By DAVE ZALEWSKI
© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 12, 2001
The traditional start of the fall kingfish season is Columbus Day, one month away. Now is the time to prepare. Spinning and conventional reels should be inspected for loose or missing screws and drags should be checked for smoothness.
The simplest method is to tie the line to a fixed object and back away to check for stickiness in the drag washers. If the line does not come off the reel in a steady, smooth manner, the reel should be taken to a tackle shop for servicing. This is a slow time for reel service departments but if you wait for the season to begin, as many do, you might be without your favorite reel for most of the season.
Reel seats on rods should be carefully looked at for cracks and each guide must be examined for burrs and cracks in ceramic inserts. Run a piece of nylon stocking through each guide. If there is anything wrong, the nylon will hang up on the guide surface. Leaving a burr or crack will shave the line each time it passes over the imperfection, reducing its strength.
Hardware trollers should check to make sure that they have enough of the popular sizes of planers. All planers, new or used, should have their nuts checked for looseness. Rusty or dull hooks on plugs and spoons should be replaced.
Those fishing live bait should check connections on bait pump wiring and flow on the pump. Stinger rigs can be made up in advance and stored in plastic bags.
- Capt. Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach and can be reached at (727) 397-8815 or by e-mail at Luckytoo2@aol.com.