Winter Boat and Gear Maintenance & Hook Sharpening Season
I refer to winter as Hook Sharpening Season. Generally in Kentucky, that's about all it's good for during January and February. We do occaisionally get a mild winter and I manage to get a day or two of musky fishing in if the river isn't too high. Winter can actually be good for musky and striper fishing IF it happens to be (again) a mild winter. For those winters that aren't so mild I like to clean the river scum line off my aluminum boat, add some Sta-Bil to the fuel tank, and bring my batteries inside to a warmer place than my garage. It's also a good time to respool some of my reels with fresh line, give my rods a good cleaning, and sharpen my hooks. For what I can tell, lot of folks don't seem to take hook sharpening seriously. I take it super seriously. Now, with the exception of trout fishing with ultra-lite spin tackle, I do primarily fish for larger species of fresh water fish like musky, striped bass, and big cats. I have disciplined myself to simply not throw a lure or bait into the water that doesn't have sharp hooks. I test them by turning the point down onto my thumbnail and pulling. If the hook skips across your nail it doesn't get casted or thrown in the water until it has been filed and sharpened properly. If it digs itself in and doesn't skip, it's good to go. Couple of years ago I broke my own rule while fishing a lock on the Ky River. I opened up a new lure out of the package and gave it a toss. I was musky fishing. Bam, a big 20 pounder drilled it! I faught him almost to the boat when he simple came off and swam away. I checked the hooks and they were like big dull wedges. From that moment on my friend I have never and will never throw a hook into the water that I haven't inspected and made sure it was sharp... Good fishing!