A outdoor project to keep you busy for at least one weekend

Are you bored because there is basically nothing to do in the hunting and fishing world at this time of the year?

Are you tired of watching television and reading outdoor magazines?

Are you going crazy with the summer-like weather one day and the winter-like weather the next?

Would you be interested in breaking that boredom and inactivity, even if only for a brief period?

Well, here's a suggestion, just like last year, on how to keep busy for at least one weekend: Wander into your garage, storage shed or spare closet and dig out your fishing vest and/or favorite tackle box. Heck, I have both, plus many more!

Take them into the kitchen, clear off the top of your kitchen table, cover it with old newspapers (to keep the table top clean) and then completely empty out your vest and favorite tackle box. Note: I said "favorite tackle box," because if you're like me, you have a multitude of tackle boxes of which one is always the favorite.

Fishing Vest:

Once you've emptied out your vest, it would be a great idea to give it to your wife so she can wash and dry it. If yours is like mine, it will have lots of dirt and grime from a season of fishing at many different locations.

If you remember, one year when I emptied out my vest, I discovered the nasty remains of a half-eaten tuna sandwich that was several months old, plus a small container of mummified worms in one of the large side pockets. Yuk! Double Yuk!! Triple Yuk!!!

It might also be a good idea to have your wife sew any rips or tears in that freshly cleaned vest. You want to look sharp out there!

Tackle Box:

Be sure to wash all of the tackle box compartments with hot, soapy water and carefully dry them. You'll be amazed at the accumulated grime that comes out of those areas.

Lures and Flies:

Sort all of your lures and flies by type and by color.

I always have two of every color of every lure. That way if I am successful in catching fish and if I should lose that lure to a snag or a large fish, I have a backup ready for action. I would bet most of you only have one color of one type of lure or fly, especially your favorite one. Am I right? You bet I am!

Make a shopping list of those items that need to be replaced. This list is guaranteed to make you a whole lot poorer but a whole lot happier on your next visit to the local sporting goods store.

Fishing items:

Inventory your bobbers, sinkers, snap swivels, leaders, etc. If any are needed, add them to that shopping list.

Do the same for your snelled hooks. I always carry three packages of every size from 1 to 16 in both my fishing vest and favorite tackle box.

If you're a bait fisherman, be sure to check your jars of salmon eggs, Power Bait and fish attractant scent.

Put any replacements on that ever-growing shopping list.


Be sure you have a plastic or metal fish stringer or better yet, have one of each like I do.

It would also be wise to have: A tiny screwdriver and a pair of pliers for emergency repairs to your reel, plus any spare parts or springs that might be needed for those repairs. Don't forget to have a small container of reel lube or oil.

Other items you will find in my fishing vest include: A small first-aid kit, toilet paper, several different ways to start a fire (if I get wet or lost), a small whistle and signaling mirror (if I'm lost), "Munchies" such as peanuts, candy bars and beef jerky (if I get hungry), a knife, a spare spool of fishing line (I use 6-pound test) in the event a large fish or nasty snag gets most of the line on my reel, a tiny flashlight, and a plastic bag to carry fish home (if I'm successful).

Carry a small bar of soap and hand towel to get the fish smell off your hands. Heck, be a neat fisherman in your clean vest!!

Most importantly, be sure to have a copy of the current Nevada and California fishing regulations. That way, you won't do something stupid or illegal, when fishing at a new fishery for the first time.


All of this work on your kitchen table carries with it a bonus: Your shopping list for missing items will require an extended visit to the sporting goods store. Yahoo!

Take that list to your favorite store and have a ball, wandering around, leisurely selecting and buying those items.

Be forewarned, if you're like me, you will come home with lots of other "Goodies" not on that list. That's a fact, Jack!


Return home, put all of the old items plus the new purchases in your fishing vest and tackle box, and lo and behold: You're ready for a season of fishing fun at all of your favorite haunts.

• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't name another item I carry in my vest.

If he grins and says, "Don carries a "Zebco De-Liar" to measure the weight and length of any fish that he catches," he could be one of my regular, lying, fishing partners.

• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.


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