I know you; you are me. The short winter days, the chill in the air, it does something to us; it does something to all of us.
If you’re a recreational fisherman, you got a disease and there is no treatment for it.
Each winter I say that I’m going to just clean up things, sharpen my hooks, maybe purchase some new line for the reels, but then it bites me, and bites me bad. I start buying new lures, new soft baits, new poppers, a new knife, and maybe even new boating shoes. I always seem to get the newest Gulp color in some odd shape that I can’t make heads or tails of, but allegedly the fish can.
I begin to buy things that I have never used in 35 years but for some reason, I find a way to justify how I can’t go fishing without it. Honestly, I think I spend more money on fishing supplies and gear over the winter months, then when I actually have my boat in the water.
Then the day of reckoning occurs. The sun rises a bit earlier, some slightly warmer air lays down on our skin and Capt. Al Lorenezetti issues his infamous Thursday fishing report telling us that there is a flounder bite!. Even though we all know that a south shore Fire Island Flounder bite is rarer than a 20lb blowfish, we don’t care. Capt. Al, the Fishermen’s Ground Hog has seen his shadow and we’re ready to go.
So now we begin to put together our gear and we go through bags and bags of purchases that we believed we had to have, to only realize we’ll never use it. That pretty blue, brown, yellow, black, red and so on; Bucktails, they become conversation pieces and paper-weights. Those 3D stick baits with the googly eyes become Christmas decorations and those new knifes, well, why get them dirty, we’ll just use last year’s Bubba Blade. When push comes down to shove we take out our:
- 2 favorite Penn, Shimano, Accurate, Avet or Canyon reels
- Our two or three favorite poles
- 5’’ or 6’’ Shad for Spring Bass
- 1 package of winter flounder hooks (never heard of anyone who ever needed two packages)
- Our drop loop summer flounder/Fluke rig
- A handful of white, chartreuse and pink Bucktails
- A Gibbs Plug
- A small assortment of Diamond Jigs
- Tony Maja Spoons
- Size 6-9 Circle Hooks
- 20-50lb Fluorocarbon
- Gulp Grubs, white, pink, chartreuse, and nuclear chicken
- And a bunch of old sinkers, and we’re set for the season
As for all of those purchases over the winter that will either sit on a shelf or eventually find their way to eBay, well, they served their purpose. They shortened my winter blues and gave me a reason to dream that this year is going to be my best fishing season ever!