Perfect time of the year for some 'Tender Loving Care'

By Don Quilici

Last week, I had a "ton of fun," writing about an alleged fishing trip to Lake Tahoe, where I claimed to have caught and released a record breaking Mackinaw Trout. That column was actually a spoof for April Fool's Day, and it worked to perfection. Boy oh boy, did I get some interesting reactions:

1. A number of folks called to tell me that they actually believed I had caught a trout larger than my raft until they got to the punch line and then realized they had been conned.

2. My personal nemesis, fishing and hunting partner, Norm Budden, called very early Thursday morning.

He was ranting and raving and said that he had just wasted fifty cents on that day's paper, because he instantly knew that the story was a spoof.

When I asked how he knew, he replied, "It was a con job for two reasons: You would never venture out onto Tahoe in your little "Mickey Mouse" raft and Elaine is too smart to be talked into being in that dinky raft with you on a big lake."

Sadly, that miserable Budden is right on both counts: You won't find me fishing at Tahoe from a small inflatable raft and you wouldn't find Elaine there, if I did.

So, to make amends to everyone who was conned by that April Fool's Day fishing tale last week, this week's column is for real. Here it is:

With last weekend's switch to Daylight Savings Time, Easter Sunday this coming Sunday (complete with folks wearing their new Spring outfits to church, Easter egg hunts and ham dinners), increasingly warmer temperatures, people fertilizing, mowing, trimming and watering their lawns, trees blossoming out, bushes and shrubs budding out, miserable Dandelions popping up in everyone's lawns, and with recent arrivals to Carson City busy planting all kinds of flowers and tomato plants, just in time for one of our infamous, late season killing frosts, it all adds up to just one thing:

It's Springtime in Western Nevada!

And, if you are a fisherman or fisher woman, it is also time to get ready for your upcoming fishing excursions.

Anyone who has lived in Carson City for more than ten minutes knows that we still have some cold, windy, nasty weather left before Old Man Winter finally releases his grip on this general area.

There will be an upcoming weekend where the weather will keep you cooped up inside. That will be the perfect time for some "Tender Loving Care" for your fishing equipment.

Here are some tips:

Fishing Vest:

Empty every pocket. Then, inventory what you had in those pockets and replace anything that is missing.

If there is something that you don't need, get rid of it. Some vests (including mine!) have so many things in them that they weigh almost as much as the poor soul wearing them.

Heck, one year, when I emptied out the contents of my vest, I found what was left of a sandwich in one of my larger, outside pockets. Yuk!

Throw that vest into the washing machine and give it a well-deserved cleaning. You will be totally amazed at how nice it smells after a good Spring cleaning.

While you're at it, if that vest needs any repairs to torn pockets or edges, you just might be able to "sweet talk" your bride into doing so.

Fishing Line and Reel:

If you have monofiliment line on your reel, strip off that line and throw it away.

"Mono" line is cheap, easy to replace and you can find it in bulk spools at any sporting goods store.

I highly recommend replacing that line 3-4 times a year.

If you know what you are doing: Dismantle your reel, carefully clean, oil or lube any moving parts. If you don't know how to dismantle it, take that reel to a rod/reel repair person and let them do the maintenance for you.

Fishing Pole:

Make sure the bindings that hold the eyes to your pole are all AOK. If they need attention, now is the time to do so, not when you have a big trophy fish that you are trying to land.

Check for any line grooves on the inside of those eyes. If there are grooves and if you know what you are doing, replace those eyes. If you don't know how, take the pole to that rod/reel repair person and let him do it.

Tackle Box:

My tackle box, after a few trips, usually looks likes a war was fought inside of it. So about 3-4 times a year, I empty that darn thing out, inventory what is there, replace anything that needs replacing and then neatly repack it.

Here's some hints on what to do with that tackle box on that upcoming cold, windy, nasty, weekend:

Be sure that you have plenty of lures, flies, hooks, snap swivels, sinkers, bobbers, snubbers, artificial bait, etc.

Lures: Have two of every type and color of lure. You sure don't want to be fishing somewhere with a "Red Hot" lure, get it snagged up, break it off, lose it and then not be able to catch fish on any other color or type.

Flies: Replace those that are missing or too battered-looking.

Hooks: Carry two packages of every size from No. 16 all the way up to No. 2 (My favorite sizes are Nos. 8 and 10).

Snap swivels and bobbers: Carry small, medium and large sizes.

Sinkers: Everything from tiny split shot to 'Slinky Sinkers."

Artificial Bait: Jars of red salmon eggs, several colors of Power Bait and some fish attractant such as "Smelly Jelly."

In addition:

You should also have other items in your tackle box such as:

A copy of the current fishing regulations, fish stringer, scale/measuring tape, forceps for removing a fly, lure or hook from a fish, fillet knife, a small screwdriver and pair of pliers for emergency repairs on your fishing equipment, small first-aid kit, matches, "munchies" such as peanuts or beef jerky and a plastic bag for any fish that you want to take home.

Finally, all of this good advice might not help you catch any more or any bigger fish this coming year, but at least you will be better prepared for fishing.

- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you the oddest thing that I carry in my tackle box.

If he grins and says, "Heck, that's easy. It's a large, orange-colored "Spin and Glow" lure from Alaska," he has been peeking inside my tackle box.


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