W A L L E Y E   H U N T E R
Fishing Articles by Sam Anderson
Getting Ready to Go Fishin'
By Sam Anderson
I'm sitting down to write this in the middle of March. The last sport show is done, I only have a few seminars left to do and I picked up my new boat yesterday. I'll have the boat rigged in just a few days, so now the fun can begin!
We've had an unusually cold and late winter so it might be a little later this year when I first get a chance to wet a line. You think that you've got cabin fever, I've got a real bad case. I'll be on a river some place before our actual Minnesota opener, and I'll get a chance to do some ice-out crappie fishing, but in a very short time, less than a month my boat will find some small lake to go after a few walleyes.
Around that second weekend in May I'll more than likely opt to go to an area that offers a lot of options. I might pick a place like the Alexandria area. It offers such a wide variety of options. There are prairie lakes, medium deep smaller lakes, large deep lakes, and everything inbetween. What happens with the weather between now and the opener will help me chose the lake where I might start, but the local weather on the opener will probably be a larger determining factor than anything. That's why I like an area like Alexandria for early season fishing.
The water temperature is going to be the dictating factor in what the walleye will be doing in a given lake. I could be fishing post spawn fish in one of those prairie lakes, or I could be fishing pre-spawn fish in a lake like Miltona. If, for instance, a cold front hits just as the opener arrives I'll probably be on one of the shallower dirtier bodies of water in the area. If we get some nice stable weather I'll probably put the boat in one of the deeper, clearer bodies of water. I'll keep my options open.
When I mention options it brings to mind that an angler needs to spend some time getting organized and orientated again with their equipment. I can remember my dad's tackle box, you know the one I am talking about. It weighed about fifty pounds and when you opened it, it grew with length and different levels so it took up the entire length of the floor between the seats. All the tackle that dad and you had purchased over the years was contain in that box. Some of the tackle was in need of repair, but it still had a place in the box next to all the other tackle that was housed there. Today many of the tackle box companies provide the angler with clear finished boxes that make the identification of their contents easy and quick when you have to select in a hurry. They also make sense in the aspect that you don't have to have that old box like your dad's.
When getting ready for this fishing season spend some time going through your tackle box and maybe it is a good time to get a new box. Check all the compartments and remove all the lures and set them aside so you can wipe out the box itself and let it dry. Don't use chemicals or industrial cleaners, a damp rag will clean up most of the plastic boxes that have been out there for over twenty years. Then inspect your baits and lures. Do they need to have new hooks put on them? How sharp are those hooks? Now is the time to touch them up with a file and get them sharp for the up coming season.
This is the time to discard those items that you know you will not need or use. A good friend of mine always said, "In order to be successful on the water you have to spend some time in the garage". That is very true and it not only pertains to your tackle box but also your vehicle.
One item that I use extensively that makes my life easier is the aluminum boxes that are put out by Dee Zee. They are constructed of heavy-duty Mill Finish Aluminum that is welded for superior strength and performance. The Mill Finish Storage Boxes are included in a line of heavy duty truck accessories all under the label of Diamond Brite.
Inside one of these boxes I carry spare line and reels. I might get to the lake and discover I forgot to change reels for the conditions I am fishing so I can just step to my truck and select a reel or line.
Inside another box I will carry all my unused crankbaits, jigs, live bait, and plastics that I don't have in my current boxes in the boat. I might also in another box carry my rope, duct tape, pliers, tools etc. The boxes are arranged in the toppered bed of my truck so that when I go fishing I have all these things at my fingertips.
Organization and knowledge of where items are at, either in your tackle boxes, boat or vehicle will improve your success this year.
With the advent of spring and open water the opener can't be far behind whether you are trying to select a lake or organize your tackle box. I still would like to hear from you about your success. Drop me a line on the web at www.samanderson.com and let me know where your heading to this season or if you have any other helpful tips to get ready to go fishin'.
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Since August 1, 1998