By Ty Grift (Team Harvester Outdoors)
With the start of the 2020 open water season fast approaching I thought it would be appropriate to talk about some tips for starting a new fishing season.
Online fishing license
For the 2020 season the Provincial Government of Manitoba has implemented online licensing. We’re in the process of working with the Province to be able to sell licenses, but for now online is your best bet. So, keep this in mind before heading out as most fishing stores no longer carry the paper copies in store that we have grown accustomed to. You must print these off.
On the plus side, you can print as many copies as you want without having to pay for an entirely different license. It doesn’t hurt to print off a few copies (one for the boat, one for the tackle box, and a spare just in case.)
Picture this… It’s opening day and you are out on the water fishing. An absolute monster latches on to your bait and “SNAP” your line breaks because over the past season your line became fatigued and weak.
Or my personal favorite, you get out on the water, everything seems perfect, you are ready to start fishing. You bring your rod back to let out your first cast of the open water season. You Fling the rod forward and let your lure fly. It’s heading right to where you wanted and your line is peeling out all the sudden “WHACK” the lure just drops about 10’ shy of where you wanted it to land. You forgot that at the end of last season you only had 30’ of line on your spool.
Both of these things have happened to me so I now make it a regular routine to change out and put new line on all my rods at the beginning of each season.
Use Sea Foam on your Boat
The same sea foam you have seen on the shelves and always worked like a charm now offers a “sea foam marine pro” specialized for marine engines. Whenever I top up with fuel I always add around half a can of this stuff as a fuel stabilizer. This stuff also cleans your injectors and cleans all the carbon deposits out of your cylinder heads making sure your engine is running in tip top shape even after sitting all winter.
Maintenance is always cheaper than a repair, and it doesn’t get easier then adding some of this stuff to your fuel tank.
Don’t forget your boat’s drain plug
This is pretty self-explanatory however, I have seen this happen far too many times.
The plug gets taken out and left somewhere other than on, or in the boat. This is why it never hurts to always have a few extra of these bad boys in the boat. It’s the cheapest thing on the planet that can ruin your entire fishing day!
Check All Lures and Equipment for Damage
It really goes a long way to spend 5 minutes and check out all your equipment, and lures, before leaving home. Maybe some of your lures have accumulated some rust over the winter or maybe a rod tip broke off during transport from the garage back to the boat. Or maybe your pliers seized up and could use a greasing. This could be the difference between a great day and a frustrating first day on the water.
Check that Battery
Do a once over on your boats battery make sure there are no bulges or cracks on the casing. Make sure there is no corrosion on your battery terminals and if there is clean them off with a wire brush.
Test the battery with an all in one meter. These well test the voltage of the battery and the condition of the battery.
Double check rules and regulations
Every year the rules and regulations for fishing are updated. Please make sure you are aware of these rule changes by getting a copy of the Manitoba Fishing guide or visiting the Government website to view all up to date rules and regulations.
*Ty Grift is a proud member of Team Harvester Outdoors and heads up the video production branch of Harvester Media. Ty’s passions include everything outdoors and his knowledge specifically of the Lac Du Bonnet water body is particularly in depth. Ty splits his free time between bow-hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family.