Boat Time, Time to Get 'Er Ready!

As I write this blog (Monday, March 17th), the thoughts of heading south to Grand Lake are on my mind—11 days and counting! To get to the point of hooking up my Ranger boat and hitting the water, a lot of time and work must be done to getting ready.

It goes without saying that I've been spooling reels with fresh line, organizing tackle and rigging rods, so I'm ready to make my first cast of 2014, but there is a lot of other work that must be accomplished that often gets overlooked.

Here are some of the small, yet very important items that all anglers should do before they pull their boat of the garage for that first fishing trip of the year:

1.Make sure you batteries (cranking and trolling motor) are holding a charge.

2. Spin your motor's prop to make sure it rotates smoothly and no oil residue on the base of the prop (where it touches the lower unit of the motor).

3. Make sure your boat navigation lights work.

4. Be sure to put your life jackets and throwable flotation cushion back in the boat.

5. Have a stocked first-aid kit.

6. Download software updates for all of your electronics.

7. See if a new navigation card is available for the bodies of water you intend on fishing.

8. Have a spare set of boat keys (starting key, locker keys, etc.) in a separate location.

9. Make sure your boat registration is current.

10.Pick up new 2014 fishing and boating regulation booklets.

There will, of course, be other items you need to take care of on your boat before it hits the water, but I hope this list addressed those items, and perhaps jogs for additional items if necessary.

Have a fun and safe first fishing trip of 2014!

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