Winter gear prep
Unable to bring myself to join the ice fishing world, I find myself doing a lot of prep work to get my baits, rods and other gear in shape for the upcoming seasons. Throughout the winter I start out laying out my gear on my dining room table. Having the majority of my gear in front of me really helps me to set it up right the first time. During the warmer fishing months my baits and gear get neglected and require some attention by the end of the seasons.
I like to start out by replacing any bent or damaged hooks, as well as the rings there attached to. They seem to get worn out the most. The hooks that are still good on the baits that did not get as much use get thoroughly sharpened to help prevent any loss of fish when I do decide to use them.
Over the years, I have been trying to come up with the best deployment of my gear for wherever my next fishing trip brings me. What I have come up with so far is this bag pictured above. This holds 6 large plastic dividers, each one gets separated into different types of bates. I will use one for top water, another for crank baits, shallow, jigs and so on.
I use these along with my tackle box, pictured above, to swap out baits on the fly for whatever type of fishing I might want to do. Because of the different lakes, rivers and streams that I frequent, I already know what works for me and if I have the pleasure of trying something new I will be sure to bring that along too. The majority of the equipment shown is just what stays in my truck for the summer months. I always run out after work to try to squeeze an hour or two of fishing as often as possible. Weather related this is sometimes four days a week. There are other times when I need to meet my family on the river due to my running late, or being at work. Working seven days a week makes it hard to get out which is another reason why I keep my gear handy at all times. If I see a creek or lake on my way home I'll defiantly try to stop whenever I can.
Above is another way to store some spinner baits. I use these containers at one of my jobs, one day while I was looking at these containers I stopped and almost kicked myself for not realizing the potential use for this sooner. The baits fit perfectly. Before this, the baits were lined up in the provided holder in the tackle box. This problem only became obvious when my box fell over and I had to spend the next fifteen minutes untangling all the baits. Using these containers completely eliminates this problem.
This is another plastic bin I use for all my soft baits.It's simple and opens up the top of my tackle box for other uses.
This is just a small transition box only about six inches long which is easy to store in my back pocket if I only need a couple different jig heads for a quick use. I have four or five of these bins that I set up for different baits. I also have one or two variety bins if I go somewhere new so I can try a couple different things. Another great way that I pass time during the winter months is to get out to the sportsman shows. So far this year, I went to the Eastern Sportsman show in Harrisburg on February 7th. It is a great way to see all of the new gear that is coming out, meet new people, learn new tricks and just have a good time being around others that share in your passion. I had the pleasure of introducing myself to the wonderful staff at the WFN booth. The next show I plan on attending is in Oaks PA. The show starts on Thursday February 25th and ends on Sunday February 28th.