Spring Prep Guide - Follow These Tips

Preparing for spring is certainly an endeavor in patience and persistence.  There are so many things to remember in the late winter and early spring preparation it is hard to say where to start.  I usually begin with trying to whittle down all the tackle I bought last summer and fall down to a manageable level.  I used to carry 4 hard sided plastic tackle boxed and two soft sided tackle boxes with about 14 rods, I have managed to get that down to one soft sided and one hard tackle box with 10 rods...but I am always worried I will leave something out.  At any rate I am always trying to get it down to one tackle box and 7 rods but that takes a good spring cleaning every year.  I try to remember all the baits that I caught fish on last year and keep only those baits in my boxes.The next thing is line.  I believe at a minimum anglers need to put entirely fresh line on their reels once a year, preferably before opening day.  Fluorocarbon and monofilament usually round out my early season refreshers with braid coming in to the picture when the fish lock on the beds.  Every reel should be checked for operational perfection at this time too.  Any reels that are malfunctioning should be sent to the manufacturer for work long before the first sunny day beckons you to the water.With regard to your boats, I always take my motor in early for a spring prep, it is invaluable to have you mechanic check over the motor, change the motor oil and gear oil and just make sure everything is operating at peak performance, from bow to stern.  The trailer wheel bearings should also be checked.The next thing to check is your cold weather gear.  Warm spring days can easily turn bitterly cold and if your cold weather gear is not in tip top shape or you left it at home it can make for a miserable outing, not only for you but your fishing buddy too, as you shiver your way through a cold front day.  A warm jacket, rubber gloves, a wool hat and socks are a minimum for a spring day.  I add a wool sweater, rain proof jacket, water proof socks and a face mask and scarf.  I have also adopted a pair of water proof booties for bass boating in the early spring as rain and cold are much worse if your feet are wet.Keeping these few simple points in mind can make those early spring time memories you and your fishing buddies will cherish for a lifetime.  When the water reaches 50 degrees the big females start feeding and most people are still stuck at home wishing for warm weather and dreaming of spring prep...don't let that be you.  Follow these tips and get out there early in comfort and style and catch the lunker of a lifetime!
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