After an unusually warm December in many parts of the country, it looks like winter has finally arrived in full force. It’s that time of year when boats are winterized, people stay indoors more often, and fishing tends to move to the back burner as we start daydreaming of snow days and/or spring.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re one of the many people who got an iBobber for Christmas, don’t despair. You don’t have to wait until spring to start enjoying it. Keep on reading for our favorite ways to whittle away these winter months.
First, let’s answer one of our most commonly asked questions on Facebook:
- Take your iBobber ice fishing!
Yes, you can most certainly use the iBobber for ice fishing. If you live in a part of the country where ice fishing is popular, then you’ll love using the iBobber to know if a trophy size fish is under your fishing hole and when a strike occurs. Just check out this firsthand account from a customer who recently used his iBobber to great success on a frozen lake:
"Well, wasn't much action today to fully put the iBobber to use, but because I had the iBobber I bet you the fish were hiding. Anyways, managed to catch one with it, strike alarm worked spot on, bluetooth range (walking away from the ice hole) was a good five feet before it cuts out, probably because of the ice. The depth worked as well as weather and temp. I think because of the depth of the ice (just over a foot) was interfering with the sonar as it kept having a steady fish at 1 foot, but was able to pick up the lure and whatever fish decided to get caught with its pants down. I will be going out again this weekend, over all I'm happy with it. Thanks again Alex."
However, we totally understand if cold, frozen weather isn’t your thing. Which brings us to our next point:
- Get out of town!
Maybe you had to work over the holidays and are overdue for a paid vacation. Or maybe you have an annual tradition to fly south for the winter. Either way, the winter months are a great time of year to save on airfare and lodging to prime saltwater fishing locations in southern Georgia, Florida, and even the Caribbean, particularly if you don’t have any school-age children. The iBobber works brilliantly in saltwater, so bust it out on your next offshore saltwater trip to mark reef and shelf habitat perfect for popular recreational species.
But if a vacation isn’t in your immediate future, then winter is the perfect time to take care of any gear maintenance so you can spend as much time as possible fishing in the spring and summer.
- Perform routine boat maintenance.
There’s no denying that boats are great fun for fishing and recreation, but the maintenance? Not so fun. However, you don’t want to risk an expensive repair popping up unexpectedly in the middle of bass season, so go over your motorboat and motor with a fine-tooth comb and take care of any oil changes, winterization, and minor repairs so that it’s in pristine shape for spring and summer.
Own a kayak or canoe instead of a motorboat? The same principle still applies. If possible, store your kayak inside a shed or under cover to protect it from inclement weather, clean it thoroughly, and make sure your paddles and fishing accessories are in good repair.
And regardless of what kind of boat you own, check your life jackets regularly to ensure that any straps, air cartridges, etc. work properly. Don’t hesitate to replace a life jacket that has reached the end of its life span, no longer fastens securely, or has suddenly become too small for a quickly growing child. A properly fitting personal flotation device is the single best measure for drowning prevention for boaters, so refresh yourself on your state’s life jacket laws and plan accordingly.
Once you’ve got your boat ready for the season, it’s time for the busy work…
- Organize your rods and tackle.
For some people, the term “organization” elicits the same reaction as “root canal.” For others, it’s incredibly satisfying to have a neatly organized tackle box. But when it comes time for fishing season, few things are more frustrating than needing a particular lure and digging through a messy tackle box to find it or, heaven forbid, losing that trophy bass due to a weak spot in old fluorocarbon or braided line.
This is the time of year to troubleshoot and avoid those problems in advance. Go through your tackle box and safely dispose of any rusted hooks, sharpen the ones that have dulled, and replace any lures that have earned an honorable retirement. Check your rods and reels thoroughly, ask yourself how old your line is, and replace or upgrade if necessary. It may sound tedious now, but you’ll love how much easier your life will be once you start spending more time on the water fishing and less time fumbling for your gear.
Also, do you have a good multi-tool for fishing? If not, have you heard about our upcoming ReelSonar Multi-Tool? We will announce when it's ready for order online!
Finally, if you don’t live near an ice fishing destination, aren’t planning any trips, and have your gear in order, why wait for spring?
- Use the iBobber for winter lake fishing.
Contrary to popular belief, you can still enjoy winter fishing at your favorite local lakes. As water temperatures drop, fishes’ metabolisms slow, and they don’t feed as frequently. However, they don’t forego feeding altogether, so you can still find hungry fish with enough patience. For bass, try slowing down the presentation of your grubs and lures, and definitely take advantage of any breaks in the cold weather. If you’re on a boat, make sure to dress for the water temperature, and use your iBobber to find the ledges and holes where the big fish are hiding!
We hope this post gives you some inspiration for ways to pass the time while we wait for spring and summer fishing! Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter (@ReelSonar) pages for the latest iBobber news, product announcements, and software updates, or sign up for our mailing list on our website.