Picture this: a warm evening breeze gently brushes your face as it pushes your bobber along ever so gently atop the ripples in the water. Suddenly, the bobber disappears out of sight while the drag on your reel begins to scream as if begging you to set the hook. Once you set the hook, the fight is on and you know the only thing keeping that fish on the end of your line is the drag on your reel and your ability to keep the rod tip up. Finally, after a long and successful battle, the fish is in the net.
Are you as ready to play out this scenario as I am? Yes, cabin fever has reached epidemic proportions for most of us and it seems as if there is no end in sight. Well, maybe it is time to do something about it. I find that watching any number of fishing shows to pacify you can help, but for me the one thing that seems to ease the pain of the fever is taking inventory of my fishing tackle while all the while visualizing in my mind when and where I will be able to use this certain lure or that jig.
With the weather seemingly mired in the neverending funk of our recent hard winter, it is sometimes easy to lose sight of the reality that it is already March and spring, for all practical purposes, is looming on the horizon. The expiration of the 2013 fishing license signifies the official closing of the 2013 fishing season. You can still ice fish for panfish and perch, but you must purchase your 2014 fishing license in order to continue to do so.
As of yet I have not been able to, nor have I, had the desire to take that trip a few miles to the north to replenish my tackle box. That day is, however, fast drawing nearer, but first I must inventory the tackle boxes and sort through the many old chewed on and faded twister tails that I seem reluctant to part with. Each lure in my tackle box can hold a fishing memory but plastic; not so much. The color combinations remind me of times when one certain jig/twister combo has been deadly for a certain species at a certain time, but there really shouldn’t be any sentimental value there Yes, I am kind of a pack rat when it comes to tackle because I really hate to throw anything away; must be my Norwegian upbringing that tells me to waste nothing. I can still hear my mother telling me to “clean your plate, do you know how many starving children there are in China?” I’d guess that there are probably not as many as there was when that phrase was coined. This probably explains why my folks never threw away used nails because, with a little straightening, they could be used again. “Waste not want not” was the motto, so I think I’m on to something there, but unfortunately the old saying about old dogs and new tricks might be applicable in my case. If you want further evidence, I have a small garage cluttered with meaningless junk that is there because I needed one of these 30-years ago and I might need it again someday.
Getting back to cabin fever; I really believe that doing a little daydreaming can do wonders for a person’s mental wellbeing during these cold, windy winter days that we have been mired in. I will often enjoy sitting back in the old easy chair sipping a cup of coffee or hot chocolate with music playing and eyes closed all the while envisioning myself sitting on a lake watching a bobber or casting the shoreline in search of that lunker that is lurking just below the safety of a dead tree branch.
Another good way to get ready for spring is to attend sports shows or a meeting of a sportsmen’s group like the Southern Crossroads 54 Chapter of Muskies Inc. The chapter’s 54 annual nanquet is Wednesday, March 12, at Owatonna Eagles Club. 6 p.m. social hour, 7 p.m. dinner. Fun, door prizes, raffles, silent and live auction, lots of musky talk. Our informative speaker will be Josh Borovsky, a professional guide. He also fishes the PMTT (Professional Musky Tournament Trail). Tickets are $25 per person, kids 12 year and under free, with adult. Tickets in advance (call 507-456-6598) or at the door. Open to all, you need not be a member to attend. Bring a friend; help improve musky fishing in Southern Minnesota.
Until next time, stay warm and do what you can to avoid the dreaded cabin fever.
Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers because they are the reason that we are able to enjoy all the freedoms that we have today.