Normally this is the season for the boat show and the sports show. The key word, of course, being normal and we’re a long ways from that right now. Proof of that is like a lot of things in our world today, they are virtual this year. Honestly, as far as the boat show goes, unless I have plans to buy a boat, I attend that sparingly. I have gone to my fair share of sports shows but they fall below shed antler hunting and walleye fishing in Red Wing on my outdoor list of things to do right now. I have already surfed around my normal shed antler hotspots so that itch has been scratched. What is left to do is fish for walleye in Red Wing.

I’m a Red Wing guy for only a specific period of time: during the walleye season, which for me means the winter season. During September or maybe early October I’ll get in my last musky fishing outing of the year and after that it’s all about bowhunting. It’s been months since my boat has seen water and even longer than that since it’s been on a walleye outing. Getting ready to hit the water is not just a matter of hooking up to the boat, it’s an entire changeover process.

One of the first things I do is to make sure that all of the batteries are charged. A couple of days before that first outing of the year I’ll plug the charger in and get started.

The rest of the prep work is pretty easy. Before filling the boat with gear, I need to give it a once over by cleaning it and removing any gear that I don’t need. It would be awesome to catch a walleye big enough that I need to use a musky net but that’s pretty unlikely. Rods, reels, jigs, twister tails and stinger hooks are easy to find and gather. Like all outdoor gear they get stashed in the Dave Cave when not in use. A couple trips from the cave and the boat is walleye ready and good to go.

I always think that walleye fishing from my boat on the Mississippi River at this time of year is like stealing a day from Old Man Winter. That’s actually a double bonus because it also means that I am one more day closer to spring. Any day or night on the water, no matter what time of year, is time well spent, especially now. So as soon as the batteries are charged, I will be ready to head to the landing. Wait, there is one more thing: it needs to warm up, A LOT! HOLY FROSTBITE, HAVE YOU SEEN THE TEMPERATURE TODAY?

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I guess this year I will be “going” to the online sports show.