Fishing lessons to remember.
Smalls created his infamous list of "Baseball Things to Remember" in the boyhood classic The Sandlot. Likewise, every good angler has a legal pad filled with vital fishing notes. Here are a few highlights from my personal experience.
1. Fresh Fishing Line
In today's world, our lives move at a rapid pace. Fishing opener gets here before you know it. That first day out on the water is often a rusty one. If there's one thing I would recommend above all else, it would be to spool up your reels with fresh line.
Squeeze some time in during the weeks leading up to opening weekend to do this. Line is relatively inexpensive, and your local sporting goods shop can spool it on your reels within a matter of minutes. It can help avoid tangles from twisted line, or weak spots that might break the first time you set the hook.
2. Sharpen Your Hooks
We all know that quality, sharp hooks are keys for successful fish landings. It can be hard to settle down during those initial few days on the water.
I am guilty of tying on trusty lures and casting them out as quickly as possible, without sharpening the hooks first. Immediately after missing a fish, I'll regret not having done so. We all love to fish because you never know what you might catch on your next cast. Don't let that fish of a lifetime swim away because of a dull hook!
3. Fishing Pliers
This one is a note of convenience. It seems like every first time out in the boat, I forget to locate my pliers. When that angry pike attacks your Rapala with three treble hooks, you'll want to have a pliers at easy access. You might avoid stitches if you remember to have a good set of needle nose handy.
Throughout the previous year, there's no doubt that all of your tackle has been thrown about in your storage compartment. Reorganizing this area of your boat can make for a much more efficient day on the water. If your fishing partner starts slamming the bass on a chartreuse crank bait, you'll know exactly where to look for yours in the heat of the moment. You don't want to be the brunt of the day's jokes if you have to give in and ask to borrow your buddy's lures.
5. Check the Plug!
I will forever hear the voice of my dad yelling, "Check the plug!"
This is especially important the first time you back your boat into the water for the year. This seemingly simple task slipped my mind one time in my youth. I will never forget again. It is a bad feeling when you're pulling away from the landing and the boat is filling with water. With all the things we're trying to remember, checking to see if the plug is in might be one thing we forget to do.
Helpful tip: Tape the plug over the ignition. That way, you can't even start the boat without having put the plug in.