The sun is shining and the ice and snow have gone away—for good this time, we hope! Conditions are just right to brush collected dust off your canoe, remove tarps from your boat, and get out on the Northeast Ohio waterways.
With a sweet breeze in the air and Geneva-on-the-Lake, the Cuyahoga River, and the Cleveland Metroparks calling your name, the excitement can be hard to contain. But first, there is much to prepare. After all, this is serious business—the hunt is on.
Before you put on your galoshes and make a move for the bug spray, we have a few tips to get you all stocked up, organized and ready to sail out and cast off.
Stock Up on Staples
Having the right items on hand can be the difference between that perfect catch and that missed opportunity. Regardless of fish type, you will want to have these close by:
- Fishing pole. An obvious selection!
- Extra line. As you catch fish, or if your line gets stuck on a rock or in a tree, you’ll need back up to keep going.
- Extra hooks. As hooks are taken by creatures or wildlife, a few spares on hand is always a good idea.
- Pliers. To pull hooks from fish.
- Bait of choice. Lures, hooks and plastic worms, or live bait—pick your poison.
- Bobbers. To know precisely when the moment of impact occurs.
- Sinkers. To take your hook down in the water to precisely where the fish roam.
- Line cutter. To break the connection between the line and the fish, as well as remove line from hook.
- First aid kit. In case of emergency, you’ll want these close by, particularly if you venture far from land.
- Flashlight. For those excursions that last well into the night, or to spot fish in a land of shadows.
- Beverages and snacks. To remain fueled and focused.
- Bug spray and (unscented) sunscreen. Preventative measures you’ll be glad you have on hand once the sun and mosquitoes come out.
Understand Species and Environment
While keeping items freshly stocked each season will come in handy, having the right tools is only the beginning. The most important part is to know how to use them to your best advantage out on the water.
Start by deciding which fish you’d like to target and where you’ll go to search. As with any animal, fish have their quirks. Find out what makes your desired species tick:
- What do they hunt?
- Where do they commonly reside in water systems?
- What are their typical feeding times?
- What would encourage them to strike?
Next, consider the area you’ll be fishing and the items at your disposal to form your best plan of attack:
- Where will you have the best shot at catching your fish?
- Which bait types will your fish respond to?
- Will you need to re-enforce with additional sinkers or invest in new items to handle specific water tides or depths?
Group and Organize: Tackle Your Tackle Box
With your plan in mind, next grab and empty out your tackle box. Restock it with the items you’ll need most on top shelves. Place “just in case” items near the bottom.
As with many other effective organization strategies, group like with like, keeping hooks, lures, and extra line with items of their same kind for quick reference. While some downtime will occur, when the fish nibbles, things will move fast. Be ready.
Recreational Vehicle Storage Solutions
Some may hope to stock up on a special vessel or two, but are worried about having a place to store. Self-storage solutions can provide the off-site location you’ve been looking for to have your boat on hand only when it’s needed most.
This can allow you to retain the boat you love while complying with city ordinances in a less-expensive and secure method than some marinas.
Units also provide a little extra room to keep the supplies safe, secure, and together with your boat so they won’t be forgotten.
Additional Recreational Boat Storage Resources
Considering purchasing, storing or maintaining a boat for this or a future fishing season? We’ve compiled a few resources to help:
Which fish are you on the hunt for this season? Share with us in the comment section below.
Image Source: Grand Parc — Bordeaux, France under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic