What Are Your Fishing Resolutions?
The start of a new year makes us all giddy for new adventures. Exploring new spots, upgrading tackle and most importantly, beating your previous records. We strive to refine our techniques, make better memories and straight up catch more fish! The nature of fishing is unpredictability, an aspect that makes us work for success. Here’s to another long year of learning, grinding it out and striving for greatness. Get ready to fulfill those fishing resolutions!
Here are a few tips for the ultimate fresh start. Use them and ensure a strong start to the new year.
Give Your Reels A Tune-Up
Our reels work hard. Reel-y hard. After months of tough fishing, it’s time to give your reels a tune-up. No, you don’t have to buy ceramic ball bearings and carbon drag washers (although both are awesome). Support your local reel repairmen or do it yourself if you’re capable.
A basic cleaning is vital to the lifespan of your reels. Stripping and replacing old grease and oil will ensure that your gear performs smoothly. If you have sand or other debris inside it’s a great time to remove that junk as well. Your gear will perform at its optimum level and you’ll feel more comfortable and confident on the water.
Replace Old Fishing Line
Nothing feels better than fresh new line on a spool. Check your line for signs of flaking, discoloration or knicks. Monofilament tends to go bad pretty quickly so I swap it out the most. Replacing your fishing line ensures that you have full confidence when setting hook and fighting fish, allowing you to fish more effectively. Besides, nobody wants to start the year by losing giants!
After spooling the fresh stuff make sure to spray line conditioner to eliminate memory and flaking. I usually take my reels to a local tackle shop since the spooling machine lays the line more straight and tight. Fishing line is the only connection between you and the fish so keep it maintained!
Refresh Your Tackle
As an angler with OCD, restocking terminal tackle is a huge pleasure of mine so this is easily one of my favorite fishing resolutions. Nothing makes me feel more satisfied than seeing my boxes filled to the brim with all sorts of goodies. These are a few crucial items that should be on your maintenance list.
- Toss out dull, rusted treble hooks on your hard baits and replace with sticky sharp fish-killers.
- Top off your terminal tackle. You’ll always lose a ton of hooks, jig heads, tungsten weights, etc. I love scouring Ebay for cheap terminal tackle in bulk especially when it comes to expensive tungsten.
- Replace or expand your tackle boxes. Swap out your broken boxes for fresh ones and split your baits up if needed. My crankbaits used to be all mixed up and now they’re in designated boxes according to diving depth, brand, etc. This makes it easier to locate exactly what you need.
- Drop magnets in your terminal tackle boxes. If your hooks are slipping into other compartments this is the perfect solution. I use this trick for all species and it’s saved me from many messes. If you have silica gel packets I’d toss a couple in your terminal tackle as well. They remove moisture and prevent rust from ruining your gear. Check out our fishing hacks article for more nifty ideas!
Upgrade Your Gear
Keep in mind that this tip isn’t for everyone. Most of the die-hard Shimano and Daiwa fans that I know are dedicated to older generation gear, so if you’re one of them you can ignore this part. For everyone else, it’s always nice to toss or sell your older gear and upgrade to lighter, smoother equipment. Nothing beats the feeling of breaking in your new rod or reel on quality fish to start the year.
You don’t have to sell or toss your gear to upgrade. Spend the extra cash on new bearings or carbon fiber drag washers as mentioned before, and these smaller purchases will still make a world of difference when fishing. Replace broken or cracked parts, buy aftermarket handles to refresh the look, etc. Do whatever you need to fish confidently and effectively!
Preparing Early For Upcoming Seasons
It’s not necessarily important to prepare for the next season ahead of time, but it does make your life a whole lot easier. What do we mean by this? Let’s say it’s summertime – you barely think about winter gear but it’s actually a great time to upgrade if needed. You’ll thank yourself for buying high-quality bibs, gloves, buffs and other cold-weather gear when you actually need it. Off-season clothing are often discounted heavily so your wallet will thank you too.
It’s not just about the clothes, though! Bulk up all of your terminal tackle and stock up for what they will bite. Once again this isn’t necessary but if you know a certain bait will sell out quick in the summertime it might be smart to grab a few early in the fall and winter. Find your own ways to prepare for future seasons and you’ll always be one step ahead of the game.
Master One Technique At A Time
Not confident with medium-diving crankbaits? Buy a few and fish them hard (in the right situations, of course). Newer techniques such as the Float & Fly or Ned Rig methods have taken the bass world by storm, so be open-minded to newer techniques. Once you catch fish on baits that you don’t normally throw, you’re instantly more experienced. This is why fishing is so great.
Fish For Other Species
If you’re an addicted bass angler like myself, it’s always nice to take a break and target other species instead. In the colder months the trout bite is phenomenal and it’s so refreshing to fight fish on ultralight tackle. There’s always surf perch fishing off the beach and crappie, carp, catfish as well as other species if you want to stay on the lake. Plenty of rockfish and other saltwater species that are lovely to take home and make a delicious meal out of too! Learning how to fish for different species will allow you to think differently and truly hone in your skills as a whole. This is one of the fishing resolutions I highly recommend to expand every wonderful aspect of the sport.
I hope you all experience incredible fishing this upcoming year. Keep believing in yourself and never stop learning. Tight lines!