For some, there is no fishing offseason! Those lucky enough to live down south find themselves on the water through all times of the year. We know many avid anglers that find ways to chase their favorite catches through the ice. Some elect to pick a new species to go after in the winter months because they just can’t bring themselves to put the rod down.
But for many, the onset of winter means a forced lull in the action; a time when it’s just not possible to get out on the water and chase ‘em down.
So just what do fishermen do in the offseason?
Learn as Much as Possible in the Fishing Offseason
If you’re going to be holed up somewhere, snowed in and iced over, you may as well make the best of it. Cozy up to the fireplace if you have one, (pretend, if you don’t) and dig into some good learning opportunities.
While we all pride ourselves on our vast knowledge, we’re humble enough to know that we just don’t know it all. There is always something that you can learn from everyone and every situation, even if it’s learning how not to do something. Keeping an open mind is how we grow, both as humans, and as anglers.
With literally thousands of opportunities to explore videos, blogs, articles, books, magazines, podcasts, web forums, and more, there’s no excuse for not having enough to occupy your time and increase your knowledge base.
Not sure where to start? We’ve already compiled some of the best forums, videos, and experts to follow. That’s not even mentioning our entire giant library of Fishing Intelligence Podcasts and Fishing Intelligence Articles! All of that, in addition to our exclusive Bass Fishing Resource Center, and you’ve got all you need to keep that knowledge base growing through the stark winter season.
Fishing Offseason: Organize and Maintainence
You have a break. No stress of having to get to tournaments. The urge to get out on the water is lessening as the feel of the blistering cold moves in. Take this time to slow down and give some TLC to your gear and equipment.
Winterizing your boat is a must to ensure it makes it through the season without any additional problems cropping up come springtime. You’ll want to completely clean and wax it, drain all water from the engine and lower unit. Winterize your engine by topping off the fuel tank, changing the lower unit oil, and adding marine fuel stabilizer. Make sure you run it for a few minutes to let the stabilizer get through the whole system. Hook your batteries up to a battery maintainer. If they’re likely to freeze, store them in a warm, dry place inside.
This is the perfect time to organize all of your tackle. You’ll thank yourself come tournament time!
Start by getting rid of things that you don’t use. That may be a painful prospect, but you can do it! If you’ve been hoarding something for a “just in case” situation, but haven’t thrown it in years, get rid of it! Gift it. Sell it. Throw it away. Whatever it takes. Have a funeral if it makes you feel better.
Everything should have a place, and you should know right where to find things at a moment’s notice on your boat. Make-up for all those times you tossed a bait into a box, couldn’t find it later so you bought a new one, and added to an already overcrowded, unorganized tackle box. Find a system that will work for you. Storage bins, boxes, or bags with labels can work wonders for your efficiency come push or shove out on the water.
Once you’ve got things under control, take inventory with your ANGLR App’s Tackle section.
Plan Your Next Trip During the Fishing Offseason
Now that you have some time to sit down and think, go through the next season’s calendar now instead of waiting until the week of the first derby. Take some notes on fishing reports and tournament results. Grab your phone and start plugging your proposed waypoints into the ANGLR App.
Decide where you’ll head out to start practicing once the weather opens up a bit. Come up with your game plan now, so you’ll be more than ready to strike when the season opens.
Practice Makes Perfect
Even if you think you were pretty spot-on last year, there’s always room for improvement. Stop and think about how many of your pitches and casts hit the target – and how many didn’t. Getting in some target practice during the offseason is easier than you think. You can set up a practice area in your basement or garage by setting out cups and bowls around the area- beside, under, and close to objects. Come spring, you’ll be happy you did.
Here’s a fun challenge for you:
Teach yourself to pitch left-handed. You’ve got plenty of time. Think how much more efficient you’ll be if you don’t have to switch hands when your jig hits the water. You’ll be able to feel that many more strikes, which equals more fish being caught.
Use the Fishing Offseason Free Time to Exercise!
Doing even just a little bit of physical exercise can make all the difference in the world during your first few derbies. Think back to last year and how tired you were halfway through the day. You still had hours to go before weigh-in, and all you wanted to do was crawl back into bed.
We all tend to just simply melt into the couch when the winds are blustering outside and the temperatures are ridiculously cold, but don’t give in to the temptation. Get yourself up and go for a walk. Do a few simple exercises and stretches on your living room floor. Go to the gym like you’ve been thinking about. You’ll thank yourself during the season next year!
This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert
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