Top 5 Tips to Prepare for Spring Fishing
By Mattie Dalia
“Good luck is a residue of preparation.” —Jack Youngblood
There is a lot of luck in fishing. Anyone who tells you differently is not telling the truth. However, you can trim the odds in you favor with careful and thoughtful preparation. Now is the time to get all your ducks in a row for springtime fishing on the Outer Banks.
Here are my top five preparation tips so you don’t have to rely solely on good luck.
1) Get your gear in good working order.
Your rods, reels, tackle, etc. have probably gathered some dust (and with spring coming, pollen) over the winter. Now is the time to get it all in A-1 shape. Strip off old line and put fresh line on your reels. Clean and grease all the moving parts. Replace any broken or loose guide eyes on your rods. Organize your tackle, throw out the rusty stuff, and replace with new. If you have a boat, pull maintenance and get that fishing machine ready.
2) Go shopping.
Stop by the local tackle shops and see what’s new. Give yourself a shot of confidence and buy a new fishing rig. Take an audit of your tackle and lures and make a list to refill the boxes. There is nothing worse than heading out to the first trout bite of the season and finding out you are low on that grub color that is catching.
3) Renew your license.
Or at least make sure you know when it needs to be updated. The NC Marine Fishery dudes all seem to be out and checking credentials during some of the first big bites. You don’t want to start the year with a fishing fine for having an outdated license, especially with how easy it is to renew online. Visit ncwildlife.org/Licensing.aspx.
4) Review current regulations.
In the same vein as number three, you don’t want to get hammered with a fine for a size, bag or species infraction. And these rules change all the time. For example, did you know that the season is closed for speckled seatrout until June 15 this year? Download the current NC Recreational Coastal Waters Guide for Sports Fishermen from the NC Marine Fisheries website and don’t get caught with the wrong fish.
5) Keep your ear to the ground.
You need to reload all your fishing report links and start following the action. Track the weather patterns to look for those first good opportunities to get on the catch. Buy that buddy that always has the good intel a six-pack and make sure you are on top of his texting list. Return the favor once you come into action.
Happy springtime fishing on the Outer Banks!
Mattie Dalia has fished the coastal waters his entire life and made a lifelong dream come true by moving to the Outer Banks in 2006. You can usually find him in the evenings on Nags Head Fishing Pier, pursuing his favorite fish, el Spanish mackerel. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.