Outdoors with Don Q: Fall fishing and hanging it up for the season
With winter weather creeping around the corner, and with many California waters scheduled to close for the year on Nov. 15, this is my annual reminder for those Carson City area fishermen who plan to hang it up for the year after a few more fall casts.
Many of you prefer not to fish during the winter months or have absolutely no interest in ice fishing, so this article is specifically written for you. (Hmmm, come to think of it, this article is also worth reading by those of you who plan to continue fishing until the weather warms back up, again).
With the above information as a lead-in, this is a good time of the year to spend a quiet Saturday or Sunday, working on your fishing equipment and getting everything neat and organized.
Clean your rod with soap and water to get rid of any dirt and grime.
Check all the rod eyes to make sure that they don’t have any line groves, and if they do, replace the eyes to avoid any problems in the future.
If you know what you are doing, and only if you know what you are doing, carefully take your reel apart and oil and/or lube all of the necessary locations, and replace any worn parts.
If you don’t know what you are doing, take your reel to an expert who can do it for you. You won’t regret it.
Rule No. 1: Remove all of your fishing line and throw it away.
Rule No. 2: If you don’t understand Rule No. 2, go back to Rule No. 1.
Rule No. 3: Fishing line is cheap and easy to replace. Why take a chance on your old line breaking when you are busy fighting a trophy-sized fish?
We use 6-pound test monofilament line on all of our reels, and always replace our line a minimum of 3-4 times each year. Why don’t you?
Empty all of the pockets and ask your wife to wash and dry the vest and to also patch any rips or tears in it. Then, when that vest is squeaky clean and repaired, be sure to replace any items missing or in short supply, such as: Sinkers, snap swivels, bobbers, hooks (I always carry at least three packets of each hook size from No. 02 all the way down to the tiny No. 14), assorted jars of salmon eggs, Power Bait and fish scent, spare leaders, spare line (I always carry a spool of spare line); lures (I have two of every color and type of lure in the event I am into hot fishing and lose that particular lure to a big fish or a snag); all kinds of artificial flies.
Also make sure that you have things such as:
Fishing regulations for both Nevada and California, fish stringer, tape measure, fish scale, knife, small screwdriver and pliers for any emergency reel repairs, plastic bags for carrying fish home, toilet paper, etc.
Do the same as when taking care of your vest, with the exception of emptying all of the tackle box compartments, and then carefully cleaning the entire tackle box, inside and out, with lots of soap and hot water.
When you begin to put all of the items back in the box, try to put things back in some sort of order that makes it easy, when you need a particular item.
All of my hooks, snap swivels, lures, flashers, bottled baits, etc. are always together, making them easy to find, particularly when out on a boat that is pitching up and down in the waves.
Once you return from a fishing trip, be sure to replace any items that have been lost (such as hooks, lures or flies) or used up (such as Salmon eggs) to ensure that you are prepared for your next fishing outing.
Once you have done everything that I have suggested above, you are ready to enjoy fishing again in 2012.
There won’t be any excuse for losing that big trophy fish except for bad luck or being a poor fisherman.
I’ve done all that I can to help you be a successful angler.
Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you some of the other things that I carry in my fishing vest.
If he grins, takes a deep breath and says, “Don also carries a large plastic bag to use as an emergency raincoat, extra pair of socks, small first-aid kit, small flashlight with spare batteries, matches and fire starter, whistle, signaling mirror and munchies (beef jerky, peanuts and candy bars) in case he gets lost and has to spend the night outdoors,” he could be one of my regular fishing partners who laugh and snicker at the weight of that fishing vest.
To heck with them, I’m as ready as possible, if there ever is an emergency.
— Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for Carson Now. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org