I pretty much got blown off of Lake Geneva. The wind was hard to deal with at 30-40 mph gusts. I managed to fish on the leeward side shoreline trolling the outside weed edge, but only picked up two average size northern pike in two hours before giving up fighting the wind and waves. That will be the last fishing trip with my boat for this season. I’ll be fogging the engine, changing the lower unit oil and then covering the boat for the winter this week.

All my gear comes off the boat for winter storage: the tackle boxes, electronics and fishing rods.

I will take the time to prepare the rods/reels for the winter down time by removing approximately two-thirds of the line from each reel and backing the drag brake off completely, then giving them quick wipe-down with rag sprayed with WD40 or something similar to help keep all the seat wraps and fittings protected from the winter cold and moisture. I recommend that keeping the tackle box indoors, not in the garage or storage shed. The lures will collect a lot less rust that way.

I also put up all my life jackets inside for the winter. One winter I did not do that and just left them in the boat hatch. The next spring they were mildewed and ruined. Never again.

I’m going to need something to help cheer up my mood this next week, so I thought I would put together my yearly holiday shopping guide for all the fisherman out there.

I’ll have something for all skill levels, but as usual there will be more for the young novice and intermediate anglers out there. Be sure to check my next column. Until then, keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at www.hookedonfishing@comcast.net.