What did I forget? Rod, reel, maybe?

Fishermen are notorious for forgetting things.

One would think that, sooner or later, we would learn to make a checklist - and use it. But for most of us, that will never happen.

Many fishing trips are a spur-of-the-moment decision, and most people don't take the time to check off a list when in a hurry to go fishing.

How many times have you seen this scenario?

The boat is filling with water when the angler returns from parking the trailer. A frantic search for the drain plug begins, while the ice chest, tackle box and life preservers are floating on the flooded deck. Thank goodness, most of the time the boat doesn't sink, even though the embarrassment and story live on.

Drain plugs aren't the only things that are forgotten. How many times have you heard about someone forgetting to take the rods, reels and tackle box? You have to wonder what the person was thinking. It's hard to fish without the tools of the trade.

Another item often left behind is the landing net. Its absence isn't usually noticed until a big fish is hooked and very close to being landed. Without the net, the trophy is hard to manage and often gets away. Sometimes luck is with the angler, in spite of his forgetfulness, and the prize is landed. That's when the search begins for the camera that was left on the kitchen counter with the bag of lunch.

Everyone knows time passes quickly when you're fishing, so don't forget to check the expiration date of your fishing license. You don't want to get a citation the next time you're stopped by a wildlife officer.

Also, in case it has been awhile since you fished at the coast, North Carolina now requires a saltwater license. The warden will also check the size and number of fish in your creel, ice chest or live well, so remember to bring your fishing regulation booklet and a ruler to measure your catch.

Finally, don't forget to take a kid fishing. Fishing is a family sport and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Coming events

A free fishing seminar, "Introduction to Largemouth and Spotted Bass Fishing," will meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 30 at Gander Mountain, off I-77 at Exit 36. I will cover simple techniques used to catch bass on live and artificial baits. I'll also discuss the 10 best bass spots on Lake Norman. For more information call 704-658-0822.