Spring Prep

Another winter is in the books, the water is warming and the fish are getting more and more active by the day.  In years past, I have been chomping at the bit to get on the water.  This year is no different but I have taken a different approach.  Boat maintenance has been a top priority for me as I prepare for the upcoming guiding and tournament season.

Last winter I took my boat in to get winterized and have the oil change.  Along with that yearly maintenance, I had a list of smaller things that I had looked at.  As a guide and tournament angler, there is no time for you equipment to be down during the season.  Luckily for us anglers in the northern part of the country, we have the winter time to get our boats in peak shape for the next year.  Because our peak season is so busy, small fixes often get put off until this time.  I like to keep a list throughout the year of things I need to check out or fix so that when I have some spare time, I use it to fix the issue instead of trying to think what it was that I wanted to fix.

I fish a lot on Lake St. Clair.  Rough water likes to do damage to boats.  No matter what kind of boat you run, if we hit enough big waves, things are going to break.  This does not always mean major things.  A couple small things I had fixed on my Ranger were some carpet in my rod locket peeling back and a rubber trim piece in my livewell coming unglued.  Both of these things seem minimal, but when you have clients in the boat, you want your equipment looking great.  Another thing that I am sure resulted from the big waves, are some rivets on my deck lids breaking.  Ranger warrantied this work for me and replaced the lids with brand new ones.  There were a few other small things I had taken care of over but what I am getting at is, make sure you don’t overlook the small stuff.  Get it done and keep your to do list to a minimum.  Your equipment will look great and your only worry on the water will be about catching fish.

Along with those repairs and maintenance, I have been working towards building up spare parts, as well as the tools needed to fix things on the fly.  The last month or so I compiled a list of things I wanted to purchase to be ready for any situation.  I will list my items below.  If you have any feedback on this, or things that you think are very important to have, I’d love to hear from you.  As anglers, we can help each other be prepared for any situation we face on the road or on the water.

  • -hydraulic fluid
  • -wheel bearing/hub assembly/grease
  • -spare trolling motor prop
  • -spare winch strap
  • -prop hub kit/spare prop
  • -wrench/socket set
  • -screwdrivers and torque bits
  • -wire cutters/spare terminals
  • -electrical tape
  • -fuses

Along with the things I listed above, I always travel with a jack and a lug wrench.  Most boats these days have a spare tire mounted on the trailer.  I can tell you from experience; it is not fun being stranded on the side of the expressway without the tools to get your trailer back up and going.

I hope this blog helped you prepare yourself and your equipment for the upcoming season.  If you have any suggestions for me, I’d love to hear them.  Keep up with your maintenance and prepare yourself for the worst and you can travel and fish with the peace of mind that you are ready for whatever is thrown at you.

Marcel's Guide Service

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Specializing in Michigan's Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass fishing. Come experience the great bass fishing that Lake St.Clair, Lake Erie or any of the  Michigan inland lakes has to offer and learn from a tournament pro. Whether you are an experienced tournament angler or a novice looking for an instructional trip to hone your skills, I can tailor your trip to meet your needs. 

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