There comes a time when the winter is waning, when the ice becomes too thin to safely trespass in order to ice fish, but it still remains annoyingly thick enough that there is no open water in which to cast a line. This can be the most maddening time of the year when it comes to fishing. You can feel the cabin fever pressing upon you like a race horse staged and excitedly waiting for the gate to spring open. With a moments notice you’re ready to spring, like a jack in the box, into the excitement of the catch again. Unfortunately though,winter’s icy grip is strong and it holds the water in its clutches. This can be a frustrating wait when you want to go fishing, but mother nature isn’t cooperating. She is a cruel lady filled with spite and apathy, teasing you with warm temperatures and getting your hopes up that fishing season will soon be here, only to dash your dream with a blast of cold air preventing the ice from completely dissipating.
So, what do you do to try and scratch the fishing itch during this time? Here are a few suggestions.
- Watch fishing shows on you tube. Check out the great froggin videos from Bamabass. You won’t find any better top-water series of Bass strikes anywhere. Check out the instructional videos of Mystery Tackle Box, Lunkers TV, Flair, or Gene Jensen the Flukemaster.
- Clean and lube your reels. Again, you will find great instructional videos online for how to take apart, clean and lube your reels. Not only will you ease some of that pre-fishing season jitters, but you bring your reels into their very best working condition.
- Check your tackle boxes and make sure all lures are clean and hooks are sharp. Change the batteries in your scales or portable fish finders if you left them in.
- Re-spool your line.
- Take a day trip to Bass Pro or Cabela’s or any place that sells fishing equipment. You need to replace some of those soft plastics that you used up last season anyways.
Recently my nephew and I made a trip to Cabela’s in Scarborough , ME. It was a two hour drive for us, but it gave us something to do for a day as we poked in all of the fishing equipment they had.
The following week we took a four hour trip to Bass Pro in Foxboro, MA. This Bass Pro is huge compared to the local Bass Pro. It has two floors of shopping pleasure. Clothing, furniture, optics and accessories are located on the main floor along with a snack shack. There are two elevators that you can use to go down to the basement floor where you will find boating and atv stuff and a huge selection of fishing gear. There is also a full restaurant on this level.
They have a big aquarium and even a small shooting gallery that the kids will love.
Even with the things you can do, don’t expect it to quench your thirst for the feel of the fight. After all, you can only watch so many shows of other people having a great fishing day before you become exasperated that you can’t be doing that very same thing. You can only clean your gear so much and you can only shop for a little while.
Nothing will make the urge to fish go away, it only makes you realize that you’re just trying to take up that time inbetween.
Happy Fishing, the Amateur Angler.