by Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters (c) 2001
After any winter season, but especially after the overly long winter, anglers are itching for some quality time on the water.
But, after about six months of inactivity, many anglers forget what is needed to get themselves and their equipment into tiptop shape for opening day.
Here are just a few tips in anticipation of the fishing season:
Spools: Anglers should replace their fishing line at least once a year. It tends to get frayed and worn. You wouldnt want to let the big one get away just because you didnt check your line. When you are spooling on your new line, keep the line tension consistent to prevent knots, loops and twists, and remember to recycle your old line. Its dangerous to just leave it lying around. You should also consider taking your reels to a professional for a complete inspection.
Fishing Rod: Be sure to examine your rod for missing or scratched guides. It wouldnt take much for your line to snap if, while trying to land a fish, the line catches a knick in one of your guides. Small scratches can be found by running a cotton swab through the guides. A touch of clear nail polish will smooth over minor scratches on the guides.
Tackle inventory: Every angler should take the time before the season starts to open his or her tackle box and examine all lures and hooks. Plastic baits will degrade and hooks may get dull. Spend some time sharpening your hooks, and make a shopping list of the tackle you think you will need. Dont throw away those old lures and hooks. Recycle or reuse if possible. Pass them on to a young angler anxious to build up his or her own tackle box.
Fishing documents: Before you put that first line in the water make sure your paperwork is up to date. Your up-to-date Outdoors Card is a must. Put your charts, maps and fishing guides in a resealable plastic bag with a copy of the latest fishing regulations. And dont forget sunscreen, insect repellent, polarized sunglasses and a camera to capture the thrill of a live release.
As for getting yourself ready for the fishing season, relax, it will be here before you know it.
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