Tips and tactics part 4

Tips and tactics- part 4

Proper tensioning on a tiller motor handle will not allow the motor head to spin out of control when the throttle is applied. Most tiller boat accidents occur when the tiller is not tensioned properly and the operator loses control of the boat steering.
The sudden application of throttle and ensuing prop torque can catch an operator unaware and will rip the steering arm out of an unsuspecting operators’ hand.
The boat will turn sharply and create the opportunity for unsuspecting occupants to be thrown out of the boat.
Worst of all, there have be instances where the boat turned on the people in the water causing grievous injuries. Look for the adjustment screw where the steering handle pivots to steer the boat. If unsure, go to a boat shop mechanic and pay a few dollars to get the location identified and tension adjusted. It could save a life.

If you have an intermediate size craft without a boarding ladder, you can make up a simple step where a person in the water has the ability to climb aboard. String a rope between the bow and stern cleats on your boat. Let the rope drape over the side and touch the water. The swimmer will be able to put their foot on the rope while they grasp the gunwale. This will allow them to use their leg strength to right themselves and enter the boat. Any extra rope can be tossed to the victim in order to assist them to the side of the boat. This method of rescue is extremely important if you have a victim who can pull you overboard if you tried to pull them over the side of the boat by yourself. Panicking victims have unusual strength.

Boat and trailer insurance is often overlooked by owners of small craft. Ask your insurer the “What If” questions before you venture forth.

Caught with your pants down? Boaters who panic when Mother Nature turns an ugly eye are the most likely to capsize or drown.
This is always a MIND over MATTER situation.
As the boat operator, you must have a plan B or C to see you through a storm or get you home safely. Never leave the dock with inadequate safety gear, ropes, anchors, drift sock, whistles, lights, tools, etc.

Always remember- only your toys can be replaced

Use a dull butter knife to spread a split ring if you do not have the proper pliers. Always put the split ring on the lure first and then the hook to the split ring.

Remove the treble hooks from your Five-o-Diamonds or Daredevle. Change over to a single Siwash hook. This is much easier to fish, remains virtually weed free and easier to dislodge from your catch. Siwash hooks have a larger gap and penetrate flesh deeper for better hooking results than any treble hook.

Dehydration is a common occurrence after the fishing day. To reduce the effects of dehydration, you should start hydrating well in advance of your fishing trip.
Coffee and beer are diuretics and do not help you prepare for a hot day on the water. Always drink lots of fluids prior to your trip and throughout the day.
Drinking liquids on the day of the trip does very little to suppress the headaches and muscle spasms created from dehydration. If you like to drink salty liquids, you can choose Gatorade. If you are not into salt additives you can choose a commercial drink called Squincher or Powerade.
Last, but just as effective; drink lots of water before, during and after your trip.
Children are the most susceptible to dehydration and the after effects. Manage their time wisely and force them to drink liquids if necessary.

Always get in the habit of pumping your rod when trolling crank baits or bottom bouncers. The added speed changes in the lure often trigger reluctant fish.

What is common between a salesman, a motor mechanic and a fisherman?
They all have a good story to tell.

High-visibility fishing lines are used for trolling, rigging and jigging. Use colors that contrast with your surroundings to achieve the best results. Don’t let color affect your train of thought. If you feel the color is affecting the bite, just tie on a fluorocarbon or clear monofilament leader.

Always keep a good selection of Power Bait and Gulp products with your fishing tackle. There is a significant difference between Gulp and PowerBait. PowerBait is oil based synthetic scent(s) added to the production of an artificial lure, bait or attractor. The more your bait is chewed up and torn by fish the better the scent dispersal. Use it, rip it apart where fish have cut in to the bait and keep fishing. Gulp is a water based attractant. The composition of the scent is released easily in water. Gulp products can be recharged by placing it back in the container the bait was retrieved from so don’t throw it away after a day of fishing. However, do put it back in the container when not fishing or the water will evaporate and you will not be able to use the bait again.

Many boats today come with a myriad of fuses. Mark the inside of the fuse panel with a legend describing the fuse and the location it is used for.
Older boats may have multiple fuse locations that are poorly identified. Wrap the power lead to the fuse with duct tape or fiberglass tape and fashion a tag. Write down the amperage of the fuse and the end use with a permanent marking pen. I.e. bilge pump- 30 amp, sonar- 3.5 amp, accessories- 25 amp, etc. This will prevent you from guessing which fuse is the problem and what amperage the service requires.
Just a little pre-planning will make repairs quicker and easier.

Many times boaters encounter problems in the evening or extending into darkness. Where there are a number of boats cruising with running lights, a blinking flashlight or spotlight may not be considered important enough to investigate.
To make your signal more attractive, you might consider a trip to the local florist. Here you will commonly find red / green cellophane, used for enhancing flower arrangements. Take enough red / green cellophane to wrap over the lens of a flashlight or spotlight. Hold the cellophane to the lens with a rubber band.
Now you have different ways and colours to attract attention and signal for assistance.

If you run multiple batteries in your boat and only one is for starting the motor; you might find a set of booster cables valuable in case the starting battery fails.

If ever you lose main engine power, don’t panic. Take a careful look at your situation and think about “Me First.”
Shut down all your electrical to conserve battery power, prepare signalling devices and put on your PFD.
If there is no hope of rescue until daylight, prepare for a cool evening.
If the weather is poor, pull out your drift sock and tie to a long lead. Run the lead through the bow eye and secure to a gunnel cleat. The drift sock will reduce the heaving of the boat and keep the bow turned into the waves.
You have to think about hypothermia and wet conditions, so put on extra clothing and your rain gear. Hunker down and ride it out. There is nothing more to do and worrying is just a wasted exercise.

Buy a small cooler and bolt it to your trailer hitch. Keep your emergency repairs in the cooler and have them available all the time.
Mine includes wood blocks, hydraulic jack, wheel wrench, wheel bearings, long pin punch, small hammer, rags, grease gun, hand cleaner, 12v air compressor and flares to mention a few.

Use a small plastic tackle box to carry your extra fuses, wire, pliers, tape and tools for in boat repairs.

We buy a lot of prepared salad in plastic containers. I recycle the containers for my bait. The containers are constructed to fit nicely in a fridge, so I keep crawlers and leeches in these containers for the summer.

Start every day with a “Safety Moment”
Think about and discuss your safety and those around you. Never start a day without a safety moment.


Sep 21, 2006


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