Ever wonder what you can do to get a fishing “fix” in the winter if your not an ice fisherman and you live in the frigid north? Besides the obvious magazine reading, and shopping, here are a few ideas.
- Clean your fishing rods and check for cracks – Everyone has had or will have, a fishing rod break while they are fishing. Sometimes this cannot be avoided, but other times you can find these issues before the next season starts by wiping down your fishing rods and checking the guides for nicks, scratches, or cracks. If you find a crack in the rod, get a new one. I have never met someone who has repaired a graphite rod and been satisfied. If you cut it down it changes the action. If you try and wrap the cracked area it changes the action. If you have a crack in a guide, you can buy replacements and fix it. If you find a nick or scratch in a guide you might be able to polish it out with an emery cloth or diamond bit on a Dremel.
- Check your lures – Look over your lures for paint issues on wooden lures, rusty hooks, dull hooks, bent hooks, etc. All of these things can contribute to problems down the road. Consider upgrading hooks if you have a lot of bent or dull hooks. Some people buy brand new lures and change the hooks to a different brand due to the better quality.
- Carve a lure – If you’re feeling adventurous you can purchase a chunk of balsa wood and try your hand at carving a lure. A basic lure is relatively easy to create and you can purchase all the metal hardware from a mailorder fishing catalog. It is quite satisfying to catch a fish on a lure you created yourself.
- Start a fishing diary – This may sound crazy to some people but it can give you a great insight into what the fish are doing. Get a notebook, buy a computer program, join a website, or whatever other methods you can think of, but start logging the weather conditions, lures used, fish caught, etc. This can give you a better handle on what needs to be done to catch fish in similar situations on other lakes, or at other times, and keeps you from forgetting.
I hope this has given you a few ideas of things you can do during the winter that is both productive and fun.