Surviving Winter In Vermont

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Surviving Winter In Vermont

by Dobyns Rods Pro Staffer Justin Broulliard


When fall in Vermont arrives it can be both beautiful and bittersweet. On one hand, the leaves change colors and the sights you see are unlike anything else. On the other hand, you really know the days of fishing remaining are numbered, and can usually be counted on one hand. The fall fishing on Champlain can be some of the best of the year, but the cold weather also means hunting season. The slow time in the year varies based on how soon the lakes freeze and thaw. Last year guys were fishing long into December and this year it has been locked up by the beginning of December. However, with that said, it doesn’t always feel as bad as it seems.

Having a break from something that you are usually always thinking about or participating in is not a bad thing. We spend all year chasing fish, thinking about chasing fish, and preparing to chase fish. Having the lake frozen over is a good time to catch up on many other things often forgotten about over the year. Once I put the boat away, which usually follows a weather forecast of cold weather, I like to go through my gear. I make notes of what I used, what I didn’t use, and what I want to use the following year. I usually strip line, clean, and grease all my reels. I usually go through rods and reels and figure out which ones I didn’t use or utilize to the full potential and see which new ones need to be ordered over the winter. This goes for things like line, terminal tackle, hard and soft baits, and other equipment such as batteries, scales, and pliers.

Having this time off from being on the lake is not fun but I try to make the best of it and make due with sorting through tackle and ordering new. I like to ice fish a few times as well. I usually sell some stuff and build up my PayPal account to order new Dobyns Rods and Daiwa Reels. Speaking of ordering new stuff, here is what I am looking at for next season.

Dobyns Rods

A couple new rods I will be trying out in the spring and ordering in the next month are the Champion Series 744 and 735CB.  The review on these two rods are exactly what I expected and they will be used throughout the whole year! The 744 fills a gap for me, although other alternatives currently exist, the 7’4” rod with the ability to handle multiple flipping/pitching/casting techniques is huge. Another rod that will be jumping right into my locker is the 735CB. This is another one of those rods I will be using all year around. This is a glass rod with a crankbait action but plenty of backbone. It will replace a couple rods for me with the ability to throw chatterbaits and spinnerbaits in the grass as well as a variety of crankbaits and rattletraps. As per normal, a few new Sierra/Fury Series rods will also be making the trip from the Dobyns Shop to Vermont.

Daiwa Reels

Another thing I’ll be upgrading is a couple of my reels. I managed through last year with only 3 spinning rods in the rod locker. I know some people never touch one in a whole year, but fishing lakes like Champlain, Oneida, and the St. Lawrence River it’s hard not to have finesse baits on the deck. This year I will probably try to have 5-6 spinning rods. I have not yet determined which ones, but I have been in the process of ordering some spinning reels. The Daiwa Fuego for the price must be one of the better spinning reels on the market. I have used various Lew’s/Daiwa products over the past few years but this one is my favorite. I look forward to using those reels much more this year.


I recently have been associated with a newer company based in Vermont that has been doing very well in the last couple years. Krank5Baits uses only the highest quality blanks and the custom color paint jobs are incredible. I also had a couple of my favorite blanks repainted as well. The colors are from years of experience matching bait fish and craw colors from all over the country and he can paint anything you want. Topwaters, crankbaits, jerkbaits, and traps, you tell him where you fish and he will have the color combos for you. I have recently gone through some of my hard bait boxes and sold a lot of stuff I never use and replaced it with things I use, but in awesome colors. Visit his Facebook page  for more info.