Winter is a good time to tune-up your tackle box
For those of you not infected with the ice fishing bug, this time of year usually brings a case of cabin fever. Hunting seasons are mostly done. Spring thaw is a long way off. A trip to a sunnier, warmer location is undoable or, at most, will offer only a few fleeting days of relief.
So what’s there to do?
My advice is to find a warm nook to use as a work space. Plug in a radio or iPod, dial in or download your favorite tunes and get to work on your open-water fishing gear.
I use the “stowaway box” system to organize my lures. I have dozens of those flat, plastic containers that fit in bags, boxes or compartments on my boat. One has early-season crankbaits in it. One contains small early-season flies, one has middle-sized flies, others have stickbaits, lures I use for walleyes when I head for Lake Erie, another has spoons.
On a small boat, it’s a great system. I don’t have enough storage for everything on board. I pretty well know what my target options will be prior to leaving home. So if I think there’s a chance I might be fishing for Skamania steelhead, I’ll put the container with the big red spoons and large jointed stickbaits in the boat. Perhaps I’ll opt for heading offshore to catch a laker for lunch. In goes the box filled with dodgers and Spin-’n-Glows. Won’t be needing the small, coho sized flies? That box comes out of the boat and goes on the shelf.
Does this sound like I’m a bit introspective about being organized? Perhaps I am. But at this time of year, when I open the boxes, I find big jointed stickbaits stuffed in with early-season cranks. There may be glow-in-dark spoons under a tangle of full-sized trolling flies. Over the course of a season things become disorganized and now it’s time to tune things up so you can at least start the season with some sort of propriety in your lure boxes.
The first step is to remove the spoons from the fly boxes, the crankbaits from the spoon boxes and get order restored. Then go through each box and inspect each lure.
Remember when the hook broke on that Kevorian spoon while unhooking a chinook? Remember when the tape came loose on that Dolphin spoon?Remember that the leader was chaffed to the point you no longer trusted it on that Frosted Pickle fly? The lures have been in the box and out of action since June, July or August, but a bit of a tune-up now will put them back in the game for next year.
So tune them up! Replace those broken hooks. Releader those kinked or chinked flies. Retape those loose tapes on spoons or simply restick the tape with a bit of Super Glue.
For $30 or $40 you can have all the lure tune-up supplies you need to go over your entire arsenal. Include an assortment of new hooks and split rings. Add cleaning supplies to includes, scouring powder, spray brake cleaner and some rust remover.
A little of this, a little of that, a little time and your hooks will be sharp, your lures ready to go and all nestled in their appointed spots waiting for spring.
Just like you!