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I came across an article this morning by Rapala called “Getting Ready For The Season” and I wanted to share it with you.

The fishing season is upon us, are you ready? While you might be mentally ready for warm weather fishing after a long and cold summer. But is all your gear ready for that first really good day. If the answer is “No, I’m not ready”. Never fear Rapala has some great prep tips to get you all set for this year’s fishing season.

Get Your Paper Work In Order

The number 1 thing on your “to do list” should be renewing your fishing license. This is also the perfect time to read up on the latest Fishing Regulations for any changes or updates to this seasons dates, limits, and other details.

Rapala Pro Tip 1: All boat owners, please don't forget to ensure that your vessel and trailer insurance is up to date. Replace proof of insurance certificates on your boat as well.

Organize and Inventory Tackle

Next, is the dreaded task of getting your tackle bags organized and tidy. The check your fishing lures and make sure they are in good working condition. These tasks will include: cutting away old knots from hard-baits, sharpening your hooks and replacing your rusty ones, and it is always a good idea to polish your spoons and restore their shine and luster.

Since you’re doing that it would also be a good idea, to write a list of any fishing lures or other gear you will need for the season. Check to make sure you haven’t lost any lures from last season. Are you missing any key colours or sizes? Make sure to pay attention to, terminal tackle, jigs, fluorocarbon leader material and soft-plastics, which get a lot of use over the season. What about your other tools and accessories, do you got everything? Some of these tools can really help you on your fishing trip so make sure everything is in proper working order.

Prep Rods and Reels

Make sure to inspect rod guides and rod components for any damage. Repair or replace as needed. Clean your rod handles with a mild soap solution.

Next you need to perform the rods reel maintenance. Make sure to clean and lubricate as recommended by the manufacturer. Remove your old line and spool on fresh monofilament and fluorocarbon. Superline can last several seasons. Check its condition to determine if it’s up to snuff.

Other Preseason Tasks

There are so many things that can be done so we won’t be covering all of them, however below are a list of other things you can do.

· Make sure your fishing and catch-and-release tools are working well, get new ones as needed

· Sharpen your fillet knives

· Check levels of fish scent, sunscreen, bug spray, line conditioner, and other supplies, restocking as needed

· Test waders and boots for leaks

· Inspect rain gear for wear, replacing with a new suit, if needed, or cleaning and prepping the one you own

· Replace batteries in an electric scale and ensure it’s in good working order

· Get the boat motor serviced (if not done in the fall), inspect and service trailer, and finish other tasks so it’s ready

· Review boat safety kit (replace expired flares, put fresh batteries in the flashlight, etc.)

· Go through the boat first aid kit, checking medications for expiration and topping-up supplies

· Clean and inspect life jackets; follow maintenance and leak-test steps for inflatable models

Review Last Season and Set New Goals

It is always a good idea to keep a fishing journal, it can help builds excitement and momentum. Not to mention that It’s also worthwhile to reflect on what worked, what didn’t and where we can improve. With this in mind, set some fishing goals and areas to improve this season. Doing this will make you a better angler over the long haul.

Reading your journal will also help with planning your fishing outings. If you kept good notes, reviewing data will reveal when certain lakes and rivers fished the best. Use this info to make a timeline to fish specific water bodies during peak times.

Pro Tip 2: Don’t go by calendar days when planning fishing trips as Mother Nature has a different time frame. Ice out, water temperature, blooming flowers, and other natural markers are more reliable. Call tackle shops, fishing resorts and friends to learn more about conditions around your favorite lakes.

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