It’s here real cold weather, just what I was looking for. It has been so long since we had a cold spell like this I forgot some of the bad parts. I’m champing at the bit to get on the water.

It’s here real cold weather, just what I was looking for. It has been so long since we had a cold spell like this I forgot some of the bad parts. I’m champing at the bit to get on the water.

For you youngsters who might not know, the bit is the metal piece that goes in a horse’s mouth to control him. They chew on it a lot when they are stopped, hence the term is an old country saying for wanting to go.

Since last Thursday my pickup has been in the garage. Tuesday afternoon cabin fever took over and I had to see the water. It wasn’t bad going down. Coming back up was impossible if you weren’t in a four-wheel drive or a pickup loaded with weight and that wasn’t a guarantee you would make it.

Well, it’s Wednesday and my truck is still at the bottom of the hill. I was going to hoof it home Tuesday until I got a ride in a golf cart. By the time you read this getting to the boat ramps might be ok if it’s not raining and freezing again.

I hope my cold-weather tips saved you some boat problems. One I forgot about was your wheel bearings. If you had water in the hubs and it froze, it can push out your back grease seal and could also damage your bearings.

With the weather outlook the past few days and those coming up, it might be a good time to do some other maintenance so you will be ready to go when conditions get friendlier. Give all of your rods a going over, check cork handles for missing cork or other damage. Get an old broken rod, shave off some cork, mix it with Elmer’s Wood Glue and fill in the holes on your good rod handle, then sand it smooth.

Check the eyes on your rods for missing or cracked inserts. Get some Q Tips and run them inside your line guides — if there is a crack or rough spot they will generally show up. Don’t forget the eye on your reels level wind; they can crack or break also.

Re-spool your reels with fresh line or if you are a tight wad like me and with the price of premium line what it is, here is another money saving tip. If your line was fished with all summer and you have a lot left on the spool take the end of it and walk off pulling it off the reel.

Keep it tense. Tie the end off on something. Go back and cut the line off the reel you stripped. Tie it off. Take the stripped reel out, tie on the end of the used line and spool it back.

You have just changed to fresh line and it didn’t cost you anything. Get a bottle of line dressing and spray the line as you re-spool. It lubricates it and takes most of the memory out.

Another tip: you don’t have to fill the reel spool completely with new line. If your reel is full, pull off about 50 yards of old line and leave the rest on the reel to make a filler.

Only put on about 50 yards of new or fresh line. This lets you get three fillings of new line out of a 150-yard spool. Most of us never need over 150 feet of line for fishing.

Now you Kitty chasers with those 14-foot rods and three-ounce weights don’t bother with what I wrote for the rest of us. Some of you can almost cast the length of a football field or close to it.

Get your spinner and Buzz Baits out and check the rubber band holding the skirts on. They tend to deteriorate over time and the first hint you have is when the skirt is laying in the boat loose. You can get new bands and reuse the old skirts.

They make a tool for this or you can come up with some way to stretch the new bands and pull the skirts through or just go buy new ones. I like to make my own and have the tools for it.

You can buy spools of bulk rubber and make a lot for what you would pay for a few. It also gives you something to do when house bound. Check the hooks on your favorite lures and sharpen them I bet you find some dull ones.

The guide for sharpness: it should dig in when pulled across your thumb nail with light pressure. Find some place warm where you can spray a clear coat, which will make your favorite lures look good and protects them for awhile.

I and no one else I know offhand has been fishing since the Ice Age started so I have no up-to-date report to give you.