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"Out with 2009 - In With 2010"

By Jerry White

2009 was crazy for me. Employed, but recovering from surgery. Unemployed. Employed again, but hating the job. Unemployed again. Employed again, and loving the job. But the job is tough so weekends are for recuperating. Fishing just didn't get in to the mix very much in 2009, and certainly wasn't any sort of priority. But, now that I'm back in a better groove, thoughts once again turn to fishing.

Not going fishing also kept me out of touch with all my fishing gear. I noticed the effects of my neglect when I wanted to use some mono line for putting up Christmas lights, and had a hard time finding it. Why? Here's why. See any mono in there?

That was a trick question. A spool of 20lb mono is stored in that red koozie, left side, in the black milk crate. Problem was, I forgot it was in there. See, I buy stuff with intentions of using it. Then things get in the way and I don't get to go fishing. Or I'll go fishing and then get lazy when I get home. Or, I simply forget where I put things. Either way, a mess is the end result when you have too much stuff and it's unorganized. So, I called a personal "time out", got all my fishing stuff, and threw it on a table. Note: There is more gear which isn't shown. What I discovered was that I had a lot of gear that had never been wet, or was collecting dust. Hopefully I'll be able to get out more in 2010, but before that can happen I need to get organized again.

I would rather throw a topwater plug in dirty water on a windy with only a minimal chance of catching a fish, rather than using any other type of lure under ideal conditions. That's just how I roll. I've gone through Rapala Skitterwalk phases, then Mirro-Lure "dog" phases, with others thrown in to the mix. I lean toward natural colors but will nab crazy colors when I encounter them. But I've never found a topwater plug I didn't like, at least for a little while. I needed a way to visually soak in all my hardbaits, so this is the solution I came up with. My topwater lure addiction became quite evident.

Now, this is a great way to take stock of your inventory. However, the trouble with trebles is that when I would unhook one set in order to remove a lure from the fan, the other set of trebles would find a home. Quite a pain, in more ways than one. It was also painful knowing that most of those lures were $5 or more.

Time for a reality check. I had forgotten about most of those lures. Either that or I simply didn't care to throw them anymore. So, I chose a couple of tackle trays and put my favorite lures in there. I added some softbaits as well and have what I consider a collection of "go to" lures. Seriously, I can take these two trays on any given day of fishing and not feel like I'm forgetting something.

So, once the alpha lures were chosen, the other lures were stuffed back in to spare tackle trays. But you know what they say, "one man's trash is another man's treasure". So, I decided to sell some of the lures that I no longer loved. I posted a picture on a local forum and had a buyer in about 30 minutes. I made the transaction with no regrets. I even threw in the lousy tackle trays I had them stored in. It was liberating.

As I've mentioned on a number of occasions, I love helping the economy by spending money on lures. So, what do you think I did with that influx of cash? Bingo. More lures. I'm confident that I *might* use these more than the ones I sold. But I also bought some supplies that will make my existing lures more productive. First thing, I bought some new line for a couple of my reels. Then, I picked up some fluorocarbon leader in a couple of sizes. That stuff always seems too expensive compared to mono. But, I do believe that it is a necessary piece of the puzzle when using braided line. Finally, I picked up a couple new waterproof tackle trays.

Many folks are off work from Christmas through New Years. Sure, this is a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends. But, it's also a great time for you to do a little "spring cleaning" before spring actually gets here. Personally, I want to be ready to go when the weather starts warming up. But as I write this, the northeast is getting buried in snow. Spring fishing season seems like an eternity from now. You might as well be productive while you wait. Ditch that unused and unloved gear and then buy yourself some Christmas presents. Ho-ho-ho !!!

OK, you've spent enough time on the computer for today. Go hug those kids and celebrate the greatest birthday party of all time.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at

See you out on the water!

"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after"
~ Henry David Thoreau

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