Before you fish, check these important items
by fishing guide Charlie Worrath
As we Minnesota fishing enthusiasts start to prepare ourselves for yet another fishing opener, we have high hopes of fresh fish frying in the pan by Saturday evening (with, of course, nothing but Charlie’s Gone Fishing fish and game batter). We first have many things to check off our list before the beginning of the new season so we can have a fun, safe and successful year.
- Boat trailer – Have the wheel bearings repacked & brakes checked. Check that all the lights, winch straps, tie downs and rollers are in good condition.
- Boat motor – Have lower unit oil changed, grease all grease fittings, and check the prop for nicks or bent blades. When doing so remove prop to check for fishing line wrapped around the shaft. Check to see if you need new spark plugs, and check the oil level on power trim.
- The boat itself –
- Foremost make sure the drain plug is in and tightened. (Every year, it will never fail - someone will forget.)
- Check water levels in batteries, and charge them to make sure they still will hold a charge.
- Clean and grease all battery posts and any other battery connections to keep them from corroding.
- Check all lights and pumps.
- Clean and disinfect all live and bait wells.
- Have fresh gas in the boat and check fuel lines for leaks or cracks. Have the proper mix of oil and make sure your oil reserve is full.
- Most important of all: make sure you have enough good and proper size life jackets for everyone in the boat. Also, boats 16ft. or longer need a throwable floating device.
- We need a fishing pole to catch some fish to fry.
- The reels should be cleaned, to remove dirt and grime for smooth operation. Next, new line should be added to the spool. For spools that reel deep and require a lot of line, I remove only about 150 ft. of old line, leaving the rest for backing, and replace with fresh line. You usually don’t use more than the first 50 ft. If you break off and run short you remove what’s left and add another 150 ft. to your back with new line for another day.
- Check your rod eye guides for rough spots; use a Q-tip to run around the insides of the eye guides. If the eye catches some cotton, you have a rough spot that will weaken your line. Use a fine emery cloth to smooth it out. For ine size, I like 6 lb. to 8 lb. test for pan fish to walleyes.
Now that we got you all equipped for a fun day on the water, all you have to do is choose a lake out of the 1,000 lakes this area has to offer. If you have the opportunity, take a kid fishing. Remember that kids don’t need to always catch walleyes. They just like some thing to bend their pole and tug on the line.
Have fun and most of all be safe.
Interested in learning Charlie's techniques firsthand? Click here to meet Charlie and request an unforgettable professionally guided Minnesota fishing trip! Charlie Worrath can be reached at (218) 246-2159.