Time are tough and the world is upside down. It’s safe to say the best thing for everyone to do is stay home and quarantine. But aren’t you going stir crazy? Can’t watch another minute of the same news roll repeat over and over again? Had enough of watching youtube and seeing one amateur after the next try to teach you how to do something they just learned from their neighbor less than a week earlier? We already know you watched every episode of Peaky Blinders, Breaking Bad, Homeland, Shooter and Tiger King!
Make the most of your time at home with these Six Easy Stay At Home Fishing Projects so when things open back up you are best prepared for fishing!
Tie Some Leaders & Rigs
Are you ready for summer flounder season? NJ’s fluke season opens May 22! Get a jump start on it now by tie up some fluke fishing rigs.
Seaguar Fluorocarbon (30#) is by far our best seller among fluke anglers however some choose to tie up with classic nylon monofilament leader like Ande Monofilament Leader which is significantly less money than fluoro.
The traditional wide gape “English” hook (37160) from Mustad is a good choice when fluke fishing with live or dead bait; however, we prefer the ultimate black nickel all purpose hook… the Gamakatsu Octopus Hooks. The Gami Octopus hooks can be used in just about any saltwater fishing situation.
If planning on baiting the hook with Gulp Baits we highly recommend the Mustad 3400 Specialty Hook. This hook is based off of the classic long shank O’Shaughnessy, but it is not offset. It features bait holder barbs on the shank to keep Gulp Baits in position. The turned back eye is also great for snelling or attaching with a double looping a dropper loop. This hook is shown above on the right.
Making teaser rigs? You should because they are one of the most popular fluke fishing rigs for good reason… they outfish! A small (50# in the bay, 75# in the ocean) Tactical Angler Clip at the bottom is a fast, strong and convenience connection for changing jigs. The Tsunami Rolling T Swivel is a good option for making hi-lo drops and are a great substitute for the classic Spro Three Way Swivel
Are you into the mid-shore and offshore game?
Tuna trolling, jigging and chunking will be here soon. Last year there was a good bite in mid/late May. Will you be ready if it pops up early again?
If you didn’t over the winter already… re-rig spreader bars, chains and other trolling lures. Also prepare some chunking leaders. We’ve got all of the essentials. Last season the boats that scaled down out-fished the fleet. Catching 30-80# tuna (bluefin and yellowfin) on 40-50# might sound too light but it’s not. Some days sharpies scale down even lighter to fool line shy fish. Light line also allows live baits and chunk baits to settle freely and drift naturally in the chum slick.
When tying up we like palomar knot direct to the (J-Hook For Chunking & Live Baits or Circle Hook For Chunking & Live Baits). These medium wire 4X strong hooks are best for light line tuna fishing. Some prefer a 130 or 230# Spro Power Swivel. Suggestion: When scaling down to fool line shy tuna, tie your braided line directly to your fluorocarbon leader (line to line knot like an FG or double Albright) and fish a longer leader.
Research Your Water
How good do you know the waters you fish and navigate? Now’s the time to study up! Get a chart (Home Port Charts are a great resource to have) which details the area you want to learn and do some reconnaissance. With addition to a chart, take a good look at Google earth too. Look for features that interest you. Then when the time is right get out and scout these areas and fish them. You’ll be surprised at the results!
Tip: When visually scouting new area try to focus on days with more extreme tides, when the moon phase is full or new. Going at times when the water level is lowest can be very helpful to see characteristics which can be missed at high tide. Also persistent westerly winds drive water out of the bays resulting in blow out tides. These are also prime tides to scout. Another great resource is Navionics Marine Cartography App.
Organize Your Tackle
Unless you are a neat freak and keep up with it, fishing tackle always seems in need of organization. Dealing with jumbled up lures and miscellaneous tackle bins can be frustrating and time consuming especially when looking get on fish quick.
Organization can be hard, but it doesn’t need to be. With Plano Tackle Storage Solutions fishing tackle is easy to find and store away making everyday more enjoyable. The all new Plano Edge Stowaway Utility Boxes offer lots of options for both general purpose and specialized storage. This series is a top choice for fishing tackle organization because it features Dri-Loc seals to keeps water out, Rustrictor coating to prevent rust, one-handed latch design for quick easy use and crystal clear lid to its easy to identify what’s inside.
Plano isn’t the only one offering great solutions for taming fishing tackle. One of our favorite tackle boxes and a best seller for good reason is the Gamakatsu G Box Utility Series. Availalbe in a variety of sizes they are great for terminal tackle and lures.
The G3200 is perfect for terminal tackle like swivels, clips, beads and hooks. The 3500D is slightly larger and deeper so small and medium size lures fit nicely. The 3600 comes in two versions with micro-adjustable dividers or the 3600SF with slit foam that is great for hooks, rigs, flies and jigs. The 3700 is the most popular size and great for a variety of tackle. The added depth of the 3700D is great for large bulky tackle.
Now’s the time to get things orderly.
Spring Clean Your Lures
Hunt down rusty hooks and replace them! VMC offers great quality trebles at a good price. When taking action and doing hook swaps a quality split ring plier makes the task of changing hooks much MUCH easier. Choose Texas Tackle!
While checking for rusty hooks it’s a really good idea to inspect some of your best fish catching lures. Chances are you 2019 MVP’s could show signs of damage. Tweaked hook hangers or crack in the seam are signs complete failure is next. Why risk your next trophy catch to a lure that could be replaced?
Inspect, Clean & Lube Your Fishing Gear
Now is the time to review and tighten up your tackle. Protect investments in quality fishing rods and reels with a little TLC. The best time to service reels s at the end of the season however better late than never. Get them cleaned and lubricated but don’t forget to service your other fishing tools like pliers, crimpers, dehookers and knives. A quality corrosion inhibitor lubricant like Corrosion X is a great product! WD-40 is also a great app purpose lubricant.
It’s good practice to remove reels from rods and clean reel seats. We like the a mild citrus cleaner like Penn Rod and Reel Cleaner. It cleans dried on fish slim, salt and grease and also leaves behind a light thin residue protectant. When cleaning rods, always check guides and tip for cracks/chips. An easy way to seek out the hard to find hairline cracks is with a q-tip cotton swab. It’s
It’s Time To Replace Old Fishing Line
Your fishing line is the vital link between you and your next trophy. It’s best to know this part of the equation is up to the task. It can’t be tired, compromised, sun damaged or chaffed. Re-spool in the spring so you are ready for the season ahead with confidence.
Hopefully you’ve found these Six Easy Stay At Home Fishing Projects helpful. Maybe some of these are already crossed off your list. Good Job! Best of luck fishing. From all of us at Fisherman’s Headquarters we wish everyone a safe and health 2020.