The sure signs of spring are here. The tackle retailers are holding their pre-season sales and anglers are restocking tackle boxes.

Knox Marine has scheduled its annual open house for March 23 and 24 and tournament fliers are showing up for the coming season.

Frankly, I’ve always been amazed at the eagerness of anglers to sign up for bass tournaments the first weekend of April or even, sometimes, at the end of March.

Frankly, more often than not, the weather is lousy and fishing with ice forming in the rod guides (or in my beard) is no fun — or maybe I’m just getting old, although I didn’t like it when I was 25, either. I remember too many mid-April tournaments when it was only about 33 degrees at blast off and never got above 40. I would rather delay the start of my tournament season until the end of April and if we have good weather earlier, then great, I’ll go fishing somewhere I think will have some early action.

I enjoy checking freshly stocked shelves in the spring. I’m usually not in the market for a lot, but I like to check out the new colors and finishes in lures, new models of rods and reels, new gadgets, etc.

I’ll pick up a few things I want to try out or I need to replace, and I did indulge myself and bought a new spinning reel to replace one that’s about 30 years old, or more.

However, my biggest task between now and spring is getting my boat cleared off. That front deck is just too convenient a place to lay things, such as newspapers and magazines to be recycled, tools, and just about anything that makes it into the garage over the winter.

Even if I wanted to get on the water early, there’s not many places to go. Farm ponds, possibly, or Buckeye Lake.

Most waters are a mess. Dillon, for example, was still 25 feet above winter pool Tuesday, and the color of coffee with cream.

I’ll wait till things settle down.


Chuck Martin: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @