NORWALK, Conn. -- Although you’d never know it by looking out the window, this years’ fishing season is almost upon us. It’s time to dust off that tackle box, check the reports, and begin to strategically plan those “sick days.”
Home to some of the finest saltwater fishing in the Northeast, action in and around the Norwalk Islands is slowly beginning to heat up. Before you head to your local pier, jetty, or head offshore, it's important to make sure your tackle is as ready as you are.
Nothing takes the enjoyment out of an afternoon like broken lines and lost lures. Well-maintained supplies not only ensure tackle is effective year after year, but also increase the two F’s on board: fish and fun.
The first and most important place to start prepping tackle is at the reel. Unfortunately, most reels spend the winter doing what most fishermen do themselves -- sitting around, collecting dust, and dreaming of warmer weather.
To get your spinning reels back into hunting form, remove the body from the reel housing and check for dirt and grime. A light scrubbing with rubbing alcohol and a toothbrush should remove any residue.
Before reassembling, apply reel lubricant to the gears and bearings found underneath the body. To complete the cleaning, simply re-attach the body with the reel and give it a good spin to fully lubricate the parts.
After the reel has been cleaned and ready for action, it’s time to check the line. As the literal link between you and the fish, fishing line can be the difference between catching your limit and going home empty-handed. Depending on the target species, reel size, and fighting preference, casual anglers can quickly become lost in the complex world of line selection.
Ultimately, it’s best to talk with your local tackle shop owner to help pinpoint exactly what the best line is for the quest, as one style most certainly does not fit all.
Last, but certainly not least on the spring preparation checklist, is tackle box organization. High seas, lazy guests, and non-stop action can quickly turn a manicured box into a mess of knots, lures, and weights. Nothing is more aggravating than snapping a line during a feeding frenzy, only to find your hooks and leaders are buried beneath a tangled bird’s nest of supplies. Neatly spooling excess line and pre-tying specialized rigs are not only a great ways to cure those gray weather blues, but ensures happiness when the fish are biting your line in the water.
By making sure your gear is organized and properly maintained, the moment schools begin to push north you’ll be ready to roll.
John Haffey Jr. is a Norwalk resident and Long Island Sound enthusiast, and has navigated and fished Coastal Connecticut for years.