We know it's the middle of winter, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy some action, whether it's Chesapeake Bay Fishing or casting in sweetwater. Or, at the very least, catching up on some tackle maintenance. Either way, these five tips will help you get through the tougher days during the winter months when casting simply isn't an option.

1. There’s snow on the ground, it’s blowing 30 knots, and fishing is a no-go this weekend? Now’s the time to catch up on all that tackle maintenance you’ve been deferring. Start by cleaning and lubing all of your reels. Also see Five Winter Tackle Maintenance Disasters - Don't Do This!

cleaning a fishing reel
It's time for some winter tackle maintenance.

2. Buying fishing tackle is always a fun wintertime diversion, and now’s an excellent time to restock all those plastics you lost last summer. Remember: white and chartreuse are the prime colors, so load up on them. Be sure you get some purples or blacks for low-light conditions. And there will be some days when electric chicken or bubble-gum pink shine, so make sure you have those on hand as well.

fishing tackle
Woohoo! Let's hit the tackle shop and fill those boxes up!

3. Skirts tend to gather crud when left in the tacklebox without seeing the light of day all winter long. Pull them out, wipe down the box itself, and give those skirts a gentle cleaning with soapy water.

skirted fishing lure
Clean those skirts up so your lures look like new.

4. Did you leave those leaders wrapped on a reel all winter long? Gadzooks! That’s fine for day-to-day storage but not for months at a time, and they’ll likely be a kinky, twisted mess by the time spring rolls around. Remove them and store those leaders in a large mesh bag in the loosest coils possible. If they’re already kinky and twisty toss them out and start fresh next season.

reel with leader
This is a fine way to staw leaders from day to day, but over the winter? Not so much...

5. Pop quiz: what’s wrong with the picture below? Answer: all of those treble hooks. If you care about the fish you release you’ll take advantage of some winter downtime, get a few packs of inline single hooks, and swap out all those nasty little grappling hooks for ones that don’t do such a number on the fish.

fishing lures with treble hooks
Now's a great time to swap out those trebles for single hooks.