It’s time for you to prepare for fishing in warm, hot weather. I have lots of recommendations, many you’ve heard from or read by me before, many you already know about and apply so this is a prepared update for this time period. Not in any particular order, just random. Get ready.

No. 1: Change the line on all your reels and check guides for rough spots and cracks. The line you use and its condition is your connection to whatever fish you are trying to catch so it’s the most important bit of your tackle.

No. 2: Check the hooks on all your rigs you’ll be using for plastic worming. Often a hook will get bent to a curl and it may cost you the biggest fish of the year.

No. 3: If you’re fishing with children, flatten the barb on the hooks they’ll be using. If the barb is flattened, the hook is removed easily if it gets in someone’s finger. Once, many years ago, I was fishing with Travis when he was about 8 years old. He hooked me in the chin with a barbed hook on a Road Runner and we had to cut it off and push it through and cut it off to get it out. Very undesirable experience.  Without a barb it could have been removed easily. After all, the barb was originally engineered on the hook to keep bait on, not someone’s finger.

No. 4: Do you own a pier, covered dock or boat house? Buy a few bails of straw, not pine straw, cow and horse feed straw. Stuff big rocks inside or attach with wire and sink them around your dock. I know some guys use bricks or concrete blocks and that’s OK but attach them to your dock with wire or rope so when the bail of straw fades way next Fall and falls apart, you can retrieve whatever you used to sink the straw. Your boat dock will become a veritable multilevel fish attractant whether it’s day or night. The whole food chain will be camped there. Put a night light out also and it’ll be an aquarium for all sorts of fish. Be sure this is OK with your neighbors because the “night time” bass guys will discover it pretty soon and will visit for a bass or striper addition.  Clearing winter downed brush from your property? Don’t throw it away somewhere, put it under your dock. Same result as the straw bales.

No 5: Are you a river guy? The rivers flowing to the big reservoir or not, buy some dog food and put it upstream in the water flow.  Believe me, when you’re fishing downstream from that area, catfish, Gar, carp and even bass and stripers will congregate in the fertility created and you’ll know exactly where to catch ’em. Dump it in a curve of the river and it’ll last longer.

No. 6: Keep a log book with your notes and even maps. It’ll prove valuable as your head gets older and brain shrinks.