Open waters on the horizon

Things are changing in lakes county. The ice is melting and the temps are warming which means open water isn’t far away! Although there is still quite a bit of ice left on area lakes, I highly recommend not going ice fishing anymore this spring. No ice is safe ice and the spring is a prime example. There may be 24 inches of ice but 20 of it could be weak and “sharding”. So for everyone’s safety, please stay off the ice.
With open water not far away, this is a perfect time to start prepping for the up-coming season. Rods cleaned, Reels oiled and re-spooled.  Check the boat for any signs of mice or other creatures that might have needed a home for the winter. Re-spooling your reels with new line is an important part of catching and not just fishing. Monofilament fishing line can become brittle and damaged by UV lights and long exposure to cold temps, along with it retaining memory from a winter sitting in the corner. In fact, depending on how much you fish, you could be changing out your mono every 2 weeks to make sure that your line is still strong enough to haul in your next trophy.  Braided fishing line on the other hand, for most of us we can get up to 2 years from one spool. The non-stretch line also doesn’t hold a memory which this alone buys you more fishing time from one spool. The other advantage to braid is that your line can be flipped to use the unused line that is at the bottom of your spool. I recommend flipping your line at the beginning of the year to avoid any abrasions from storage that might occur. All the area tackle shops carry a big selection of fishing line and if your not sure which line is right for you, tackle shops like Gene’s Sport Shop in Perham have a very knowledgeable staff that is ready to answer your questions.
Your boat is one of the biggest investments you will make. Even if you store it inside all winter, you will want to go through everything in your boat to check for any signs of mice or other critters. Wiring seems to be a favorite midnight snack for mice and can cause you and everyone else at the boat ramp a lot of headaches. It doesn’t take long to charge up your batteries and run through a test of all your boats functions. Check your depth finders, trolling motors, gas motors, bilge pumps, live-well pumps, and any other electronics you may have in your fishing machine. If you are having issues with anything on your boat, this is a perfect time to get your boat to a dealer who can properly fix any issues. Boat dealers are as slow as they will be for the rest of the year right now so unless you don’t mind waiting weeks to get your boat back, I suggest bringing it in now.
Again, please stay off the ice and spend some much needed alone time with your favorite boat. Get to know him/her again after a long winter and reconnect with your summertime love. If you don’t happen to have a boat or your looking for a getaway, feel free to get a hold of me as I do have some openings this summer for guided trips. Be safe and tight lines!
Randin Olson
Lock Jaw Guide Service

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