reels and load new line on them. I TRY to take at least two per year to have them looked at by someone who knows what should be done and how to do it. Many fishing stores and bait shops will do this if they sell you the line. I do clean and load new line on the other reels nearly every year. Reels are expensive so the ten bucks or so many of the stores charge to clean and spool new line on your reels is worth it.
The last item on most of your trips should be a new fishing license. Well, that is for most people. I am, however, very lucky I have a senior lifetime license and that chore is not on my planned trips. Just remember, some new fishing rules always work their way into the state’s agenda each year so refresh yourself on them before you head out.
Have a great spring, summer and fall fishing season and,
See you on the Park, Lake, Lagoons or Bay!!
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