Although the traditional opening of the trout season is a month away, it’s not too early to get your trout fishing gear ready for the season. It takes a while to change lines across multiple rolls, shop at stores for supplies, and make necessary repairs. While you’re at it, you might as well prepare some bass or pike fishing tackle. In addition, the cold and wet weather of March passes more quickly if
you are doing something productive.
If you’re optimistic, you might consider that trout fishing on the creeks is technically open for fishing and release now. Remember that last spring the DEC adopted a new regulation establishing different classifications for several trout streams.
This rule change also established a statewide catch and release season for most streams from October 16 through March 31. Exceptions are listed in the statewide fishing guide.
On these streams you can only use artificial lures and all trout must be released properly. Technically this means removing the hook and not taking the fish out of the water. It does not apply to tributaries of Lake Ontario through which rainbow trout flow and which are listed under special regulations.
Personally, I doubt that many people have taken advantage of this option in this area.
However, I know that several people used to fish the sections of Oneida and Chittenango Creek that were open to fishing in previous winters.
However, we all know that the weather is extremely changeable in central New York and often times over the years the fishing conditions on the streams in March could be better than they are in mid-April. It is also important to remember that this special catch and release season only applies to rivers. The ponds and lakes are not open to trout fishing before the traditional opening on April 1st.
But prepare your materials now just in case. In addition, it will save you the streets and the trouble.
Check your rods to make sure the guides aren’t loose or there aren’t any rough spots to wear your line. Pull a piece of nylon stocking through the guides to check for burrs or rough spots. You can clean all cork handles with warm water and a mild dish detergent.
The coils require a little more attention. Check the bail springs to see that they are tight and that there are no rough spots or nicks on the bail to fray your line.
Make sure you have the owner’s manual to reference the parts and what lubricant to use.
use in the right place.
If there is a buildup of a lot of dirty grease in the gear area, they should be cleaned with a solvent like Quik Scrub III to remove it. Clean them thoroughly and lubricate them with an appropriate lubricant.
Avoid water-displacing lubricants like WD-40, as the chemicals can actually dissolve the necessary protective grease. At first the reel may seem to run smoothly, but when the lubricant wears off the parts will rub against each other. Generally, you should use grease for parts that mesh like gears; use oil on parts that may rub. If you are missing screws or a damaged bail etc., have it repaired.
Throw away all the old monofilament from your spare reels and spools and replace it with new thread. The line is the lifeline between you and this fish, so don’t risk getting a brittle old line. Monofilament line deteriorates with ultraviolet light, ozone, etc. it must therefore be replaced at least once a year.
It also gets steep and takes on a defined loop when it gets wet and exposed to the sun, so it pays to change lines frequently. Many people change their lines two or three times a season. Any line you bought last year that is still on the original spool and stored in the cellar away from light will be able to be used.
Choosing the line can be difficult. Different lines have special qualities such as abrasion resistance, softness, low visibility, etc. These qualities are often exclusive, that is, you cannot have one line with all of them. You probably have several reels or spare spools for some of the reels, so buying large spools of line in bulk can save you money. If you want an abrasion resistant line, monofilament is much better than braided or
gel spun line.
If the lures have rusty hooks, replace them now. You can get hook and o-ring packs at most fishing tackle stores. Sharpen all hooks. A small sharpener or an inexpensive pencil sharpener will quickly put a good point on the hooks. A diamond groove makes it easy to put a sharp point on your hook with just a few strokes.
If some of your spoons are tarnished, clean them with silver polish or toothpaste. Some lures may need repainting. Make sure all your catches have eyes; It really makes a difference. Do you have forceps or hemostats, knife, penlight and similar tools? A few needle threaders are useful for tying flies,
especially during periods of low light. Clippers, sharpeners and polarized sunglasses are a must. Check the waders now for leaks and fix or replace them if they are too bad. A reliable way to check is to fill the tub with water, put on your waders, and kneel in the tub.
We all have lots of other equipment or supplies that we need to check out. Start it now so you don’t waste valuable time later when you might be fishing.
The safest hunting season ever
New York Hunters had the safest season ever in 2021 since hunting accident records began. There have been only nine hunting-related accidents, including one fatality. This was the lowest number recorded since 1949, when the DEC hunter education program began.
Seven of the nine incidents in 2021 were incidents involving firearms between two parties; the other two incidents were self-inflicted. All identified shooters are experienced hunters with an average of 40 years of hunting experience, emphasizing the need to remain vigilant when out in the field. All these incidents could have been
prevented if those involved had complied with hunting safety rules.
A new hunting regulation that came into effect in 2001 extended big game hunting hours from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. None of the deer hunting incidents last year occurred during the new extended hours. The four incidents involving deer hunters occurred between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Another new rule change that came into effect last year requires all people hunting deer or bear with a firearm, or anyone accompanying such hunters, to wear an orange or pink hat, vest or jacket. plain or patterned fluorescent. The only fatality in 2021 involved a deer hunter not wearing pink or orange. This hunter was mistaken for game and was shot by a hunting partner.
Also new in 2021, 52 upstate counties have passed local laws allowing licensed hunters ages 12 and 13 to hunt deer with a gun or crossbow under the supervision of an experienced, licensed adult hunter. . None of the 2021 accidents involved a 12- or 13-year-old hunter.
All entry-level hunters, bowhunters and trappers must successfully complete an appropriate DEC hunter safety training course before being eligible to purchase a hunting or trapping or bowhunting license in New York State. The DEC insists on the primary safety rules of the hunter:
Treat each firearm as if it were loaded.
Control the muzzle and keep it pointed in a safe direction.
Identify your target and what lies beyond.
Keep your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to fire.
Wear orange or hunter pink.
Tree stand accidents
It was only recently that the DEC investigated incidents related to tree stands (“high hunting incidents”) which are generally underreported. In 2021, 10 EHIS were reported, including one fatal. Only one of the hunters was wearing a safety harness and this harness was not attached to the tree.