Gone FishingPhotos By Lenny Rudow
Published: Fall 2013
According to a recent report, 60 percent of boats are purchased for fishing. A few of those even catch some.
Always dump a tray or two of ice into the fish box before you head for the ramp. By the time you get there, the fish box will be chilled down a bit, and when you put in bags of ice to cool down the catch, it won't have the usual initial melt-off.
Always rinse down your reels if they're exposed while trailering, just as you would after saltwater use. Blowing road grime always seems to make its way into moving parts.
When putting fishing rods in the bed of a pickup to trailer down the road, always lay them with the butt end toward the front of the truck. Lain tip-first, they may break if you have to slam on the brakes and momentum carries them forward.
If you don't have a fish box aboard where your catch can go safely, a quick way to stop your big catch from flopping around is to blow, spray (with a spray bottle), or pour whiskey, rum, or vodka into its mouth and into its gills. This is easier if you can lift the fish by the leader.
Never leave aluminum-handled landing nets in a vertical rod holder while trailering. The wind blast can be strong enough to bend the handle. They can also blow out on the highway. Secure well.
Stowing outriggers for the haul down the highway is a major-league hassle, especially when the lines get tangled. To prevent this problem, wrap the lines from eyelet to eyelet on the rigger, around the eyelet's bases. Then use a short bungee cord going from the end of the line to the next closest eyelet, to tension it in place.
Talk About Road Rage!
If you have fish boxes that drain into the bilge or evacuate via float-controlled pumps, be sure to pump them out before you hit the road for home. Otherwise, the guy in the lane next to you will be thoroughly upset when you hit the gas, bloody water sloshes aft to the float switch, and fish gore goes shooting onto his car.
Never tow for more than a few miles at relatively high speeds with rigged rods in a vertical position. Particulates in the air will have a damaging effect on the line, reducing its breaking strength. If you've just towed home with the rods stowed like that after a day of fishing, cut off and throw away the first 10 feet of line before re-rigging them. Secure rods to prevent them blowing out of the holders while on the road.
Never leave a Gulp brand plastic bait on a jig head when you pull the boat and head down the road. Wind blast will dry it out in no time, and the plastic will turn rock hard, ruining your jig. Bonus Tip: If this happens, place the jig in a bucket of water overnight. The plastic will usually rehydrate, and in the morning you'll be able to salvage the jig head.
On a related note, never drop a used-up plastic bait or piece of one down on the deck to pick up "later." They're as slick as grease underfoot.