Fishing season transition

Now that winter finally is starting to bare its teeth, lakes are beginning to freeze up and another open-water fishing season is coming to an end for us here in Sunset Country.
After a terrible spring, weather wise, the summer was okay while the fall actually was pretty good despite some super windy days here and there.
Here’s to hoping for an easier winter this year than the past two.
This time of year is always busy for me because I have about eight months’ worth of fishing gear piled up in every corner of my garage. It’s always a big job for me to take an inventory on my fishing tackle and figure out what gear needs to be repaired or replaced.
I have a few broken fishing rods and reels, and plenty of other stuff that just needs to get a good cleaning.
I like to get rid of all my jigs and hooks that have even the slightest hint of rust on them because it will spread to everything else in your tackle box over the course of the winter.
I’ll also consolidate all of the half-used bags of soft plastics that are tossed and thrown everywhere. And I always have a few lures that are broken or just don’t work properly, so I’ll get rid of those as well.
To be clear, I’m not complaining about having to do all this stuff but it goes with the territory. For me, fishing is my job so if I have my stuff organized and prepared, it makes everything a lot easier.
For 2015, I’m planning to fish the Walmart FLW Tour again, so the process of planning for each of the tournaments begins now with regards to making travel plans, finding accommodations, and doing some research on the lakes that we’ll be fishing.
I have fished tournaments on four of the six water bodies that are on the schedule next year, so there will be at least a bit of familiarity with a few of them.
Earlier this week, I got a new Lund Predator that will be the boat I’ll be using in 2015, so there are some long hours coming up in the next few weeks to get it rigged with electronics, trolling motors, batteries, and all the stuff that I put on it to hopefully help me catch more fish!
Thankfully, I have some good friends who donate their time to help me get this job done.
I like to do it all myself so that I know where potential problems could be down the road should I experience any. I’ve been fortunate over the past few years that there have been minimal problems, but they happen to everybody at one time or another.
The way the weather forecast looks, we should be able to start ice-fishing in a couple of weeks on some of the smaller lakes in our area.
It’s always great fishing early in the winter for stocked trout and crappies, and there are many small lakes dotted across the region that have good populations of these fish and safe ice before some of our big waters are even frozen.
So, there is the ice-fishing stuff to dig out of the attic and get ready. For someone who does not have a regular nine-to- five job, you’d think I would have more free time than I do!
Finally, the one job I dislike the most that I have to do every year is preparing my year-end reports for my fishing sponsors. They all want to see a report on my activities from the past year—everything from tournament results to promotional activities to events I attended, as well as samples of some of the print, web, and TV media that I have been included in.
I do a good job on these reports, but they take me a few days to do and they are just like doing homework in high school. Not very much fun!
I hope everyone had a great fishing season and wish you all the best in the next one!