Getting stocked, ready for 2014

A few days of sunshine and above-freezing temperatures have my spirit soaring about the prospects of loading up the BassCat’s storage compartments and towing out to the lake for the first fishing trip of 2014.

Thursday night’s thunder and lightning actually stirred up a lot of thoughts about the upcoming season, when the hot and humid nights get the weather rolling and the fish biting.

What follows a night of active weather? A great sunrise and a dawn loaded with hope for bass, walleyes, crappies and whatever else is biting at first light on a misty morning.

I know it will be a month or so before I have the boat back in the driveway and can get down to the task of loading it with all of my stuff. But I’m ready.

Oh yeah, more than ready.

I’ve got flat boxes, square boxes, deep boxes and wide. Each is packed with specific categories of lures. Buzzbaits in one box, spinnerbaits in another. Cedar and balsa crankbaits have their special box, as do the jerkbaits and lipless cranks.

Standard crankbaits are in the big, wide Plano container. All my Texas-rig stuff is sorted and stowed in another box, while the jigs are organized in three separate boxes, depending on their various duties.

All in all, I have 15 clear plastic boxes packed for the season. It’s been a busy winter of Saturdays getting all of that set up for the coming months.

The rods are all sheathed in the new mesh socks that are wonderful for avoiding the kinds of tangles only fishermen can appreciate after a short walk with a fist full of dangling poles, reels, lines and lures.

I also have fresh Seaguar fluorocarbon spooled onto most of my bass reels — from 8-pound-test on my Lake Erie and finesse spinning outfits to 20-pound on my heavyweight stuff. The frog rod is spooled with 50-pound braided goat rope and itching for action with a hollow-body lure dragged across the lily pads on the shallow flats at Mosquito Creek reservoir.

Rain gear, personal flotation devices, tools and gadgets also have their specific boxes and bags, ready to return to their spring, summer and fall places in the boat. Also ready to go are the spare hats, sun gloves and other protection for my skin from solar bombardment.

Looking across my basement workbench, I’m impressed by the organization, for sure, but what’s more impressive actually is the volume of things that came out of the BassCat last November and which must find their way back under the decks in four weeks.

If I were to spread all the lure boxes, rods and reels, and sundry other items across one flat surface, I think it might cover a football field.

OK, I’ve exaggerated a bit.

But lugging load after load up from the basement and out to the boat will be a good morning’s works. I stop short of calling this an exhausting job. Mowing the lawn and painting the garage are exhausting.

Stocking the boat, on the other hand, is fun. But I think I’ll do a little extra time on the treadmill, just to be completely ready for the job when the time has finally arrived.

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