Four Things To Do Now To Fish This Spring

Top Water Smallmouth Bass FishingSmallmouth bass fishing is a wonderful, sometimes relaxing and sometimes challenging sport, but over the years I’ve found that if I don’t plan ahead the trip can easily hit snags (pun intended) along the way.

With so many variables involved I’ve found that it’s a good idea to make a list of everything that needs to be done ahead of time. Then, on the day before the trip  I can get everything ready so the only thing holding me back in the morning is a cup of coffee. A fishing checklist is always useful, but it becomes very important at the beginning of a new season since your equipment hasn’t been used in months. Here’s a fishing checklist that I hope will get you on your way:

1) Buy Your License

A fishing license is a must and it’s something you don’t want to leave to the last minute. Most sporting goods stores sell them, but you should get your license now so that you face no issues when it is time to hit the water. Sometimes, as I’ve seen before, there can be issues with the computers.

Someone I know ended up the odd-man-out on a trip because the computers had him confused with someone that had a criminal record, and since it was Sunday we had to wait until Monday to straighten it out.

In addition, game and fish commission officers get a kick out of busting people for no license. The internet is littered with stories of game wardens confiscating fishing gear, trucks and boats. Don’t risk your stuff!

2) Gather Your Gear

Noticing that you forgot something when you’re miles from home can be very frustrating, so be sure to gather everything from rods, reels, lures and soft plastics together. Order or buy your favorite baits to make sure you are ready to hit the water. Another essential on any fishing checklist is extra clothes and wet-weather gear. You never know when the weather could get a little rough.

3) Inspect and Maintain Your Gear

Once you have everything you need, you should make sure everything is in good shape so you don’t lose time and fish later. Check your rods to make sure there aren’t any problems, replace the line on your reels at regular intervals.  If you are using braid, this is less of a necessity as it lasts a long time.  One of the money savers I have used is to respool the braid so that the line that was buried is now exposed.  I prefer hi visibility line so this is a way to rejuvenate the line.

Inspect your reels to make sure they work smoothly, and make sure none of the metal parts have any rust. This will be a great time to clean and lubricate your reels if you haven’t already done so and to change any bad fishing line.


4) Check Your Tackle

Another important fishing checklist item is looking at what’s in your tackle or storage boxes. I usually take everything out and lay it on a table so I can get a good look at what I have. Look at the hooks for rust and replace if needed. If the hooks are dull you can either replace them or sharpen them.

Here are some essentials you should have:
-Various hooks and jig heads
-Needle nose pliers and/or scissors
-Wire cutters
-Fishing line and leader if needed (flourocarbon leader)
-Lures – you may need to cone down on what you bring to what you think will be effective that day.
-And of course your favorite soft plastics

This fishing checklist has worked well for me in helping to ensure that nothing is forgotten and everything is working. You can use this checklist as the basis for your own fishing checklist by adding specifics under each category, but no matter what you should always be sure that all of these tasks are done.

Be sure to leave your comments below to add to the list and help out your fellow anglers!

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