It is inevitable every winter; we drive ourselves crazy (and all those around us) when we are all cooped up in our homes hoping for an early spring so we can get back to fishing open water.
This is the time of year we are all wishing we were outside. At least you are in the garage getting that gear you have tossed into the corner ready for open water season. Right? We drive ourselves crazy (and all those around us) when we are cooped up in our homes hoping for an early spring so we can get back to fishing open water.
Of course, the die-hard ice fishing fanatics are out ice fishing but for those of us who live for the open water, the sound of our mercury motors trembling through our veins, and the cool breeze blowing in our face as we cruise across the mighty pond to our favorite fishing hole, winter can be hard.
There are several ways to temporarily cure the cabin fever blues. Here are my go-to options to help me cope with my open water withdrawals.
1. Go to a sport trade show.
There are plenty of them and if you are willing to travel there is one every weekend somewhere. Not only are these a great place to find your next vacation getaway or even a good deal on a new product but also an excellent time to take in a seminar or two and hone in on some of your outdoor skills. If they let the public in, of course.
2. Make some lures.
Do-It Molds offers some great molds and products for the DIY-er out there. If you are like me and use a particular jig a lot you will definitely save some money in the end. It is so much more rewarding catching fish on the lures you make yourself anyway.
3. Banquets and Fundraisers are plentifully this time of year.
Whether it is Ducks Unlimited or Wild Turkey Federation, I can guarantee you that there is one very near to wherever you live. These are a fantastic way to give back to the great organizations that work hard to preserve our outdoor heritage. You may also win some outstanding raffle prizes if you attend.
Whether you are planning a fishing trip this summer or are a tournament angler, now is the time to be doing some research on that particular body of water. With all the resources available on the internet, it is not too tough to find some good information that will help you make your adventure a successful one.
5. Join a sportsman club so you can hangout with like-minded people.
You might even learn a thing or two from each other. Clubs are a surefire way to meet some new fishing buddies or learn some tips. You can find a sportsmen club around almost every corner that will accept you with open arms. If on the rare occasion you cannot, then just hit the local bait shop early in the morning for coffee and you will usually find a wealth of knowledge there.
6. Find another sport to keep you active so your ever-so-frail body is ready to take on back-breaking waves when the day comes.
I know many anglers who resort to playing basketball all winter. I personally spend my days or nights on the slopes snowboarding with my lady. My many falls help prepare my body for the brutal beating it will get while boating.
7. Read, read, and read some more.
One can never have too much information about the outdoors. What better time to catch up on some reading than the middle of winter? Cozy up next to your fireplace with a good book, magazine or iPad and let your mind wander into the deep imaginary woods or open water.
8. Head south!
If you have the means to part ways with Mr. Winter, even just for a brief time, then do so. Nothing will recharge your batteries like some warm tropical sun. There is some great fishing taking place down south over these winter months, as well, just do your research first as some species may not be as active as others.
9. Gear preparation.
The last thing you want is for that early spring to arrive and you are not ready to take advantage of it. This is a perfect time clean up your old reels and re-spool the ones that need it (toss out all monofilament lines and re-spool) sharpen those hooks and replace the bent ones on those crank baits. Get organized now so you can spend more time fishing this spring and less time preparing.
10. Buy new stuff for the upcoming season.
You can find great sales this time of year, especially at many of the spring fishing sales going on at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's. If you prefer to do your shopping online, getting new gear in the mail to play with will fix your boredom. Do not forget about eBay. Since you have the time to wait for open water, you may be able to get yourself some really good deals by bidding on auction items that are new or slightly used.
Nothing cures cabin fever like hitting the open water, but for now some of these tips may just get you through. Next time you are stuck in a bad mood try one of these tips and you should find yourself back at your happy place in no time.