February 21, 2020
The thermometer might not be rising as quickly as we'd like, but with a few more minutes of light every day, spring is well on its way. The fish know it, too. As daylight lengthens and temperatures rise, fish leave their hideouts in the depths and come up to hunt. No need to wait for summer - grab your rod and tackle box and make the most of the early season.
January 13, 2017
Is winter boating a thing? Yes, though not so much in our part of the world. In the coldest months, we northerners catch most of our fish through holes drilled in thick lake ice. Winter offers great fishing opportunities and snow-kissed fun for the dedicated boater with access to open water - and who's not afraid of the cold. Cold weather saps battery power. A battery loses 30 percent of its charge at freezing temperature (32F/0C). Keep your battery charged to avoid frustration when starting your motor. Also, watch for water in your fuel. Warm days followed by cold days cause condensation, which can contaminate your fuel. If you'll be using your boat over the winter, change your fuel/water separators and filters before cold weather sets in, as David Meeler of Yamaha Outboards advises. Adding a fuel stabilizer helps, too; it can keep your fuel fresh for up to 12 months. Snow left to sit can be hard to remove, and that's true of your boat as well as your front walk. Cover your boat when not in use and remove any snow or ice that accumulates on the hull. Ice adds weight and can clog through-hulls. Try a plastic ice scraper rather than a metal tool, and work as patiently as you can to avoid scratching your boat. If you're going fishing, be aware of water temperatures, as fishes' behavior depends on it. Fish are more likely to be active on sunny, warmer days, and you'll be more comfortable fishing on those days, too. Read up on the fish you're after and adjust your strategy accordingly to avoid disappointment.
May 13, 2016
When trying to sneak up on the fish in your favorite spot, your regular boat motor might be just too much. A well-chosen electric trolling motor can give you the edge needed to catch your limit with relative ease, but where to begin? The power of trolling motors is expressed in pounds of thrust, not horsepower. How much thrust do you need? That depends on the length and weight of your boat. The chart below gives an idea of the minimum thrust requirements for boats of different sizes. You might want a more power than the minimum, of course. [caption id="attachment_120" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Chart: fishing-tips-bait-tackle.com[/caption] What about shaft length? We've seen recommendations in the neighborhood of 20 to 24 inches below your boat's waterline, so that's a good place to start. Some boaters calculate shaft length based on the distance between the transom or bow and the waterline. A longer shaft is better in rough, choppy water because it keeps the propeller below the water when the boat bounces on the waves. Obviously, salt water is, well, salty, and salt is corrosive. If you're a blue-water fisherman, choose a trolling motor designed for use in salt water. Such trolling motors are better sealed against water than ordinary motors. Look for props and mounts made to withstand salt water, too. Because it's clean and quiet, electric propulsion is one of the most attractive features of trolling motors. Without noise or fumes, you can glide along silent as a fish - but only if you have adequate battery power. The higher powered the motor, the more power it draws. A 12-volt motor