Spring's Bounty - What to do NOW so you can relax LATER

The early bird catches the worm, who then catches the fish. Be the bird.


It’s time to stop dreaming about all of your fishing adventures for this coming spring, and get to work. Depending on where you’re going, resources can be limited and you can bet that the best guides around are already starting to fill their calendars with upcoming trips.


First things first, pick your destination. If you’re staying close to home, start researching the guides you want to contact. If you’re planning to travel, book your flights now, and determine whether you want a package with or without lodging. You can use various travel sites to find the best deal and can even earn spending money for booking through certain providers. For example, travel-industry newcomer Upside.com offers customers $100+ giftcards to recognizable brands like Amazon and Home Depot for booking flights and hotels together. New waders, anyone?


Next, make an inventory of your gear, and replace or repair all those little bits and pieces that you never got around to fixing last season. January is a great time to snatch a good deal on some of those higher price tag items too, as retailers unload post-holiday inventory and slash costs during the off-season. Our expert tip: shop local! Local shop owners have more leeway with pricing than some of their big box competitors, and it never hurts to ask if the marked price is the best they can do. More often than not, you’ll be able to walk away with your item in hand and a few saved dollars in your pocket. Learn more about the importance of shopping local.


To further prepare, make sure you all your paperwork is up-to-date including permits and licensing. Remember that individual states have specific requirements, and sometimes it may be necessary to purchase licenses in advance. To save you some trouble, check out our State Pages to see what the requirements are for your location. While you’re in the thick of it, you might as well brush up on regulations to see what’s changed from last year.


Finally, get the insider scoop! A great way to familiarize yourself with the area and set expectations is to follow the local experts via social media. While no one is giving away the locations of their secret spots, many sportsmen use platforms like Instagram to showcase their catches, demonstrate successful techniques, and show off their equipment. You might even discover where the locals go to grab a bite when they get off the water: go rub elbows with the best of ‘em, and who knows what you might learn over a few shared pints.


Now you're ready to embark on the trip of a lifetime. Or at very least, the trip of a season. Good luck and tight lines!


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