Post Content

Brewer_1Elaine Brewer
Information and Education Coordinator, Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF)
View Elaines's Bio

The snow has melted for, hopefully, the last time this year. The birds are chirping. The sun is rising a little earlier every day. The temperature is on a steady climb. The fishing shows and outdoor expos are over. It’s about that time to get back on the water!

Although we just want to rush to the water and throw our lines in, there’s actually a process to the mad rush in wetting the lines for the first time of the season. Anglers meticulously check gear in preparation for the warm weather. Because, honestly, why would you waste a good day on the water to fix gear? Do it beforehand, when it’s still just cold enough to keep you off the water.

So how do you get ready for fishing? Follow these steps from some of MarineFisheries most experienced recreational anglers:

-After finding and dusting off your gear, lay it out and take inventory of what you have. Did you lose or break something last year that needs replacing? Put it on the list!

-Break down your reels to clean and lubricate. Make sure there are no broken parts and if there are…fix them! Or bring them to someone who can. When putting the reels back together, be sure that all the parts are included and always test them out to make sure they’re put back together correctly! Almost nothing is worse than a reel blowing up while you’re hooked on a fish.

-Most line manufacturers want you to replace your fishing line every year. We all know that gets tedious and expensive. If you’re not replacing your line every year, inspect the line. Look and feel for any damage (nicks or pulls, anything that feels even a little different than the rest of the line). If you don’t feel any breakage or disturbance in the line, replace at least the first 50 yards or so. This section sees the most action and gets the most damage.

-Check the rod shaft and guides for any tears, splits, or nicks. If there is even a little bit of damage in the guides or shaft, it may mean losing the big one, getting an injury, and most probably a lot of colorful language. 

-Tie rigs. The more rigs that can be made in advance, the better! Nothing is worse than losing or breaking rigs on the water and not having any to replace them.

-Sharpen hooks.  Catching a fish with a dull, rusty hook is like cutting a steak with a spoon it just doesn’t work.

-Get all the bait and tackle you need, and anything you put on the gear list, from your local tackle shop. Be sure to grab a copy of the Massachusetts Saltwater Recreational Fishing Guide (you can view it online here) and familiarize yourself with the regulations for your favorite saltwater species. 

Of course, don’t forget your 2013 Saltwater Recreational Fishing Permit! If you don’t have yours yet, pick one up at one of many vendors (mapped here) or purchase one online here.

Anything else you need can be found on the MarineFisheries website. Have fun when you get out there and tight lines!

Written By:

Recent Posts

2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: October posted on Oct 29

2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: October

October’s Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Steve Golson who photographed Hereford beef cattle at Sorli Farm in Carlisle. Sorli Farm has been operated by three generations of the Sorli family since 1745. The family purchased the land in 1914, so it’s fitting that the   …Continue Reading 2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: October

Wood: The Future (and Past) of Green Infrastructure posted on Sep 30

Wood: The Future (and Past) of Green Infrastructure

Wood, one of the oldest building materials in human history, might also be the greenest.

The View from Massachusetts posted on Sep 17

The View from Massachusetts

While Massachusetts can claim significant success in urban river revitalization, dam removal, cranberry bog naturalization and stream flow restoration, globally there are daunting challenges to restore highly impacted or vanishing ecosystems that will test the acumen of ecologists, engineers and politicians for years to come.