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Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

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General Wisconsin inland fishing is from May 4 to March 2, 2014. Lots of folks look in to their tackle boxes on May 3rd and discover they don't have leaders for pike fishing. They run to the local sporting good store the day before opener and all the leaders left are the kind you don't like.


I always prepare 2 weeks before opener. First comes the rod and reel. I take all the line off of my reels and clean and lube them. I always start the season with new line. I look at my rods to make sure the eyes are functional and there are no apparent cracks or problems. I have a primary rod and reel and a back up set up. Part of the 2 weeks out rule for me to order or drive for new gear that is required.

I go through my tackle box and make a list of things I want. These days with gas being so expensive I order most of my gear online. Postage is much cheaper than gas. I also double lures so I have a back up lure in case I lose one that is working well. Don't wait to make that order. Get it done at the minimum 2 weeks before opener in case of back orders or your local store may be sold out of your favorite lure.


Many anglers forget the sharp test. That favorite lure of yours was used often last year. It caught many a big fish. Typically on opening day you go after that "BIG" fish you lost last year. You put that jointed rapala on and throw in to the monster's lair. You see the giant wake following your retrieve and you are readying yourself for an epic battle. The monster pike hits and the treble hooks bounce right off that iron jawed waterwolf and off it swims. You look at your lure and cuss a couple times. You look for straightened treble hooks and all are fine but they are as "DULL" as they come. Sharpen those hooks NOW or replace them like I do. Some trebles hooks that are new are dull or bend easily. REPLACE those trebles or be crying in your beer opening weekend! A box of good treble hooks can save your opening day.

A final review is in order. I look at my new 2013 fishing license. "NEVER" wait to get that new license until the day before. I can remember watching folks waiting for their licenses and the WDNR machine broke down. The machine was overloaded due to last minute Charlies. Get that license right away on April 01 when it has expired.


Finally check your nets and fix any holes. Checking your gear the day before opener is fool hardy.

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Stellar advice on all accounts LHarris. I especially like the one concerning sharp hooks. I carry a hook hone in the boat at all times and use it a lot. But I very rarely see anyone else use one. Hooks dull quickly and without a doubt, sharp hooks catch a lot more fish than dull ones. I've found the Luhr Jensen hook hone to be about the best file type sharpener out there.

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