The unseasonably warm temperatures have awakened me from my hibernation a little early this year. Already, I have fish on the brain. I’m standing at the back of my Jeep, trying to solve the jigsaw puzzle of how to fit all the gear I have into the trunk, without having to throw out the jack or spare tire.
The only reason I keep fishing gear in my vehicle is the off chance that I will drive by prime fishing water and want to check and see if anybody’s home. I pass by Lake Robinson and Lake Cunningham each day on my way to and from work, and often find myself taking a detour on nice days. I never know when the urge will hit me, so I need to stay prepared.
I’m guilty of going a little overboard, especially when it comes to tackle. You can never have too much, I always say--and then by mid-summer, I’ve either lost or destroyed half of what I started with.
This year will be different, I promise myself.
After taking everything out of the trunk, I step back and assess the situation. What I need to do is consolidate my tackle boxes and choose which rod and reels I absolutely need to have in my car. I settle on a medium-sized tackle bag and stock it well with various lures and a good assortment of hooks, weights, and swivels. I make sure to include any necessary tools, such as pliers and a knife, and an extra spool of line or two. I decide to keep two medium action spinning outfits in there, and leave some room for a two-piece fly rod.
I gather up the remaining rods and gear, and return them to my storage building for safe keeping. Once inside, I take a quick inventory of the layers upon layers of fishing gear, some of which I don’t even remember purchasing.
I guess my next project will be going through all of this stuff, too. I’m sure all of the reels need oiling, and the rotten line replaced. Some of my tackle is spilled out and the hooks are tangled up in bait nets and a pile of dusty life preservers. I’ve got a mess.
I’ll start on this as soon as I’m done fishing.
Previously published in The Greer Citizen, March 11, 2020