It’s always tough to see the squadrons of Sandhill cranes heading south but this year it was a special downer because an era has come to an end.
My bride has decided to monitor any procedures associated with winterizing my fishing gear.
We’re talking beyond-wicked supervision.
Simply put, the bucket doesn’t cut it anymore.
Back in the good old days it only took a couple of minutes to stick all of my shore paraphernalia into the same plastic pail that I sat on while fishing and stuff it in the basement.
The following spring I simply reversed the procedure and threw away everything that was either stuck together or seemed to be developing as a new life form. Thus, I always had an excuse to buy some new flashy stuff. Not anymore.
After last May’s Visa bill hit the mailbox it was subtly suggested if I wanted to retain at least one viable lung and be healthy enough to cast next year, I might want to consider cleaning and organizing my lures, reels and assorted equipment once I was finished for the season.
I would have protested such an onerous undertaking, but she was still somewhat peeved about another matter.
It seemed that she had discovered that the smell emanating from the rear of her eco-putt SUV’s storage compartment was a long forgotten super secret bait concoction formula that I had misplaced after an emergency run to a local gourmet bait emporium.
The revelation was somewhat untimely because I had almost convinced her that the lingering odor was the result of graphic indiscretion left behind the spare tire by our elderly toy poodle several weeks ago.
Needless to say, things have been a bit testy around the homestead. The wife is annoyed and Little Bear won’t accept my apology.
For years, things have been righteously simple:
Normally I had three tackle boxes.
The first was for show only. It was the box that I opened publicly because everything was neatly arranged and in impeccable condition thus reflecting it was owned by the ultimate pro. It never left the back of the truck.
The second box was much smaller and contained covert things that I actually used. It never left my side.
The third container held rusted junk and various unknown odiferous jelly-like substances that I abandoned on my rear bumper in hope that some scuzzoids would steal it.
I’ll miss that box now that the new maintenance rules are kicking in.
I enjoyed watching losers thinking they were cool snatching up the derelict bucket-of-crud. My only regret was for any innocent organisms that were inadvertently annihilated when the thugs opened the carton anywhere near them.
Anyway, the main purpose of this column is not to dwell on my problems but to warn some of you to tread lightly this time of year.
Do the basics.
Check the used, extra refrigerator that you keep in an out-building because it usually smells like a dead whale. Clean out any five-year-old squid bait that has developed a green tinge and seems to move away when you reach for it.
Transfer the seriously darkened roe that you processed in June 2007 to the freezer compartment. This will make it easier to knock the mold off of next spring.
Remove any wild meat that has amassed an undulating crust along with the somewhat ripe salmon fillets that you’ve been meaning to smoke.
Now, open a five-pound box of Arm and Hammer and seal it inside for 10 days to absorb lingering toxic fumes.
If upon opening the fridge after the designated delay you can sniff the interior without an immediate loss of significant body hair, it is ready to store your football season stash.
Misplaced last year’s list of necessities? Maybe this will help: Bottled home brew and containers of unknown mixed liquids left over from New Year’s Eve that you haven’t utilized as weed killer, and cartons of Little Smokies Hot Links, assorted Cheeze Whiz dispensers along with Extra Crunchy Cheese Curls, pepperoni sticks, Pringles and other non-biodegradable foodstuffs.
Yep, it’s time to prepare for the winter onslaught where it’s going to be difficult to replenish vital supplies while there’s a buffet of football being offered, especially during blizzard conditions.
Trust me guys, asking your bride to head out into a storm because you’ve run out of dip won’t cut it especially if your fishing gear is still fermenting in a bucket under the stairs.
Like I said, trust me, WD 40 rules.
Nick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if he isn’t taking a flamethrower to some of his back-up cooling containers.