Well, this winter has not been the greatest for ice fishing. With the unseasonably warm temperatures lasting for extended periods of time, I have felt unsafe about going out on the ice. Others have felt fine about it and I have seen people out on the ice fishing, but I can only do what I feel is safe for me and I don’t gamble with my life. There has been a few stories in the news this year about people, cars and snowmobiles going through the ice and there has even been a couple of deaths.
All of this has led me to suspend my fishing activities for the winter. Let me tell you, cabin fever has set in and everyday I watch the ice hoping to see open water. I WANT TO GO FISHING! I have found a few ways to deal with my fever though. Here is what I do to help with the wait as I countdown the days until I can get out on the water.
- I watch a lot, and I mean a lot, of fishing videos on Youtube. If you love the excitement of seeing top-water strikes I suggest going to the Youtube channel for BamaBass. They have a lot of videos with compilations of Bass attacking frogs and other top-water baits. You want to learn a new technique or about the different equipment? Then check out BassResource and FlukeMaster. Interested in gear? Go to Bass Pro Shops, Tackle warehouse and Tackle Direct. Want to keep up on the pros? Then check out the channels for BassMaster and Major League Fishing. There are so many fishing videos available and on every different subject of fishing on Youtube that I have been able to live vicariously through them.
- I read a lot online about fishing. I have a lot of blogs that I read as you can tell from the “Blogs I Read” section of my site. I also do a lot or research about gear and tackle I might be interested in. Here’s a hint about reviews though. I always search for reviews that are not linked to the sites selling the equipment. I find that the reviews on most sites that are selling the equipment are always slanted in the positive and that tends to make me question the validity. Go check out the reviews on independent sites for the gear you want and you are more likely to get unbiased reviews.
- I go to fishing stores and look at the gear and talk with other anglers. Many amateur anglers are unaware of the fact that a lot of information can be found at the smaller tackle shops. Many tackle shops are happy to give you information about bodies of water around them. They can tell you what is biting and what is working for almost any species you are looking for in the nearby waters. For most amateurs, going to Wal-mart or K-mart or Target or any other chain store is their fishing destination for gear. Unfortunately, while you can get some good prices on gear, you won’t get knowledgeable employees who can give you accurate information about the fishing gear they sell.
- After I have bought some new gear, I spend hours fiddling with it and dreaming about how many fish I am going to catch with it. In my mind I can see how I am going to cast a lure, the technique I am going to use, I can see the strike of the fish, the fight and the landing. Of course, it’s usually when I get to the point of playing with all of my gear and getting everything ready for the time when ice is out that I am hit with cabin fever again and the cycle begins all over.
Tight lines, the Amateur Angler