Fishing with Kenny: January’s To-Do List
by Kenny Covington
Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to do some maintenance to our fishing equipment to prepare for the upcoming days on the water. What I want to discuss in this month’s article are some things we can do to help ensure not just productive days on the water but some time and money saving tips as well.
Many people have spent the past several months in the woods so this would be a good time to take your boat in for a scheduled maintenance at your local boat dealership. Changing the lower unit oil and other such preventive measures are always good and it will also allow them to check for other potential problems down the road.
Also, ask them if they will check your batteries for wear and chargeability. This overlooked problem occurs due to a lack of use or extremely cold weather. If you were able to periodically charge them throughout the hunting season, this should help with this issue. There is nothing worse than getting to the lake only to find that your batteries are weak or that they didn’t take a charge at all.
Before you head to the water, make sure the required equipment such as a throw cushion or a fire extinguisher is in place in your boat. If you are not aware of the needed safety equipment for the type or size boat you have, make sure you consult the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for any questions you may have.
Once I start working on the actual fishing aspect of the “to do” list, I start with my rod and reels. I like to take each individual reel and make sure they are working properly. If you are familiar enough with the inner workings of your reels, this will be a good time to clean and grease each one as well. One of the common mistakes people make when working on their own reels is they tend to overuse the lubricants. A small amount will go a long way and too much will affect the performance of your reels. This will also be a good time to replace old line or at least prepare to spool them at a later date.
Rod maintenance is critical and easily as important as the upkeep of your reels. Look for any cosmetic damage such as a crack in the rod blank or chips in the cork handle. Check to see if any eyes on each rod are damaged or in need of replacement. A good way to do this is to take a Q-tip and run it around the inside of each eye on the rod. Any suspect areas will be easily noticed as the cotton will catch on any imperfections found on each eye checked.
As we fish throughout the year it’s easy to accumulate a mass of lures that we have taken out of their respective boxes, used and left them to be put up later. This is not just a good time to sort them and put them away but also check for any imperfections that will hinder their usage at a later date. Clip off line ties, check the O-rings and replace hooks if needed.
Many times while sorting through our tackle, it gives us the opportunity to take inventory of what we do or don’t have. Make note of the things you may have used the most and replace them if needed. Surely some of you will receive gift cards to our local outdoor retailers, and there is no better time than to stock up on some newer colors or other soft plastics that need replacing. I like to buy in bulk quantities if possible and also keep my color choices as basic as possible. Both are good ways to save a few extra dollars.
Terminal tackle such as hooks, sinkers and other accessories need to be attended to as well. I have found it more efficient to have a separate box just for these items. They are easily located, thus making the replacement of anything missing more feasible. I keep several sizes of hooks for soft plastics fishing and for replacing hooks broken on moving lures such as crankbaits and topwaters. I prefer tungsten sinkers, and while they are a bit more expensive than lead, I feel they are worth the extra cost, because it seems you catch more fish when using them over lead.
I hope these tips will help you save both time and money in the long run. Much of this can be accomplished on one of those weekends when the weather is more conducive to being indoors than out and is also a really good way to get your kids interested in upcoming fishing adventures.
Catch one for me, and I will see you on the water!