This time of year there are a lot of anglers who are done fishing till spring.

Not everyone is a diehard like me so what you need to do is invest some time in maintenance on your reels and tackle in order to protect your investment.

First let’s look at your reels and see what is needed. You want to pull the spools on all of your spinning reels and check out what is there. There could be fishing line, dirt, or who knows what ends up under there. Clean the surface with a good dry rag and try to get all the debris that you can see then use a small pick or knife to get around the edges of the rim. Next you want to lubricate inside the reel using the small access hole on top. It is usually big enough to spray or drip the lubricants into the case of the reel. I like to use white lithium grease but they do make reel oil if that works for you. Next you clean the bottom of the spool and replace but don’t over tighten the drag. It is best that it stays loose till you use it again. Once your reel is back together then check all your screws and bolts to make sure they are tight and wipe it down with a clean cloth and go to the next reel.

If you are working on a bait caster it becomes a little more difficult depending on the brand of reel. Some reels break down easily while others require small screw drivers but either way you have to take the side casing off to access the inside. Clean the casing much like you did on the spinning reel making sure you get to all of the edges and cracks. Take a rag with a little oil on it and wipe it down and replace the spool. Try to get inside the handle and the line guide then put it back on the rack.

With tackle you want to break down every tackle bag or container one at a time and go through you lures looking for rusted hooks or broken baits. Replace the hooks using the same size if you can because it may affect the way the bait moves in the water with a different size one. Throw all the trash or broken lures away then use those gift cards you got for Christmas and go shopping but make sure you to replace what you tossed but there are a lot of new products out so don’t spend it all at once. These are just a few things that I do when I get a chance in between trips so when I can go again I am not looking for a lure or fighting my tackle.


The offshore guys are out fishing for the bluefin tuna right now with some success. The Wicked Tuna crew is out filming and I friend of mine informed me that the Doghouse scored a nice fish this week. They do their filming at the OBX Marina and he got a chance to watch the weigh in. I do have some yellowfin mixed into the bunch but it’s almost like a by catch when the bluefin are around.

The beach is quiet with little to no fishing being done. If I was to guess the dogfish and skate are the only things out there.

The sound has some rockfish action around the sound bridge in Edenton on stretch baits and umbrella rigs but other than that it’s quiet.

Locally the crappie bite is still pretty good in the creeks on the drop offs but the largemouth are still lacking anglers to find them. If anyone gets out this week let me know. I can be found at fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.

Mike Sweeney is the fishing columnist for The Daily Advance.