GET FISHING GEAR & BOAT READY FOR WINTER
With winter approaching, we anglers must start thinking of getting our fishing gear,
equipment and boat ready for storage till that first fishing day next spring. We have been asked about
this so if your fishing for the year has about ended, here are some tips:
FOR YOUR FISHING GEAR:
- Sharpen hooks, rinse all plugs (lures), repair cracks with some sparkly nail polish, replace bad eyelets, split rings or hooks and shine up blades and spoons.
- Change jig or spinner skirts that have lost their shape or color, and store all your plastics or rubber baits separately in compartment boxes made for these baits.
- Reels are a big investment and major part of our gear, yet are often the most neglected. Extend their life by thoroughly cleaning and lubricating regularly. Rinse in cool water, dry, spray with silicone lube and wipe down. If you are not sure how, it is best to take your reels in for internal maintenance.
- Remove old aged and sun weaken lines from reels and we like to wait to Re-spool with new lines till spring as line memory will set in over winter.
- Check rods for cracks, loose guides and rub a cotton swab around the inside of the guides. If any small cotton fibers are left behind, the guides are nicked and can scrape and weaken your line. Also, check condition of ferrules on your two-piece rods. Repair or replace these so you will not lose that fish next year.
- It´s always a good idea to repair cracks and holes in your cork fishing rod grips to prevent further damage which is much harder to repair. Here is simple way to Repair Your Cork Grip on any fishing rod.
- Always loosen the drag on your reels before storage to release stress on the washers to extend the life. Cover to keep out dust and do not lean your rods in the corner with a bend in the tip.
FOR YOUR FISHING BOAT: (Maybe the most expensive fishing gear item)
- Wash and clean boat and trailer to remove that water line and grime.
- Add stabilizer to the fuel tank of your boat and run the engine for a while (about 5 minutes or so), allowing the treated fuel to flow through the lines and into the engine. And just on those carbureted engines, disconnect the fuel line and run fuel out.
* NEWS RELEASE few years ago by BoatUS & American Motorcyclist Assoc. on "Storing Ethanol Blended Fuels":
Recommendations on proper Boat Winterization and Damaging effects of Storing Ethanol Blended Fuels
- For long extended storage on those older 2-cycle engines - Spray an oil fogger directly into the carburetor until it stalls the engine. Then remove the sparks plugs and spray into each cylinder and replace plugs and rotate engine a little.
- You need to grease or lubricate all the linkage and moving parts of your engine.
- We now will lower each motor down to lowest position so that any addtional water will drain out.
- It is best to now replace the fuel/water filter as they may have moisture in them that could freeze. Next change 4-stroke engine oil & filter and replace the lower unit oil/grease by removing the check plug and the fill plug. The tube of lower unit grease is placed in the bottom plug hole and squeezed till grease flows out the top plug (clean) than replace plugs. If the old grease has water in it, this indicates you may have a seal leaking and needs replaced. Check your manual for instructions on this.
- You may also want to have the water pump impeller checked. For these we recommend you contact a boat dealer in your area, and they may even have boat storage options for you too.
- The batteries: Do not use tap water in your boat batteries, use distilled or de-ionized water and nothing else. Just keep it full, keep it clean and keep it fully charged. It is proven that cool storage is best with a monthly check and charge if needed. You may wish to remove the batteries and other electronics and store somewhere dry and above freezing.
- Put RV anti-freeze in your livewell lines and bilge lines.
- Block up your trailer so the weight is off the tires and springs.
- If you store your boat outside under a cover, make sure to prop up the cover so rain and snow will slide off and to have the bow a few inches higher than the stern. Also, it is said to best have boat outboard motors in upright position.
- We put a few moth balls inside our boats to keep squirrels and mice from building winter homes under the cover.
- If you remove the boat´s drain plug, tape a note on the boat as a reminder to replace the plug before putting your boat in the water next spring.....to avoid that sinking feeling.
* You may be able to do many of these boat things to keep costs down, but some of these boat/motor maintenance items you may need help with or may even want to take to boat shop/marine dealer that is a good option and might even save money in the long run.
Take advantage of this unfavorable fishing weather to make any repairs, fixes, enhancements or just maintenance you found needed during the past year. If you take these extra steps to collect, clean and organize now, you will find your equipment will work properly, last longer and looking like new, not to mention being ready to go out fishing when the weather breaks next spring.
If you are not ready to give up fishing yet, do not despair because there may be days the warm sun will be out and fish will move in to feed or consider fishing the warm waters of a Power Plant lake. Just be sure to follow the above winterizing tips, put on the sweatshirt and GO FISHING..