So as I was prepping for fishing the other day, tying my jigheads on, threading my soft palstics on the hook, loading my boat with scents and hook sharpeners, I thought to myslelf, "How important is it that I do all of this?" I got to thinking about this today at work, while looking at Lake Washington and not doing what I was supposed to. It's these small things that make the difference, especially this time of year. From using quality rods, reels, line and hooks to making sure your bait is threaded on straight, hooking that dropshot up so it doesn't spin like a top when you reel it in, making sure the tag end on your knot isn't an inch long, checking your line every few casts, sharpening your hooks, scenting up your baits, I could go on forever.
Here are a few things that I really sweat the small stuff on and things I think make me a better fisherman when preparing for fishing this time of year.
-Most importantly, a good quality rod. I use G-Loomis GLX, but there are alot of other great rods out there as well. This is huge for light bites and tough conditions, so that you capitalize on every single bite.
-Braided line with a flourocarbon leader for deep water applications. Secured with a blood knot, or slim beauty knot, this combo will give you the ultimate sensitivity and hook sets in deep water applications. I run alot of 10 or 12lb fireline crystal to a 10-15ft section of 8 or 10lb flouro.
-Sharp hooks. You need to know that when you get bit, you are getting the penetration into the hard part of the fishes mouth.
-Scent. I love berkley gulp and smelly jelly this time of year. I am a big fan of the gulp spray, or the gulp alive products. Also, I believe the smelly jelly makes them hold onto the bait just a little bit longer.
-The business end of things. Make sure that grub, beaver, kreature, tube or whatever else you like to run in the winter is hooked on straight so it stands up, moves, or just overall looks good in the water. If you like it, chances are the fish will too!
-Always watch to see what the weather is doing. For example, I had a day this winter a couple of weeks ago on lake washington, where the football head/grub bite was not happening. Well, it was bluebird skys and calm as a plate of piss. So what did I do? Downsized to deadsticking a dropshot on deep water structure, where fish were holding tight to cover. And game on!
I am sure there are more I can't think of, but i hope this helps you in your winter outings. Feel free to add your feedback, or things you sweat the small stuff on.
See you on the water!