Fishing season starts on Sunday, April 1 along the South Shore. Remember to buy your license before you start fishing and read that “Anglers’ Handbook” that you get with your license. The book is broken down into regions and the South Shore is covered in Regions 3 and 4. There are rules and regulations relating to where and how you are allowed to fish. Always check out if any rules apply to where you plan to fish each and every time you go out fishing. Some information you should know about licenses is, anyone 65 years and older, the license is only $6.80. And new this year is that licenses for youth 16 and 17 years old are free.
Hopefully you have had a chance to replace your fishing line and now it’s time to “tackle” your gear. If you stored your tackle in a dry place for the winter, then there should not be a problem, however, sharp hooks can be the difference between hooking and losing a fish. Rusty or dull hooks must be dealt with. If they are rusty, it is best to just throw them out. Dull hooks, on the other hand, can be sharpened with a small stone.
Hooks should be checked often and sharpened regularly. Before the season starts, check out your hooks, especially those on spinners and crank baits. Replace those that need replacing and sharpen those that need sharpening.
During this time of year, I like to take inventory of all my gear and decide what I will need for the new fishing season. With you who are getting back into fishing or just starting, the South Shore has early fishing for trout, small mouth bass and chain pickerel. Do some research on what tackle is needed for each species, make a list and go shopping.
I want to end this week with an explanation of what to look for in retail stores when you want to buy gear. There are tackle stores all along the South Shore and there are box stores that also have tackle. When you are starting out, those stores that have staff that know fishing and understand gear can help you with your decisions. They know what gear is tried and true and what is new. They can help you with finding good gear within your price range. Remember something I always tell my children, “You will never be disappointed with quality.” Check out these stores for yourself and the one thing you will find is that there is no shortage of supplies and/or advice when it comes to fishing.
Next week: We will talk about some specifics relating to the gear you need for each kind of fish you want to catch.