Don’t get sunk this fishing season: tackle your prep early

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Don’t get sunk this fishing season: tackle your prep early

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April 9 marked the start of the 2016 angler season for Vermont. Similar to the way many baseball fans get excited this time of year, anglers throughout Vermont are all geared up and ready to head to their favorite rivers and streams for Trout Season.

Fishing is one of the main pieces to Vermont’s rich and vibrant outdoor recreation culture and one of its many pastimes. If you have grown up in Vermont, there is a large chance that you have some sort of recollection of going fishing for the first time when you were young. Generally, as you grow up, you either end up loving all of the patient waiting in anticipation of a bite, or you end up hating it with all of the boring waiting that often comes with the sport.

Spring is one of Vermont’s two in-between seasons, along with the fall. During the early springtime, patiently waiting anglers look forward to taking their first casts each year.

Making sure you set yourself up for a successful fishing season or experience can be what sets you apart from your fishing buddies, and leads you to pulling in the majority of fish on your next fishing trip.

Prior to your first fishing experience each year, you should always do a rundown of all of your fishing tools to make sure they are in good shape. Cleaning and lubricating pliers, scissors, and other tools so that they are all in top functioning condition, along with replacing worn out or lost items, can help prevent downtime dealing with malfunctioning equipment while at your favorite fishing hotspot.

Not checking the line on your reels can be one of the leading causes of downtime while fishing. It can also be the difference from catching the big one or replacing your hook. Generally, you should start each season with a brand new set of line on all of your reels, because most fishing lines are made of nylon or other composite substances that are intended to be replaced each year.

It is also always a good idea to sort through your tackle boxes. Any angler is bound to have an abundance of lures that don’t work. Thinning out the collection in your tackle box might make things a little simpler when it comes time to do a quick lure swap during Bass season.

If you happen to stumble upon any old weights and sinkers that are made of lead when doing your tackle box rundown, be sure to remove them to prevent the accidental use of these items. It is against the law to use a lead sinker weighing one-half ounce or less while fishing in Vermont.

While sorting through your tackle, it is always a good idea to make a list of lures and other items that you are going to want for this season, or the ones that simply need to be replaced. Making one trip to your local sporting goods store to restock on all of your supplies is a lot easier than making several trips in one weekend.

You might need to replace bent hooks, add a roll of spare line to your tackle box, get a variety of different weights for different intended purposes, and replace/add a new lure or two to your collection with hopes that they will work.

Doing a quick checklist of these chores before heading out on your first fishing trip can help set you up for the ideal experience by being organized and ready. These simple tasks can help prevent that dreaded downtime dealing with all of the typical fishing tragedies from untangling a bird’s nest of line to having to replace your hook. These are a few of the annoyances that will ruin that ideal day at the water.

Altogether, I think that we can all agree that sometimes the old saying of “a bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work” isn’t always what it is cracked up to be. A good productive day of work sounds much more appealing than spending the majority of the day by the river working on your rod constantly while your buddies are reeling in fish nonstop.

Vermont’s 2016 Trout and landlocked salmon season runs from April 9 until Oct. 31. The 2016 Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass catch and release dates run from April 9 until Oct. 6, and the regular Bass season runs from June 11 until Oct. 30. There is not closed season for Pickerel, Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, or Rainbow Smelt in Vermont. Vermont’s annual free fishing day will take place on June 11.

For more information on Vermont’s fishing season and current regulations, you can pick up a copy of this year’s Vermont hunting, fishing, and trapping guide at your local sporting goods store, or click on the “Fish” link at