George Block

Column George Block

George Block is a sports columnist who loves the outdoors.

Despite the weather, it’s time to get fishing gear in order

Time to get fishing gear in proper order

March 22, 2014

The weather has discouraged many, including me, to stay inside and watch people catch fish on television.

By this time, I should be catching trout in special regulation streams. It might be a touch of old age, the weather, or a combination of both, but I haven’t so much as made a cast this year.

But, we are nearing the traditional opening day of trout season.

I ventured into the messy room where my fishing gear is stored the other day. Come to think of it, my shooting paraphenalia is stored there as well.

It seems I straighten that room up only to have a gnome sneak in and make it a mess again. Despite the gnome, I found my creel and picked it up, only to find it weighed much more than I wanted to carry.

It was time to take inventory.

The only way to do that is dump everything out and start from scratch. When searching through the stuff that hasn’t seen daylight in at least a year, I could see why it was such a heavy load.

Why would I carry four sets of hemostats? One went back into the bag, while the other three went into storage.

An extra spool is usually in the bag, but is it for the reel I usually carry? And what weight of line is on it?

I can use a micrometer to measure it. If the line is 10-pound line, it hardly belongs with my trout equipment.

Why in the world are their four jars of Power Bait in the bottom of the bag? The only time I use the stuff is in March. And even then, I only use chartreuse.

Those other bottles are there just in case someone fishing near me is catching fish and I’m not doing well.

Down at the bottom was a set of needle nose pliers. Those add quite a bit of weight.

But I take them out. I carry a Leatherman on my belt instead.

There are plenty of No. 6 and 8 hooks. I don’t like those tiny hooks because they are swallowed easily by trout, and it’s difficult to release fish safely.

Spinners are what I use most of the time. I would never dream of visiting a trout stream without a good supply of spinners. For those who fish Little Chartiers Creek, you might notice some glimmers reflecting in the trees.

Those are my old lures that meandered off course as I tried to place the lure in an area of cover where the fish hide.

You get the idea. Old GHB is not perfect – but don’t tell anyone.

There are enough loose split shot rolling around in the bottom of my creel to last a few years. I gather them up and put them in a snuff can.

I can’t just throw away, but on a warm day, I’ll open the can to find most of them have closed. I won’t want to waste fishing time opening them, but I resist the urge to toss them.

My cheapness will find me trying to pry them open with a penknife.

There are bobbers, floats or strike indicators – depending what you call them – but I seldomly use them. I still carry a few, however.

There are a few other things in there, as well; a stringer, a lid from a bottle of coke and a few mummified worms. That’a a relief.

I thought I might find a few mummified trout as well.

I rearrange things and the creel is ready.

My next step will be to work on my panfish bag. Trout and crappie tend to hit different lures.

When I’m done, I’ll wait for a change in things from those who control the weather.

George H. Block writes a Sunday Outdoors column for the Observer-Reporter.



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