When your musky season ended, did you nicely place all of your musky gear away; or, is it piled in a corner of the garage, basement or wherever you keep your musky tackle? Unfortunately, I left my gear in a corner of a room in my basement and I am regretting it. As I began digging through my equipment and examining rods, reels and lures, I realized that there is no better time than now to take inventory and understand what I really “need” entering the New Year. Musky shows are approaching and It’s easy to get in a frenzy at them. Why not treat yourself to some new gear, right? Just don’t forget to bring home what you really need. Take a close look at your equipment before you head to the shows and you’ll be much better off.
Start with your rods. You may not have any damage to your rods, but consider which rod additions you’ll need for next year. Now’s the time while it’s fresh in your mind. You are better off going to a sportshow with a rod design in mind than randomly checking out rods. This will help you make the most of your winter-time rod purchase.
Reels are an entirely different thing. Most likely there will be some reels that need repair or at a minimum, a good cleaning. Be sure and loosen the drags on all the reels and put the ones that need repair in a bag. This way you can take the bag to someone who repairs reels and have them all fixed now rather than waiting until March or April.
We are musky anglers — our tackle is worth a lot of money. We all have a large number of expensive musky lures and always need more. Take a quick inventory and decide which ones you will want to duplicate or replace. This will give you an excuse to go to one of the musky sportshows and purchase replacements. That way, you’ll come home with lures you really need, (as well as the many new lures you’ll buy because they look great or are simply the “next big thing”). I look at each group of lures, (i.e. crankbaits, topwater, etc.) and decide which type of color patterns are missing. You might have a bunch of perch pattern crankbaits, but few with cisco or sucker patterns. Make a note of what you need.
Finally, make this winter a time to take care of yourself as well. Exercise and getting in shape will really help you when musky fishing begins in the spring. You’ll be able to fish longer and will be less impacted by the weather elements, thereby enabling you to focus on the water. Plus, the benefits of exercise will help you in other aspects of your daily life as well.
Remember, musky fishing doesn’t have to end if you aren’t able to fish until spring. Make the most of the off-the-water season. Between taking a lure inventory and fixing equipment, attending sport shows, watching musky television shows, and reading books and magazines, you have a lot to keep you busy.