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Outdoors with Larry DiDonato - Are You Ready for Fishing Season?

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 2/23/24 | 2/23/24

Although it’s cold now, before you know it, warm weather and the unofficial start of fishing season will be here, but is your equipment ready to go? Besides going over the overall condition of your fishing gear, any used monofilament line or “mono” is the first thing you should check and more than likely replace. It should be changed each year and the fact that it is relatively inexpensive makes it not too big of a burden for most fishermen. If you don’t change your mono roughly once per season, you’ll soon be reminded when you find constant tangles due to excessive coiling when casting. That’s because monofilament line has memory and the longer it sits on your spinning, spin cast, bait cast, or conventional reel, the more it dries and coils up instead of nicely laying limp when casting or tying knots etc. 

Braided line is much more expensive than monofilament but much less subject to abrasion, wear, and coiling due to memory. Braided line can remain in great shape on reels for years, especially if simply maintained by keeping it somewhat clean and out of constant, prolonged exposure to the sun. Always check any line you’re using for nicks and cuts to prevent unanticipated breakage, which always seems to happen at the most inopportune moment. And by that, I mean just when your about to haul in the “big one!” 

For reels, they should simply be cleaned after each use. Annual maintenance includes lubricating internal parts with just a little reel lube which is available at most fishing tackle shops. If you use your fishing equipment in saltwater however, that’s a different story. It’s important to be much more vigilant when it comes to maintenance when fishing in saltwater.

Reels, rods, and line need to be thoroughly rinsed with fresh water after each exposure to saltwater conditions. After rinsing and allowing to dry, it’s a good idea to use a good lubricant on both internal and external parts and surfaces of your reel. WD 40 works well here and for good reason; the “WD” stands for Water Displacement, so if any salt or even freshwater is left on or in the reel, WD 40 should displace it with some protective properties. 

For rods, whether fishing in fresh or saltwater, just keep them clean, free of debris, check the rod tip and make sure all the guides are in place. You can check if any are broken or getting loose. If your rod needs repair, you can either do it yourself or try to find a reputable shop that offers a repair service. Rod tip replacement is fairly simple and you can buy do-it-yourself rod tip repair kits that come complete with the appropriate glue. Rod guides could be more complicated to replace, especially if they are the type that are thread wrapped with an epoxy coating. You will need to have the equipment to repair a thread wrapped guide which is essentially a rotisserie type device that rotates the rod once wrapped so the epoxy is applied evenly. 

For tackle, there’s not too much to do unless you’re a hook sharpener. If you are, you know what to do. If not, simply replace dull or bent hooks on any lures and for snelled or loose hooks, just make sure you have enough of your favorite size, styles, and shapes. 

Rod and reel repair shops can be hard to find in our area and many fishermen simply replace equipment rather than repair it. While this is unfortunate, I guess it’s okay for cheaper fishing equipment, but can be wasteful for expensive rods and reels. Replacing high-end fishing equipment can get pretty pricey. That’s when it can be well worth the effort to find a good rod or reel repair expert. A good place to start to find rod and reel repair options near you is your local fishing tackle shop, if you are lucky enough to have one. You can always go online and check there, but that may involve shipping your fishing equipment for a repair which is not always the easiest or best option. 

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so a quick annual check and consistent maintenance of your fishing equipment can go a long way to help you enjoy a great, and hopefully warm fishing season. It will be here before you know it!

        Happy hunting, trapping, and fishing, until next time!

News and Notes

Childrens Ice Fishing Derby February 25th at Tannersville Lake

The Catskill Mountain Fish & Game Club in conjunction with the Stony Clove Rod and Gun Club are hosting their Children’s Ice Fishing Derby at Rip Van Winkle/Tannersville Lake on Sunday, February 25th. Registration begins at 9:00 am. Kids up to 16 years of age can compete in two divisions for prizes. Live bait, refreshments, and a few tips ups will be available. For more information, call Bob Monteleone at 518-488-0240.

Albany County Winter Fest February 24th at Lawson Lake 

Albany County Parks and Recreation is hosting their annual Winter Fest at Lawson Lake at 293 Lawson Lake Road on Saturday, February 24th from 11:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Activities for both kids and adults include snowmobile demonstrations, ice fishing with Albany County Conservation Alliance volunteers and DEC staff, a Sled Dog Meet and Greet, and Albany County Sheriff’s Deputies will be conducting an Ice-Immersion Safety Demonstration plus much more. Hot food and drinks will be available for purchase. 

Ducks Unlimited Greene County Chapter Banquet March 2nd 

The Greene County Chapter of Ducks Unlimited is holding its annual banquet, dinner and auction on Saturday, March 2nd at Anthony’s Banquet Hall, located at 746 County Route 23B in Leeds. Doors open at 3:30 pm with buffet dinner starting at 5:00 pm followed by a live auction. Tickets are available online at www.ducks.org/newyork/events. For more information you can call Dana Hanusik at 518-821-1773 or Jeff Holiday at 965-6105.  

Remember to report poaching violations by calling the 24-hour ECO Dispatch at: 

1-844-DEC-ECOS.



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