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Winter Fishing Projects

By Kastking | 22 January 2018 | 0 Comments

Blizzards, snow storms and winter nor’easters don’t dampen the winter fishing spirits of many anglers. Here’s how to make the best use of your down time…



Winter for those of us in the Northern states results in very little actual fishing.  Most area anglers just grudgingly slowly turn the calendar pages praying for an early spring.  However, there are lots of winter tasks an angler can undertake to help pass the days until spring blooms.


winter, fishing


First and foremost on the winter list is to dig into the gear from last year and sort out the good from the bad.  Many lures, swivels, and hooks etc. will need replacing or fixing.  Anything rusted, is often weakened, and should be replaced.  Soft baits lying in the bottom of a gear bag or tackle drawer that have been clipped by a toothy critter should be tossed, and replaced with fresh baits.  Get rid of any raggedy bucktails, and replace those rusty hooks on your go to plugs.



During the winter fishing reels should be opened up, cleaned, and re-lubed.  Before opening up a reel be sure to spray a little penetrating oil or WD-40 on the screws to help them unscrew a little easier.  If one avoids this step with the lube, screw heads can sometimes break from the torque of twisting them with a large screwdriver or power tool.  Be careful with your reels.  One can easily take apart a little too much of the reel and end up with a bag of parts that will now be needed to be put back together by a professional reel maintainer.  Been there…done that, very embarrassing.



winter, fishing, winter fishing

Winter gives anglers time for other fishing projects.

Braided line on reels will last a long time.  The line may eventually fray a little bit on the terminal end, but rarely is this condition the death knell for line productivity.  The easiest solution is to remove the frayed line by stripping off some of the “worn” line until some “fresher” stuff on further down the spool is reached.  Another option is to turn the line around.  Simply winding it from one reel on to another reel easily puts line that has probably never been dipped in saltwater to the forefront of the reel spool.



Monofilament fishing line does not last as long as braided fishing line.  As a result, it is often best to spool on fresh monofilament during the winter overhaul.  However, if the line was lightly used one can probably get away with using the line for another season.  The biggest cause of monofilament degradation is from the suns UV rays. If you store the line out of the sun you can get a couple of seasons of use from a spool of monofilament line. If in doubt; change it out.



Next up on the winter fishing tackle project list should be rod care.  The biggest problems are often with rod guides that will be bent or have busted frames or rings.  If any guides are in poor condition they must be replaced, or the guides will eventually cause you to loose some fish.  Almost all tackle shops will happily do rod repairs for you.  However, fixing up rod guides are simple procedures and can easily be accomplished in ones garage or basement.  A web search for “fixing a rod guide” will give you printed instructions or videos on how the pros do it.  In fact, building your own rods from scratch is also an awesome way to get through the winter months without losing your fishing “mind.”



Now is the time of the season for an intrepid angler to do some research about their beloved past time of fishing.  If you want to become a better angler you have to work at it.  You can’t be afraid to take chances or try new methods or spots to fish.  Expect a lot of failures on the path to fishing success, but eventually some attempts will prove fruitful and produce some outstanding catches for you.   However, always keep an open mind, and observe what is going on around you, this way even when you don’t catch anything, you’ll still be learning something.



Watching fishing themed videos or TV shows always helps me get through the winter months.  These shows also manage to put a few places to visit on my bucket list as well.  In the past, when I put on a fishing themed channel, there were times I became frustrated by shows that were not from my neck of the woods.  However, I learned to keep an open mind and closely watch what is going on.  Many times I ended up learning a technique or a tip for catching fish that I adjusted slightly to produce for me in my “own” waters.  Now with DVR’s it is very easy to tape shows that are of special interest and view them at our convenience.



In my opinion, good “how to” books are probably the best disseminators of fishing knowledge out there. This is mostly because the author has to sit down and thoroughly work out in their mind all the little nuances that helped them catch fish. All of that information must be put down on paper in clear concise words that all can (hopefully) understand. Believe me, this is easier said than done, but many good author/anglers out there mange to lay out all the pieces of the puzzle for one to absorb.  The beauty of a book is that one can highlight and dog-ear passages that can be referenced easily at any time.  I know I have a few go to books in my possession that I go to all the time when I forgotten how to tie a certain rig or knot.


bass buff, winter, fishing book,

Editor’s Note — Bass Buff by this article’s author is an excellent resource


The winter months are commonly known as “Show Season” within the fishing industry.  At these shows many new products are showcased and often offered at a great discount to anglers.  Many of these shows also feature seminars given by professional anglers.  As a young angler the seminars I attended were where I learned a ton of information I implement to this day.  I always took notes, and whenever I had a question it would always be answered in real time happily by the pro giving the seminar.  I’d highly recommend checking out the shows in your area, peruse the speaker schedule, and be sure to attend those that are of interest to you.



Finally, I believe much knowledge can be garnered by simply checking out nautical charts of the areas one commonly fishes.  I do this all the time with charts manufactured by a company called Captain Segull Charts.  On these charts not only are GPS numbers given out, but also large areas are highlighted in “magenta” for all to see the hot spots many professional anglers depend on. I normally pay great attention to any radical depth breaks or changes of bottom structure.   Keep in mind, changes in bottom make-up (ex. mud to sand or sand to rock) are types of areas that aren’t always highlighted on the charts and can become your own personal honey holes. Game fish will often congregate around these changes because that is where baitfish will commonly seek to find places to hide for safety.  Always remember, if you find the bait then you are well on the way towards finding the predator fish that feed on the bait.


This winter use all of these tips to increase your fishing success.


— Capt. Tom Mikoleski


Captain Tom Mikoleski is the successful fishing charter captain of the Grand Slam who sails out of Montauk, NY for trophy striped bass, doormat fluke, jumbo porgies, humpback sea bass, and monster sharks. Captain Tom is the author of Bass Buff — A Striper Fishing Obsession Guide.




Eposeidon (www.eposeidon.com ) is an e-commerce company (Eposeidon Outdoor Adventure, Inc.) that brings a fresh, innovative approach to anglers by offering quality fishing tackle products at the best prices and no cost, or low cost shipping. Eposeidon’s goal is to exceed expectations through outstanding customer service and superior product value to their customers. Eposeidon is continually expanding its product lines, which include KastKing(r) fishing line, fishing reels, and fishing rods, MadBite fishing lures, Ecooda reels, and other fishing tackle products, to meet individual fishing equipment needs. Eposeidon is headquartered in Garden City, NY, USA and sells fishing tackle products globally. Eposeidon is the sole North American Distributor for Ecooda fishing reels.

winter fishing.

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