Hobie Fishing Tales with Steve VanDykes

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Hobie Fishing Pre-Spring Fever

It’s that time of year, the craziness of the Holiday season is over, the lakes are frozen, the stream banks are treacherous, and it is just plain cold outside. Hence, I find myself puttering inside my shop.

We all have those things that we had put off doing in the summer. There is that sprinkler hose that lost a battle with the mower. The chair that succumbed to the inevitable force of my great Aunt Gerta, and I mean Great, applied to it. Finally, the to-do bin is clear and the shop is open and waiting for the next whatever.

This is my favorite time of year! This is where I answer that winter itch that all of us fishermen have. Every time I walked by this corner of the shop a nagging sensation would itch the back of my mind. As the winter slowly grinds to spring that itch, that was once a subtle, becomes a full blown, backscratching urge. Finally, when the bin is cleared and the pre-spring fever is upon me I walk to the corner and slide the tarps off of my kayaks. It is time to get ready for spring!

Some people refer to their kayaks as a quiver, meaning that they have many, with the thought that each one has a special purpose. Then there are those of us who have one or two in our fleet, I prefer the latter. It makes me really think on what, where and how I am going to use each craft. I relish in this decision, this process.

First, I think about my plans for the fishing season. Where will I go? What type of fish will I target? Who will I invite along? And who, like my Great Aunt Gerta, will I plan to write postcards.

Then, there are the discussions with those, who like me, eat, sleep and breathe fishing. You know, those little sparks of ideas that turn into flames of excitement and roar into bonfires of planning and making reservations. The season is beginning to take shape! 

Finally, kayak sits before you. It is the blank canvas that the fisherman in you gets to create. Where will I put the fish finder? If I fish for Salmon, what type of bag will I need? If I put my safety flag here, will the net get tangled in it? All sorts of questions will all sorts of options.

I spend weeks designing, configuring, redesigning and re-configuring. Then one day the craft that sits before me I declare to be perfect. Everything is placed just so. Each tool within easy reach, yet out of the way to land that wonderful specimen fish. I am so excited to take the kayak out, that I throw open the doors and realize it is February and the lakes are still frozen over. 

Oh well, Great Aunt Gerta will have to wait for that fish dinner invitation.