There are two days I look forward to – the day I get my boat out in April and the day I put it away in November. You probably wonder why I would look forward to putting my rig away for the winter. Well, simply put: I need the winter months to recuperate from a busy fishing season. Winter is a great break that gives you time to go through all your fishing tackle, fix any problems that developed with equipment during the fishing season and just take a breather.
But what happens in the winter when you get that fishing bug? Well, I have a few things that seem to work for me.
One thing I do is record all of the Elite Series tournaments and watch them over and over again. My wife has asked me many times if I get tired of watching the same shows over and over again. My answer to that is "no". I don’t watch them for the entertainment aspect as much as I do the learning opportunity. I dissect each and every episode, watching closely what the pros are doing and what I can incorporate into my own fishing experiences.
I also take this time to practice, practice, practice! How do I do that in the winter? Well, quite honestly, I am known to this day for practicing my casting wherever and whenever I can. There is still a picture floating around my police department of me in uniform, casting a jig down the hallway. But be sure to get permission from your boss before you show up with a 7-foot rod and a flippin’ jig!! I also set up buckets in my basement, setting some of them up and slightly covering them with something, making it a little harder to hit the opening. This kind of mimics a hard-to-get-to spot when flippin’ or pitchin’. You would be surprised at how well your casting will improve throughout the winter months.
Lastly – and this may sound a little off the wall, but it works – I take a wide-gap hook and hook it to a stable object, like a piece of furniture. I then practice my hook sets. I have learned that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission to do this!!
These are just a few things I do to help the winter blues. Oh, and I do have several creeks loaded with salmon all throughout the winter, but that’s another article!
by Gregory "Bo" Miller