For many anglers, winter is a time to put away the lures, pack up the boat, and store the tackle box in a dark corner of the basement. While some are lucky enough to live in warm climates like the Florida Keys, and others get to take their fishing to the ice, many anglers see winter as the “off-season.”
However, just because you’re not fishing doesn’t mean you should sit and be idle. Instead of wishing for spring, there are many things you can do during the winter to ensure a more successful year on the water.
Salt, dirt, and grime can get into your rods during fishing season, but winter is the perfect time to rinse them off and thoroughly clean them. Make sure to meticulously dry your fishing rods, as metal components can rust and get corroded from the water. A WD-40 wipe is a great way to combat rust, but you could also use a cotton ball to soak up any extra moisture. While you’re at it, inspect the line guides for damage that may ruin fishing line.
Using the owner’s manual as a reference, oil the gears and moving parts of your reel so they are smooth, lubricated, and protected. Be careful about disassembling the reel; many reels hold tiny springs and screws that can be very difficult to reassemble.
You can re-spool your reels for the price of a few lures, and winter is the perfect time to take care of this important, but time-consuming step. You can handle this project at home or you can take it to an outdoors store. Most of these locations will re-spool reels for you, keeping everything uniform and ensuring the line is attached properly.
How many lures in your tackle box have dull, rusty, or bent hooks. One option is to throw them out; a better option is to reinvigorate them with new hooks. You can usually find packages of treble hooks for less than a dollar each, which is a lot more affordable than buying brand-new lures.
While you’re extracting and fixing all those old lures, why not take the time to clean out your tackle box? Start by emptying the entire box of all items and placing them in a safe place like a large bowl or cardboard box; anything that will ensure you don’t have sharp lures lying around the house.
Now clean out the box with a damp rag and dry it off. Sort your lures by type and organize the box so you can easily find the item you are looking for. You should also use this as an opportunity to throw out unwanted junk that is cluttering your tackle box.
If you’re going to be sitting inside during cold winter evenings, it’s the perfect time to read up on fish and angling techniques. Reading about fish behavior, best practices, and new strategies will make you a more effective angler and make your fishing season all the more rewarding.
One of the most important steps you can take for fishing season is stocking up on performance fishing apparel from Huk. You’ll find long-sleeve shirts, fishing masks, hoodies, and more, all designed to make you a better angler in any season.
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