Unfortunately it’s about that time. Even though the smallies have just been on fire lately the cold and snow aren’t far away. Here are a few things you need to do before the ground turns completely white.
Rods…reels…and tackle. You definitely need to clean everything up and store it away for winter. The worst thing you can do is to leave everything in the boat and leave it till spring. Reels need to be cleaned and back off the drag so it doesn’t set up for good. The winter is the perfect time to put on new line or at least give it a good dose of your favorite line treatment. Check all the guides on your rods and make the necessary adjustments or replacements as necessary. Tackle boxes should be emptied, cleaned, and reorganized. Before you put them away spray the whole box with a light coat of WD-40. It will keep them from rusting and won’t bother fish next year.
It’s time to get your boat winterized and stored before the DPW starts spreading salt all over the roads. The absolute worst thing you can do is to tow your boat and trailer on a salt covered road and then leave it till next year. IT WILL RUST! Unless you do your own winterization, you will definitely find long lines at any marina to get it professionally done. It’s a game of Russian Roulette if you wait too long. Do you take the chance for a couple extra days on the water and risk having to tow your boat around in the snow or get everything cleaned up and put away before it really gets nasty.
Hopefully you have an indoor storage facility for your baby. If you don’t, make sure you completely empty and dry all the boxes in the boat. Toss in a few moth balls to keep little furry creatures from setting up a winter retreat…and munching on carpet and seats. Cover with multiple layers if possible and make sure the cover is supported in enough places to keep water/snow from pooling up on top. Ice can easily poke holes in any cover if given enough time. If you are lucky enough to have indoor storage, again, make sure you empty boxes and clean them out completely. Leave the cover off and the boxes open. Again, a few moth balls keep mice from setting up camp. If you can, jack up the trailer and block the axle to take the weight off the tires. This will keep them from unnecessary wear over the winter. If you have the opportunity to charge batteries over the winter, leave the cables on and charge for a few hours once a month or so. If they won’t be charged till next spring, it is best to disconnect all the battery cables.
Wishing you Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas (with lots of Bass Pro Shop gift cards), and Happy New Year!