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It's Showtime, But Also Slow Time

The middle of winter is the time when we reset and then start chomping at the bit because spring can’t come fast enough. We are counting the days until we can go out and get that first striped bass of the season. It is also the time for winter fishing shows up and down the striper coast.  I always encourage people to get out to the shows because they get you pumped up for the upcoming season with their wide variety of seminars, vendors showing new products, and of course- the deals. It is also a time when I encourage anglers to get out to your local tackle shops and spend some money there on service and items you need to replenish as part of your preparation for the new season. It’s their slow season and not all of them have the means to leave their shop unattended and staff a show- especially one that lasts multiple days.


These local shops are still the heartbeat of our sport, and your thoughtful use of their resources is a much-needed boost during this time of the year. This is a great time to bring in your reels for servicing and to fix guides on your favorite rods. Taking advantage of this time allows you to avoid the procrastinators who wait until right before the season starts and risk not getting their equipment back in time to start the season. Remember, the hot bite waits for no one! This is also a great time to be in touch with your local tackle shops because a lot of them will have pre-season deals that will be hard to find once the season starts. Think about ordering that custom rod you’ve been thinking about- there is still time to get it made before the season opens.


Another positive to swinging into local shops during the winter is the lack of crowds and there’s plenty of parking. If it is one thing I can’t stand when it comes to shopping, it’s the lack of parking and lines at the counter. This time of year, you can be productive in your examination of what’s at the shop, and you’ll have the attention of those at the shop for helpful hints and good conversation about their expectations for the coming season. These shops have. It also provides knowledgeable staff who are in the “know” about new products, changes in regulations, beach access and boat access. They have a lot of expertise in fishing techniques and tactics and during this time of year they usually have the time to spend talking fishing. These guys are around fishing and fisherman all the time and it’s smart to lean on them when you can for information especially if you are a novice angler or new to the area.


Winter can be long and some places longer than others. The “cabin fever” can be real. By getting out to shows, seminars and your local shops, you can break up the monotony and add to your personal fishing productivity and preparation.  It is certainly a lot better than sitting on the couch and wishing for spring. You can even get your friends together and have a fun outing by hitting an expo or flea market and combining it with visits to multiple shops in your area. It will help get you into a “fishing mode”, it will turn idle time into productive time, it will bring you closer to readiness for the season and help your local tackle shop owners- they are our fishing family, friends, and neighbors. Get out there and give them- and your pre-season- a shot in the arm. Live The Passion! Tightlines! features a monthly surfcasting blog from Bernie Hoyt, a NYS Certified Fishing Guide with 40+ years of experience fishing the legendary waters of Long Island. He is well known for his informative seminars at saltwater shows in the Northeast, and his radio show- TightLines with Bernie Bass & The Captain- is entering its third season of treating listeners to great guests, the latest gear reviews, techniques for surf fishing, and other interesting developments in the in-shore and offshore fishing scene. Join Bernie on the radio Saturday morning and Sunday evening on Contact Bernie for more more details on Facebook through Bernie Bass Surfcasting Services.


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