man and woman standing face to face holding plastics with fish
Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev on

The first mental preparations you make this spring should be to decide on a boat to fish from and a place to fish. The boat will be your home away from home, so you should be sure that it is comfortable and safe.

We have always said that the most successful anglers spend more time fishing and less time repairing their boats. Your future fishing success can depend on how well you prepare your boat for the season. Here are some tips on how to get your boat ready for the spring fishing season.

Tip #1: The Water Is Going To Be Cold – Dress Appropriately

You’re going to want to keep the water temperature in mind when you’re gearing up for an outing. If the water is still too cold for swimming, you might want to skip the Speedos and opt for a pair of waders and some rubber boots.

Tip #2: Use A Top-Notch Rod And Reel   

Fishing rods and reels are an essential part of the fishing gear. The rod is used to catch the fish using a hook, and the reel is used to reel in the fish. Choosing the right rod or speargun is crucial if you do not want to lose your catch. We recommend using high-quality, high-performance equipment for your fishing rod and reel. If you are serious about fishing, consider getting your equipment instead of borrowing one from a friend.

The rod and reel you use depends on where you will be fishing and what kind of fish you want to catch. For instance, if you plan to go deep-sea fishing, it’s good to buy long fishing rods. Using longer poles will have a greater distance from your boat and more control over where you cast your line. However, if you’re going fishing in ponds or lakes, a longer pole will get stuck in the underwater plants when reeling in the fish. You can also buy rod holders for your boat to keep your pole in place even when you’re moving around the boat. Find out more here.

Tip #3:Plan your Trip Ahead of Time.

If you have done some fishing in the area, you’ll have a good idea of the times of year the fish move. The majority of fish will be found in deep water during the winter months, so it’s good to plan a winter fishing trip. If you don’t know where to go, then research the best places to fish in your area and look at average temperatures and weather patterns over a specific period.

For example, if you’re fishing for fluke around the Cape Fear River Inlet, you’re likely to find them suspended in water about 8–12 feet deep on a falling tide. To land a big one, position yourself so that you drift down an incoming tide, with all three trolling motors going. (If you don’t know how to use trolling motors, ask someone at the boatyard or make a quick trip to the bait shop to pick up some pointers).

Tip #4:Check your Oil.

If your oil is below the minimum level on your stick, start with that first and work your way through the list. Remember, even if you have an automatic oil change feature on your boat, you still need to check how much oil is available. If it’s low, stop at a gas station and add. Most gas stations will sell their used oil for little more than a few dollars, and you can use that to top off your tank during the season.

What Else Do I Need To Check?

  • Before even starting up the engine, your first step is to check your tires. Look for any cracks or bulges that could pose a potential hazard. Also, make sure your tires are inflated to the proper PSI. You can find a sticker on the driver’s door jamb with the correct PSI or consult your owner’s manual.
  • Check the water pressure in your hydraulic steering system, fuel lines and throttle control movement.
  • Give your engine a tune-up
  • Check all hoses, belts and wires for cracks or breaks and any air or water leaks.
  • Clean and inspect the engine compartment and bilge area.
  • Check steering and steering cable operation.
  • Inspect the sliding surfaces of the boat for damage (ski surfaces, trim tabs, etc.) and make repairs as necessary.
  • Get a new detail and a new paint job. Clean and polish your boat, inside and out, then touch up any areas where paint is peeling or chipped.

Tip #5: Don’t Forget To Check Your Anchor Rope

Your anchor is essential for ensuring that you don’t get dragged by rough winds or strong currents, so don’t forget to check your rope before heading out into open waters!

Tip #6: Give Everything A Good Look Over

When cleaning your rod and reel, you should give it a good look over to determine what needs to be done on each piece. For instance, if you notice that grease is on a reel or a specific part of a rod is rusty, you know what needs to be done to clean them. If you can’t see any problems on your rods or reels as you look over them before cleaning, then clean them both simultaneously. This will prevent any unnecessary wear and tear on your reel while using it on the water. When cleaning your fishing rods, use a lightly dampened rag to wipe down the rod while taking care not to get the inside of the reel wet.

Tip #7:Get added value from your trip by including a quick stop at an exciting place like a lighthouse, historical site or scenic overlook. To make it a more enjoyable outing for everyone aboard, here’s what you can do to help.

  • Plan a fun route that will take in shoreline sites and have a snack on board.
  • Stop at an interesting site along the way and plan to spend 20 minutes having everyone get out and stretch their legs.
  •  Include something to look forward to, such as a picnic, or just enough time to buy a treat or souvenir en route to the fishing spot.