Before we know it spring will be here. That wonderful time of the year where we start to put up all the goose and duck gear, and start to get ready for spring turkey season and fishing.
What is your spring ritual? When I look in our garage and start to mentally prepare I see fishing poles that need to be re-strung, turkey gear that needs to be unpacked and inspected, fishing lures and tackle that needs to be went through, and of course the trusty shotgun that needs to be cleaned again. All these things so that you can start the season off on a good foot.
For hunting, the first up is of course spring turkey season. To do this in the state of Illinois, you have a choice of either a shotgun or a bow for your weapon. If you choose to use a shotgun then of course you have the cleaning and general maintenance to insure that it is ready to go when the time calls. Then if you choose your bow, you have the added responsibility of dusting off those arrows and making sure that all the flushings are in order, the tips (if using mechanical) are clean and working properly, and of course getting out for a bit of target practice. On top of these, you need to also track down all that spring hunting gear from the closets, get it sorted through, organized, and ready to go. Outside of clothing, then you have the decoys and calls to try to lure in that big tom! Get some practice with those calls while you’re gathering all of the other gear. Better to find your groove early before you’re in the field! Just make sure that your spouse is away while practicing.
Next up is the fishing gear, and for me this means almost exclusively crappie and trout. We visit locations in Missouri as well as Illinois for trout and the season starts in March in Missouri and April in Illinois. Personally, we really enjoy trout fishing especially at the locations we prefer in Missouri as you have the opportunity to wade in the streams while fishing. It’s extremely relaxing and really helps to slow down all the things going on in your life. But outside of trout, we also gear up for our favorite species which is early crappie season. Crappie is definitely our favorite (next to trout of course) to eat and where we camp is easy to find them. For crappie we start off by gathering the jig heads and skirts. I have had good luck with skirts from Mid South Tackle for many years so usually load up on them from visiting during various outdoor shows over the winter months. Along with this I will be restringing all of my reels and greasing them so that they are ready.
While the past few months have been cold, we can still dream and prep for the spring to come. In some cases, spending a little time now can save us a lot of time later on when we go to enjoy the hunt or that first fishing trip. Stay warm out there, and start prepping for spring!
~The Redneck Coder