Build You Fishing Knowledge Throughout The Season!
Learn to tie your own removable stinger hooks, attend a seminar, make a book to track your catch, or join your local walleye club. We are putting together a list of 100 Things To Do in the off season, on a windy day when you can't fish, or between trips to build your knowledge or get your gear in top working order.
Here Are The First 50 Ideas - Lets Us Know When You're Done!
1) Attend A Walleye 101 Seminar
Lance Valentine holds seminars throughout Michigan in January-March. Invest a few hours and learn something new. You might even meet a new fishing buddy. Learn More
2) Learn To Tie A Stinger Hook
Stinger hooks are a must for early season walleye jigging in the river. Store bought stinger hooks tend to be low quality and expensive. Tie your own with quality components and catch more fish. Learn More
3) Make Your Tattletale Flags More Productive
Tattletale Flags are a great addition to your planner boards. We have a way to modify them so the flag works great no matter what size lure you use or speed you troll. Learn More
4) Subscribe To Free Fishing Newsletters
Your local DNR, fishing clubs, outdoor stores, and Walleye 101 all have newsletters you can subscribe to for free. Get fishing advice, how to articles, and even product discounts throughout the year. Learn More
5) Make A Binder To Track Your Catch
You will catch more fish if you track what works (and doesn't) on every trip. Fishing is about repeatable patterns. The more information you write down the quicker you will establish your own patterns. We have a couple different sheets we use depending on the type of lures we are using. Get the Form
6) Register Your DSC Radio
Many people that have a DSC capable marine radio on their boat have never registered it. Learn about DCS radios and how to register them. It may save your life next season. Learn More
7) Buy The Walleye Kid Fishing Phone Book
This great product has over 300 listings for bait stores, boat ramps, fishing reports, and more. Spend $10 and get great info for Detroit River, Erie, Houghton, and Saginaw Bay. Plan your trips! Learn More
8) Take A Boater Safety Class Online
It's been a long time since most of us took a boater safety class. There are lots of organizations that offer online classes and even tests to get certified. You might learn a few things you didn't know. Learn More
9) Laminate Your Fishing Regulations
Print off the summary page from the DNR regulations and laminate it for your boat. Keeps them dry and readily available. Any office supply store can laminate then for a couple bucks.
10) Check The Expiration Date On Your Safety Flares
Most safety flares have the expiration date stamped on their side. They generally are only good for about 3 years. Replace them over the winter and avoid flunking a coast guard check this spring.
11) Print Out A Float Plan And Use It Every Trip
Leave a "Float Plan" with your family every time you head out on the water. If something happens and you don't get home as planned they will know where to start looking for you. Learn More
12) Learn How To Take Good Fish Picture
Nothing worse than ending up with a really bad picture of a 10 pound trophy walleye. Learn the proper steps to take fish pictures you can be proud of - and you don't need a new camera to do it. Learn More
13) Reverse Your Fireline
Most of us have lots of expensive Fireline on our jigging reels that basically lasts forever. Take the line off your reel and but it back on with the old stuff at the bottom. Fresh line and saved money too.
14) Get An Emergency Radio Procedure Sticker
If you fall in the drink who's going to make the call to the Coast Guard? Make sure you have step-by-step instructions next to your radio so anyone on your boat can make the call. Pick one up at the next boat show from the Coast Guard display.
15) Take Your Boat & Trailer For A Drive
Wait for a day with dry roads and hook up your trailer. A 10 mile trip will get your tires back in round and keep everything in working order. Once or twice each winter should cover it.
16) Donate Some Fish
Several local charities have wild game dinners each year for the homeless or people with special needs. Most of us have a freezer full of fish that others would enjoy eating too.
17) Donate Some Equipment
You probably have a garage, basement, or tool shed filled with fishing gear that hasn't seen the water in years. Numerous charities collect used fishing equipment for kids and families.
18) Buy Your Canadian License Early
Get your license via phone or mail this winter. Avoid the extra fees US bait shops charge to process for you. Call the OMNR at 1-800-387-7011 or visit their website. Learn More
19) Take Inventory Of Your Lures
Take inventory while you're sitting in front of the TV. Your next trip to Bass Pro Shop will be more prodctive if your not guessing whether you have a Deep Diving Blue Willywopper back at home.
20) Check Your Anchor Rope
Most of us don't anchor much so this one gets overlooked. Many states have minimum requirments for how many feet of rope you need. Guideline is 5' of rope for every foot of water.
21) Learn To Tie A Crawler Harness
This is a great skill to have and it's much easier than most people think. Pick up some beads, blades, hooks, clevis and swivels and sit around the fireplace. You will catch on quickly.
22) Print Lure Color Charts
Most lure manufacturers have a color chart on their website. Print it out and keep it in your boat. When a radio report says Monkey Puke is one fire you will know exactly what they mean.
23) Stop By A Bait Shop and Say "Hi"
It's really hard to get a good fishing report when the hot bite is on and they are packed. Stop by during the off season, introduce yourself and buy something. It will pay off in the spring.
24) Research A New Lake
Winter is a great time to do online research on a new lake - or even one you fish regularly. The DNR field officers are not as busy and will have time to talk to you as well.
25) Release Your Trailer Tie-Down Straps
If your boat is going to be in storage for a few months release the pressure on the winch and transom tie-down straps. Just remember to tighten them back up before you hit the road.
Ready For More Winter Fishing Ideas?
Click Here For Number 26-50
Click Here For Number 51-75 (Coming Soon)
Click Here For Number 76-100 (Coming Soon)