There’s more to it than just catching fish these days.As tournament Anglers it only takes one weak link in the chain to ruin your day on the Lake and keep you out of the money.With all the new electronics,GPS,aerators,bilge pumps,sonic wave and lights.Our battery’s are working harder and longer than ever before and need our help to better do their job.
Here are a few tips that have helped me over the years to get the most out of my batteries. Number one is as easy as just looking at your batteries before every trip.Look for any corrosion and check that your connections are tight.
If you have corrosion on your cables the fix is sometimes only a wire brush away.
But if the pretty copper color is no longer there and instead you have darker colored wires feeding into your connections.Then its time to cut the cables back about an inch from the end and replace the connections.
You will notice the performance difference with the trolling motor .Second,you should never store your battery half charged. always make sure it’s fully charged after each trip,This tip alone can double the life of you batteries .Third,not all batteries are maintenance free and if that’s your case the water level needs to be checked periodically.this is done by popping out the caps and simply giving them a look .NEVER do this without wearing safety glasses,you don’t want acid in your eyes.If the cells are low just add your regular old house water to the fill level and replace the caps.Forth,It can be a rough ride sometimes and batteries really don’t like being tossed about. Always make sure the batteries are properly secured,not only will this protect them from damage,But the last thing you want is a bunch of sparks flying around that close to the fuel tanks.The angler today has alot of batteries to choose from ,I like to support the companies that sponsor those of us in the fishing world.Good Luck on your next trip and I hope this helps some of you.
Tournament Bass Fishing Tips by “Ron Howe”
I am by no means any famous super Pro Bass Angler, but Ive had a lot of Tournament success in recent years and I want to share what has made me better and hope it can help you be a better Tournament Bass Angler.
We all start out as Beginners or Rookies or Future pro’s. We develop a love for fishing and a love to compete. Throw a high horse powered bass boat in the mix with a cool looking gel coat and were hooked! Blasting off against 60,70-230 boats is a serious endorphin rush! You against the world the weather the water and oh ya the fish! Once a Angler fishes a few events they get addicted to Tournament Bass fishing. I did!
Very few Anglers ever make it to the top level of Bass fishing and fish as a “Pro” for a living. Many of us can live the dream regionally near home and are happy to do so. With kids a full time job and few sponsor dollars available for a weekend warrior we are limited in our opportunities.
I have been tournament fishing for over 22 years now. I love it! I love meeting new people and love to compete. Along this journey I started at a club level. We caught fish, but rarely got in the money or won a Trophy or some Wood! The same guys always did well. We new we were good anglers, but couldn’t get to the top of the club event level. Then you meet new people and learn about events with a higher winning potential. So you say sign me up im in! And much like the club level you fish well, but never end up in the top level of the circuit. The same guys always do well??
When we fish at the club level or regional semi-pro level it is the last time we will ever get info on how these Anglers did better than us. You must stay to the end of every event you fish to learn and get better. In time you will find out what won the events or what the top 5 teams did to out fish the rest. If you leave the event early because you didn’t place well you are loosing the chance to get better! Stay, ask questions, hang out with those willing to talk, many Anglers love to brag! Heck I do! That’s how you learn!
Take what you learn and go practice it, get better at it. When you tackle your weakness find another tournament tactic and get better at it. The more versatile you are the better you will become at Tournament Bass fishing at any level! Don’t get mad when a team does well, try to find out what they are doing that you are not! Now go get good at it. A few years ago I forced myself to practice Punching or heavy flipping. Its not that I couldn’t do it, I love to flip just not in the junk. If I can open water fish I would rather do so. By forcing myself to practice this and get better at it I Punched 25lbs in 15 minutes. That’s all I needed to do 1 time to get me to get over what I want to do and what I need to do at the right times. Drop shotting was an other one, Its not hard, I just didn’t like to do it. I would rather drag a jig or a 10” worm, but quickly I forced myself to improve at this tactic and believe me it has paid off! Get better at what you don’t like to do, it will make you a better Tournament Bass Angler.
One big bit of advice I can give you is to take control of as many things as you can. This is one of the most important steps to becoming a better Tournament Angler. Make sure your line is new or in great condition. Always tie new knots. Always use new hooks. Make sure your boat is fully ready before you leave your house. Know the weather, the tide, the water level, the seasonal pattern you will fish and know the primary food source at that time of year where you are fishing! And as I have asked my partners on a few very sad occasions when the big fish gets off, did you have a trailer hook on? Being pre paired the best thing you can do that will improve your Tournament results as a weekend warrior.
This one is tough, but invest in good quality products. Make sure you buy products that are proven tournament products. Have the right rod and reel for what you’re doing! A red crank bait just aint a red crank bait if it doesn’t work correctly. If a spinner bait doesn’t work properly it just wont catch as many fish. Bite the bullet and buy good stuff. Make sure you bring enough product that you do well with, do not run out! I have multiples of my favorite baits; I don’t want to run out.
Time management. This is critical to your success in tournaments. This does not mean fish too fast. This means fish every second of the day effectively. Each time you start and stop do it quickly. This will add 1-25 more casts per day in every event. If you made 25 more casts in 5 events that is 125 more chances to catch a big one! It is a percentage game and you are improving your chances. If you are the non boater, are you getting ready to go quickly? When the boater puts his pole down and grabs the trolling motor rope that’s a big clue you need to be on the move. Timing is everything!! Think how many times in practice you pull up and first or second cast BANG you get a big one! If you manage your time in tournaments you will increase these odds in your favor. I do a lot of Salmon fishing and I get asked a lot “how come you hook so many fish?” I always answer because im a tournament Bass Angler! And then respond by saying I make more casts than the average angler. Make the most of your time and you will become a better Tournament Bass Angler and a better fisherman.
I hope you can use some of these valuable tips to improve your time on the water and your success in your next Tournament.
Rons Sponsors are; Christophers Construction,Valley Oak Appliance,Abu Garcia,Trilene,Berkley,Havoc,Ima,Optimum,
Persuader Baits,Daiichi Hooks,Rod Glove,
Bass Boat Seats.com,
To learn more about Ron go to:
BPS Bass in the Grass Tips on Fishing Aquatic Vegetation (Kevin Van Dam)
With fuel prices high, trailering a boat has become more expensive. However, there are some easy ways to stretch that tank of gas with your tow vehicle. Here are ten tips from BoatUS:
Basic maintenance: Keep your tow vehicle’s engine tuned and replace the engine air filter on a periodic basis.
Drive ahead: Moderate your use of the accelerator pedal by “driving ahead” – by looking ahead and anticipating traffic, you will likely brake less aggressively and reaccelerate without having to be heavy on the fuel-hungry accelerator pedal. Take it easy when starting from a dead stop.
Stop “cruising”: With automatic transmissions, stay off the cruise control, especially when traveling in hills or mountains. Cruise control cannot anticipate going up or down a slope, and tends to use more fuel due when the transmission kicks down to a lower gear to compensate for speed loss on a hill.
Tire tip: Keep tires properly inflated to the recommended PSI on both the tow vehicle and trailer. Check PSI before every trip.
Cover up: On long trips, use a tight-fitting boat cover when towing, which helps decrease wind drag and improves fuel economy.
Lighten up: Lighten the load by carrying just what you need for the day or weekend in the tow vehicle and onboard your boat. Also, at about six pounds per gallon of gas, try to keep the boat’s fuel tank near empty when trailering long distances.
Drain it: Never leave water in a live well or bait tank. At a little over eight pounds per gallon, carrying an extra 25 gallons of water in these built-in tanks can represent 10% of the boat’s total weight. Filled wakeboard boat ballast tanks or bags can also add significantly more weight – from several hundred to over 1,000 pounds of water. Emptying tanks also slows the spread of invasive species.
Slow down: A decrease in towing speed of just five or six miles-per-hour can lead to a noticeable decrease in fuel consumption. Trailer tires have a maximum speed of 65 mph, so going over that will not only harm MPG, but could damage tires as well.
– With spring’s comes National Safe Boating Week May 21-27, which gives boaters, sailors and anglers time to reflect on and improve their own safety on the water. The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety has these five spring boat tips – but they can easily help you stay safe all summer long:
1. You’re not in a bar: “Alcohol affects you more out on the water than in an air conditioned bar,” says Foundation President Chris Edmonston. What that means is that boaters experiencing the sun, wind and waves don’t handle alcohol the same way as they would ashore. US Coast Guard studies show that reaction times are slower. Fatigue occurs sooner. It’s best to leave the alcohol for when you are safely ashore.
2. Your brother’s keeper: Don’t forget that a boat owner is also responsible for his or her guests. So while it may be common practice to allow them to drink, inebriated guests can really ruin a day when they become a safety risk or injure themselves.
3. Night operation requires extra vigilance: Operating a boat at night, with fewer visual cues, confusing background lights ashore, and other vessels moving about can be challenging. But there’s one thing you can do which solves many of these problems: slow down. By slowing down the boat you give yourself the time and room to maneuver, make safe course changes and avoid hazards such as unlit navigation aids or shoals. Your second best nighttime “tool” at your disposal: adding an extra spotter.
4. Brush up on your boating safety knowledge: Here’s a simple test: go out this weekend and identify every navigational aid you see and affirm its meaning – or better yet, identify all of them on a chart. If you can’t, it’s time to brush up on your rules of the road knowledge with a boating safety course. (BoatUS has a free online course at www.BoatUS.com/onlinecourse.)
5. Give the boat a “checkup”: A free vessel safety check by US Coast Guard Auxiliary or US Power Squadrons is a good indicator of whether you and your boat are ready to handle a bad situation and have all of the right safety gear. However, the best part is that it is not punitive, and gives you the chance to correct deficiencies. To find out how you can get one near you, go to www.safetyseal.net.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN TO REPLACE A RUBBER IMPELLER
Changing an impeller on an outboard marine engine is a common practice for do-it-yourself boat owners. With the simple steps below, boaters of any level can learn how to inspect their impeller and know when it’s time for a replacement. Making sure an impeller is in good condition can help prevent bigger engine problems down the line.
First, owners must drain water from the pump and pull the impeller out. Directions and location of where the impeller is and how to remove it can be found in an engine’s owner manual.
Then, the impeller should be tested for flexibility by pulling the rubber blades in the opposite direction it normally spins. Each blade should go back to its normal position on its own. If it cracks, there are visible cracks already present or its blades don’t go back into position, the impeller must be replaced.
If the impeller is still in good condition, it can be put back into the pump. To even out wear, owners should re-install the part in the reverse direction it was previously moving.
If an impeller won’t be employed for six months to a year, it’s a good tip to simply keep it in the box until it’s ready for use. When a pump has been left to dry, an impeller’s blades can stick to the housing and ripped off when an engine is suddenly started, leading to irreparable damage.
Boaters should also have a spare impeller handy, for emergencies and convenience.
JMP offers flexible impellers for many name-brand engine and gen-set manufacturers, with custom impellers also available. Since 1976, JMP Corporation has developed proven impeller pumps and top quality flexible rubber impellers, as well as spare parts for some name-brand companies.
Contact JMPUSA, 2000 NW 84th Ave. Suite 244, Miami, FL 33122. Tel. 305-909-0009; Fax: 305-599-0009. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.jmpusa.com. Headquarters: JMP Corporation, 617-070, 74-7, Samrak-Dong, Sasang-Gu, Busan, Korea (South Korea). +82 51 302 7337; Fax: +82 51 302 1255. www.jmp.co.kr.
Prepare for the worst in winter by Randy Walker
Winter fishing can have its ups and downs wherever you live. Fishing can be great for specific species and horrible for others. It could be pouring rain or the sun high in the sky, wind calm or blowing 30 plus…weather conditions can change on you in an instant and situations can happen in an instant.
So, your sitting in your garage the night before your trip getting everything in order for your next day trip…checking oil/gas levels, tires, getting your favorite winter time lures and rods paired up and maybe even taking a peek at your GPS or a map…but do you make sure you have an extra set of clothes on board?
This is something that I think many anglers don’t even take into consideration, which is a huge mistake in my opinion. There are many things that can ruin a day of fishing, and falling out of the boat into cold water and even colder air temps is one of them. After having a buddy of mine fall out of my boat one cold January morning, I always have an extra set of clothes on the boat. Getting dry clothes on your body as soon as possible is not only more comfortable for the unlucky person that takes a winter dip, but it can also be a huge assistance to the health of that person and begin the body/blood warming process. This is something that is so easy to do…grab an extra pair of sweats, a shirt and/or sweater/jacket, socks, and shoes…this can make a world of difference for you or your partner if falling victim to this situation. There’s even a “chance” of hypothermia…
Usually, everyone thinks about hypothermia occurring in extremely cold temps, but that doesn’t have to be the case. It can happen anytime that you are exposed to cool and damp conditions and older people are more susceptible to it. The key hypothermia symptom is an internal body temp below 95 degrees (normal body temp is 98.6), now since it is not a normal thing to carry a thermometer on the boat, there are other symptoms that you can actually see or notice:
- Uncontrollable shivering (although, at extremely low body temperatures, shivering may stop)
- Weakness and loss of coordination
- Pale and cold skin
- Drowsiness – especially in more severe stages
- Slowed breathing or heart rate
- Slowing of pace, drowsiness, fatigue
- Thickness of Speech
- Irrationality, poor judgment
- Loss of perceptual contact with environment
- Blueness of skin
- Dilation of pupils
- Decreased heart and respiration
Although you may never have a situation get this far because you would most likely leave the water and head back to the warm truck before many of these ever occur, but why not take the extra precaution and pack for the risk…good luck fishing…and stay dry! Randy Walker
Tournament boat preparation
Many tournaments will be won or lost before the boat and angler ever hit the water. Boat preparation is key along with all equipment prep. Just think that a $1.50 light bulb can send you to the back of the line for blast off.
Tackle; Empty the boat of all your tackle. Inspect rods and reels for scared eyes, dirty reels and bad line. Check all your baits for rusted and dull hooks. Label tackle boxes for quick access. Make sure every piece of tackle you will need for the body of water you are heading to is clean and ready to go. After the tackle and rods are ready, organize them in the boat in a fashion that is efficient for you.
Boat; Clean the boat and make sure all the proper maintenance has been done. Don’t be in a position where your boat is over due for maintenance and run the risk of breaking down. Grease the fittings on the outboard, remove any line that may be caught in the props of your outboard and trolling motor. Inspect things like battery connections , running lights, tires on the trailer plus the spare. Be sure to have tools in the boat for minor repairs, jumper cables. I even carry a spare bilge pump that can used as a live well pump in an emergency.
My best advice is to make a check list of all things that need to be in the boat for a tournament day and a list to prepare for boat readiness, I simply go down and check off duties on the list as I do them.
Remember that the mechanics of tournament fishing starts well before blast off! Arrange your boat in a way the is comfortable and efficient for you. Its very hard to work well in a cluttered work space, your boat is no different! Good Luck!