I love going in to tackle shops this time of year. I see the familiar faces of the guys in the shop, fishing buddies who are smiling more than they were last month when holiday bills were in our mailboxes. It’s a fun time of year when we start guessing when the striped bass will arrive, the mayflies will start to hatch, and when the ponds and lakes will turn over.
I’m there for the camaraderie for sure, but I’m also there for a purpose: to restock my depleted gear bags. I’ll take a poke through the rods and reels for sure, but for this visit I’m likely to head to other departments. I’ll check out a new pair of waders to replace my old ones that have more patches than material. They’re about due for an upgrade. Then I’ll check out the synthetic lines and the monofilament. I run some numbers to do the math about the difference between buying a bulk spool versus individual spools.
It goes without saying that I’ll pick up the usual suspects of hooks, snaps, swivels, hook hones. I’ll do some damage in the lure aisle, picking out some new plugs, lures, stick baits and soft plastics. Hook hones, split shot, and another plug bag are regular supplies as are floatant, strike indicators, and maybe a new fly line. I’m sure that as I wander through the aisles I’ll find some additional things. I always do.
Maybe this year I’ll get a new ball cap. I’ve only got about 20 of ‘em that are sun-bleached, blood stained, and coated with some dried fish scales, just like you.