Bring on the opener

I have spent the last few days working on the boat and driving it on the water. The “office” is all set up for the summer and I am ready for fishing opener, I think. Whether I am ready or not it will be here in just a few days.

The weather outlook for the weekend is looking as good as I have seen for an opener in a few years. We may get a little wet on the opener with the chance of rain but temps will be in the fisherman’s favor for opening weekend.

The boats have been hitting the water in the area as fast the farmers have been hitting the field. I know the boat shops are in full swing with people trying to get those kinks worked out before heading to the water this weekend. After your boat is water ready and you have those lifejackets, license and lights checked, don’t forget to read up on the fishing regulations so you don’t make a mistake while on the water this year.

Now that the boat is done it is time to think fishing gear. I know most people like to add a new fishing pole or two for the new fishing season. My favorite rod, without a doubt, is the Fenwick in either the Elitetech or an HMX. Those rods have the most bang for your buck in my opinion. Now you have to decide if you want a casting rod or a spinning rod. Well, what are you going to use it for? If you prefer fishing rods for trolling bouncers and crank baits, stick with a casting rod because of the stiff backbone of the fishing rod. If you are more of a bobber, jig or lindy rig fisherman, stick with the spinning rod. I buy lengths in the 6-foot to 6-foot, 6-inch rods, I have a few 7-footers, but I think they are too long of a rod when trying to net fish.

When it comes to choosing fishing reels, it is almost as overwhelming as it is for choosing fishing rods now when you go to the store. I am a big fan of the Abu Garcia Cardinal series in the spinning rod, the STX is very smooth and for a reel in the mid-price range it should last you a lifetime. I have been using them now summer and winter and have not broken one of them yet, and that is amazing to me.

We have boxes of broken reels that seem not to last very long, and we don’t have single Cardinal in the box yet!

When it comes to casting reels it is the same issue with the number of them on the market, for the mid-price range ones I think Pflueger makes some good ones that hold up very well. If you are going to be trolling with bouncers I think you need to spend some extra money on them because it is a little harder on reels when running heavy bouncers.

If you want to go all out, I don’t think you can beat an Abu Garcia Revo casting reel, they have the best of everything and have been bulletproof in my boat.

When it comes to fishing line, my favorite is the Trilene XL smooth cast in the red box, 8-pound test on spinning reels and 12-pound on my casting reels. If you are a braided line kind of guy, my favorite is the new Trilene Professional Grade Braid in the Tracker line. I did a lot of testing with this line last summer and I was really happy with the results and it helped me get lots of fish in the boat.

My favorite fillet knife is a Gerber, it has great steel and a lifetime warranty so if it gets dull or you break it just send it back and get a new one.

Make sure to get good sharp goods when you buy lures when you are shopping. Just because a lure looks good and fancy to you that doesn’t mean it will catch fish.

When you head to the water this weekend, make sure to be safe. Continue with a fishing opener tradition or possibly start a new one. Remember this season to take some time to introduce someone new to the outdoors, or possibly take someone back onto the water that has not been fishing in years.

Don’t forget this weekend is Take-a-Mom Fishing Weekend – not only is it fishing opener but it is also Mother’s Day so what better way to celebrate than to take her fishing.

Have a great week and fishing opener is here.

I would love hear any comments you have, check us out at or find us on Facebook at Lightfoot Outdoors Guide Service.