Prepping for summer: Make a list and check it twice
By Roger Sabota
Special to the Star Journal
Each spring as we anticipate the change of seasons one of the recurring jobs is clean up of the lawn. Every year it seems that we had not done any raking the previous fall. We choose to have pine trees so we pay the price of a yard full of pinecones and a carpet of pine needles.
Judy’s comment is that these seasonal changes create a lot of work especially getting ready for summer. Those of us who live in the Northwoods know how much work we go through to enjoy the “few” months of summer that we have before everything has to be put away again in the fall.
At our house the changes in the spring are amplified as we wait for the ice to melt and the long awaited opening of fishing season to arrive.
Along with the spring seasonal changes comes a change in activities for student athletes and coaches. We have watched many years as student baseball, softball and tennis players had to actually shovel the ball diamonds and courts in order to be able to play. Fortunately this year, with the early melting of snow, conditions for these teams were better at least until the March and April snowstorms arrived. Our Granddaughter, Gretchen Arneson, plays softball for Chippewa Falls High School so we follow her as much as possible.
In my column I often encourage readers to get their equipment organized and ready before the season opens. Maybe I should have paid attention to my own advice.
We recently decided it was time to slide the little boat into the water. The “little” boat is simply a smaller boat that is tied to our dock throughout the open-water fishing season. We cleaned up the boat and headed over to the Jail House Bar since the landing there is close to our house. We arrived at the landing only to find that the life jackets were not with us. That meant a trip back to the house.
As I turned onto the road from the landing with the trailer and boat still behind, I heard a loud screech. A quick check of the wheel bearings showed that the grease cups on the wheel bearings were gone. Definitely something that should have been checked long before heading to the landing.
We returned to the landing with the life jackets. I put on a pair of rubber boots since there is no dock at that landing. We shoved the little boat off the back of the boat trailer and I climbed in. That’s not getting any easier as the years go by. We pumped the bulb on the gasoline line sending gas to the motor. This motor has electric start so I pushed the button. After trying for a brief time, with no response, Judy looked at me and said, “Are all the connections in place?” Oh, Oh! Her question caused me to check several places and realized that the kill switch was not attached. Without that the motor will not start! So back to the house to find the kill switch while Judy held the boat up against the shore.
My pan fishing excursion was a bit shorter than planned. Later that day, Judy commented that maybe we should have a check list to follow as we prepared to put the boat in the water for the first time next spring.
Warden Jim Jung’s column two weeks ago provided excellent information about the experimental panfish regulations established by the DNR.
I would encourage anglers to carefully check out these experimental regulations for the lake or lakes they plan to fish.
The daily bag limits are different during spawning season, which is during May and June, than during the rest of the season.
Also, the regulations are different for different lakes. The bag limits are posted at landings and public access points and are also found in the 2016-2017 Wisconsin Fishing Pamphlets.
We are looking forward to fishing game fish in open water soon!
Outdoor enthusiast Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column for the Star Journal.