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Joe's Fishing Hole: Winterize your spinning gear

Courtesy of Elko Daily Free Press
  • December is here, Wildhorse has some ice in the backs of the coves and most anglers have put away their gear for the year. If you aren’t careful, your first fishing trip next spring may be interrupted by a trip to the store to replace the gear you didn’t take the time to winterize. This week we’ll talk about winterizing spinning gear.

    Take the rod apart, clean it with cold soapy water, dry it and inspect it for damage. Check the guides to make sure they aren’t loose or that there aren’t rough edges that might damage your line. Replace any guides necessary. It’s not that hard and directions can be found on the internet.

    Take the reel apart, remove any grit or sand. You can use compressed air or a stiff brush to remove any of the dry gunk, wash the reel, rinse and dry it off. Follow the manufacturers recommendations for lubrication.

    So what do do about the fishing line? Monofilament line absorbs water, which weakens it, decreases its sensitivity, and make knots less effective. Sunlight also degrades monofilament, especially if left in the car where it goes through heating and cooling cycles.

    Monofilament is a synthetic material that is made by heating polymers and extruding them through a form making a long single strand. Since heat is involved, it only stands to reason that exposing to extreme heat will affect it adversely. Most anglers replace their monofilament at least once a year and those who compete will replace it more often. So now is the time to replace it. Store the rod, reel and line in a cool place away from sunlight.

    Clean out your tackle box. It is amazing the stuff that ends up accumulating there. I have found globs of soft plastics in the bottom from leaving my box in the car on a hot summer day. Clean and re-organize it. Clean off your lures and baits, tightening the eyes on them, replacing worn split rings and sharpen the hooks. Make sure everything is dry and store with the rest of your gear in a dark, cool place.


    Surface water temperature was 35 degrees on Thursday and there was ice in the backs of some of the coves in mid-afternoon. Even though the weekend is supposed to warm up a bit, cooler weather is forecast for next week and it won’t be long before the lake ices over. That being said, fishing has been good with shore anglers reporting limits of chunky trout in the Hendrick’s Arm on both sides of the highway, all the way to the canyon that leads to the dam and at the state park. Fish are averaging 14 to 18 inches with the occasional fish between 20 and 24 inches. Penrod arm is also fishing well.


    Earlier this week surface water temperatures are still in the mid 40’s, which is warm for this time of year. Anglers report catching fish on the southeast side of the lake in eight to 10 feet of water from float tubes and boats trolling wooly buggers. The trout being caught are averaging between 14 and 18 inches with an occasional 20 incher. 


    Very little change here as fishing from shore is good. Worms fished below a bobber or PowerBait suspended off of the bottom should produce fish, though PowerBait has been doing better than worms from most reports. Black and gold or green and gold spinners and rooster tails should also be effective, while fly rodders should be using leeches, blood midges, snail patterns, small nymphs and wooly buggers.


    Water level is good for this time of year with anglers reporting good fishing for trout (when the road is dry) and slow to poor fishing for bass.


    Bass fishing is done for the year. Fishing in the ditch has been good for trout, though most of the ditch has low clear water.


    Fishing from shore has improved with the die off of weeds. However, expect this lake to ice up any time now.


    No recent report, but expect trout fishing to be good and bass fishing to be poor. Expect ice on the edges and it won’t be long before this lake ices over.


    Anglers are catching summer carryover trout and fall stocked trout. Most fish being caught are 10 inches to 12 inches with the occasional 14+ inch rainbow.


    Fishing has been very good for trout and like most area reservoirs consider bass fishing done for the year. 


    Expect ice on the edges, especially in the morning. It won’t be long before this lake ices over also, so get out while you can. 


    Most northeast Nevada area streams are at or above normal for this time of year, though down from last week. Getting to the Bruneau and the Jarbidge Rivers will start being tricky with the recent precipitation and the forecast wet weather on Sunday. It won’t be long, if it hasn’t happened already, that you will have to go into Idaho to get to both streams.

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