Here are a few things I do to make through the long MN winter:
1. Get your tackle readyIf you are like me and store your boat & tackle in a warm accessible location, then you can get your tackle organized and strip all your old like off your reels so you are ready for open water. Also, sort out old tackle, this will make it easier to find what you really need when you are on the water, plus you will get a little better speed & fuel economy out of your boat. Donate some of that old tackle to local youth clubs or sell it on eBay.
2. Get out and go to all the Boating, Fishing and Sportshows. This is a great way to stay up on all the latest and greatest fishing innovations and chat with industry fishing experts. You can also usually find some free seminars and pickup some techniques you can use on the water when you do get your boat on the water.
3. Map study! If you are like me you have a pretty good idea of the lakes you are going to be fishing and when you are going to be fishing them. Dust off those map books and start planning out your prefishing plans. Why waste time when there is open water doing map study ;) You can also search on the Internet for old fishing reports & past tournament articles for the lakes you will be fishing. This can tell you areas, seasonal patterns, & typical winning weights for the time of year you will be fishing.
4. Dig a rod out of the boat & practice your flippin' & pitchin'!!! Take bowl or tupperware dish out & step back 15-20' & start flipping a jig or a tube, maybe cover or bend the hooks to prevent hurting children or pets. (p.s. you can have a ton of fun with pet cat & a skirted bass jig) Everyone can always use a little extra practice & it helps you stay sharp for spring, so you can make that quiet, accurate & precise pitch to that trophy bass you find on a bed this coming spring. Maybe after you get practiced up, you can con your bass club buddies into a pitchin' contest at your next winter meeting.
5. Head South!!! This is my favorite thing to do. Get a couple of your bass club buddies, hook up your boats and find a warmer destination with open water & plan a great fishing excursion. Last year I headed down to Lake Norfork, in Arkansas & had a great trip. I have also been to Missouri, Texas & Georgia in the past. Not only does this scratch the itch, but you can learn a lot by fishing new bodies of water & bring home new techniques that you can employ on your home lakes & whoop up on your buddies.
6. Read Books, Magazine & Articles to make yourself a better angler. There are lot of great books out there, that are chock full of great info. Click Here to see a few that I have read recently & highly recommend. Hope these ideas help you make it through another long winter.
7. Another great way to beat the Winter blues, is to try your hand at Fantasy Fishing, here are two cool sites. FLW Fantasy Fishing & BASS Fantasy Fishing
Rich - http://www.richlindgren.com/