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September 08’ Forecast - Snookin’ in the Everglades

On: Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 1:51PM | By: Florida Marine Times


The Dog Days of Summer were dog-gone good. The July/August period is one of my personal favorites. However, September and October offer up some of the best fishing of the year. Throughout the summer we have been playing with juvenile Tarpon. The juvies are still plentiful, but by fall, they have grown up to become teenagers and young adults—full of fire and energy. Most importantly, unlike teenagers, they also become fairly predictable in their feeding patterns. Tarpon can be very finicky, so September and October can be a refreshing reprieve for Tarpon anglers. They actually eat regularly. Deep in the back country shallows the water can seem almost stagnant. While it is not, the water is the warmest of the year. This is ideal conditions for our “poonettes.“ The tarpon has a modified swim bladder that allows it to supplement its oxygen uptake. To do they must roll on the surface and “gulp” air.

Warm water has a significantly lower oxygen concentration than cooler water and the Tarpon roll regularly. This make it easy to pattern their movements and get a fly in front of them. The “Black Death” fly was the “ticket” in the August. Although, I would suspect that any dark pattern would work well. This fishing should hold strong into early October. September brings in fall, and fall brings in the greatest concentration of Redfish of the year. Still readily taking top waters on the bars, your best bet, however, is something sub-service. The will be lots of bait around. So much so, sometimes, that is about all you can get them to eat on the outside. The near shore structure will still be holding permit schools. While a live crab is the bait of choice, this time of year the will run down a fly or a jig readily. The end of October means a bit of change. The water begins to cool; we may see a cool front or two. Cobia, Spanish Mackerel, Blue Fish, Speckled Trout all begin to show up at their winter residence. September and October in the Everglades National Park mean great fishing for all species. But nothing is better than the Snookin’.

The Snook have all spawned by now and have lost their “rut” tendencies. Now is the time for them to start fattening up for the winter time. The fish that you catch in September and October will, in general, be pounds lighter than those in the summer. However, they are bad! A 15 lb Snook in the fall, puts a 20+ fish in the summer to shame. They are aggressive, aerobatic, and hungry. September 1st marks the first of the fall harvest season, so there will be more boats on the water than we are used to. But after the hoorah of the first two weeks, things get back to normal. The kids are back in school, so mid-week we anglers have this wonderful National Park to ourselves until the weekend. Top waters, twitch baits, jigs and flies; all are good in the fall. Sight fishing is excellent. Live bait is plentiful. However, the kayak fishing is outstanding. Most weekends I prefer the Yak Attack kayak fishing trips. We access fish that others simply can not get to and we are usually way out of the way of all “weekend warriors.” I say that “tongue-in-cheek.” We are spoiled here in the Park as we can often make a 20-mile run down the coast and see but a few boats. In terms of fishing and boating pressure, the busiest days on the water here are like a Wednesday night in most other places in the State. I guess we are spoiled. October also kicks off our camping season.

Each weekend we venture deep into the Park for over-nighters. Outfitted with a 40,000 BTU four-burner stove, 140,000 BTU side burner, three supper coolers, excellent groceries and refreshments, individual tents, six-inch air mattresses, the Yak Attack and six outfitted fishing kayaks, we have a serious good time. You are welcome to fish as hard, as long and as often as you care to. Although, I do suggest that you not miss the mid-afternoon nap. The trips really are something special that the whole family can enjoy. As side note, we are re-working www.ChokoloskeeCharters.com after 12 years. Look for the re-release of the site in October. As well, keep a eye out for the release of www.EvergladesFlyFishing.com Tight Lines!! Capt. Charles Wright www.ChokoloskeeCharters.com www.EvergladesKayakFishing.com 239-695-9107


Boaters: Throttle Back, Save Gas, Save Manatees!

On: Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 1:42PM | By: Florida Marine Times


The Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year, especially on the waterways. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s 2007 Boating Accident Statistical Report states, “With well over 1 million vessels registered in the state, Florida leads the nation in the number of vessels . . . and has the highest number of boating fatalities annually.” Boat traffic can double or triple on holiday weekends, and dangerous conditions for the slow-moving manatees, as well as for families out boating, can increase dramatically. “Manatee deaths from boat collisions continue to be the leading known cause of manatee mortality,” said Patrick Rose, Executive Director of Save the Manatee Club. “This year, with gas prices on the rise, it makes good sense for the boating community to throttle back – take some of the pressure off their pocketbooks and at the same time help make Florida’s busy waterways safer. Going slower may improve your boat’s gas mileage and certainly improves the manatees’ chances of making it through the long weekend uninjured.

” Throttling back also reduces boat wakes, which can cause damage to property, such as seawalls and moored boats. To help protect manatees on a year-round basis, boaters should follow all posted boat speed regulations, slow down if manatees are in the vicinity, and stay in deep water channels when possible. If you see an injured, dead, tagged or orphaned manatee, or a manatee who is being harassed, call the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) or #FWC or *FWC on your cellular phone, or use VHF Channel 16 on your marine radio. Also, find out how you can make your own boating experience safer by taking a boating safety course. For more information on classes, go to Save the Manatee Club’s website at the “Manatee Protection Tips for Boaters” page found at http://www.savethemanatee.org/boatertips.htm. Florida business owners, marinas, dive shops, parks, libraries, and schools who are interested in obtaining a free “Boat Safely” manatee conservation poster should contact Save the Manatee Club via e-mail at education@savethemanatee.org, by regular mail at 500 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland, FL 32751, or by calling toll free at 1-800-432-JOIN (5646). Please include your contact information along with full information on where the poster will be displayed.


Weather—A Big Factor In Our Fishing

On: Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 1:40PM | By: Captain Van Hubbard


Our hurricane season started off slow, but was rocking as I put this together, and we have two more months to deal with. We do have good quality fishing, we just need to work around this wind and rain to enjoy it safely. Snook are in season, and it has not been crowded because of the weather. Redfish and Trout are also ready to cooperate. Inside fishing is available even if weather conditions are not perfect. Please do not be foolish and push your luck in dangerous conditions. Outside fishing will pick up and should excel with all the rough seas that allow fish to rest and regroup. Your hot GPS numbers should be cooking when ever you can get to em. Play it safe, but enjoy some great fishing.

Snook are our target species most of the time now but Redfish and Trout are mixed up together this time of the year. Baitfish have been abundant and I expect a banner Fall of fish catching. Minnows are growing up into first class baits. No one knows what we can expect from Mother Nature for weather; we just play the cards we are dealt. Safety is necessary and a top priority. We can enjoy some of the best catching action even if it is not chamber of commerce conditions. I personally prefer minnows for bait, but lures catch plenty of fish. Just select a few and learn to fish them effectively. Soft plastics are easy but top water baits can be the most fun. Fish should be hungry, so move around and do not waste time if no one is home at your favorite spot. Snook are moving inland and Reds to the Gulf; food migrates too. Note bird activity because they eat the same foods as fish. We should enjoy awesome offshore fishing between the rough stormy weather.

Grouper and Snapper are ready to bend your gear and add treats to your table. Kings and Spanish Mackerel are due by the end of the month. Storms can alter their time table so get ready for Fall migrations as they could surprise us anytime. Since fuel prices are up utilize your local tackle shops for up to the minute info. Use the coconut telegraph to share info among friends. Work together just stay off your benefactor’s toes. Trolling and drifting allows you to locate scattered fish by covering more ground. Please remember the venting, de-hooker tools and circle hooks. Our conditions can be challenging, but the rewards are available; just play it safe. Let’s go fishin’ soon. Capt. Van Hubbard info@captvan.com


Red Grouper Hot Offshore Anna Maria Island

On: Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 1:33PM | By: Captain Larry McGuire


Fishing picked right back up after tropical storm Fay cleared up. We are catching big Red and Gag Grouper, Cobia, Mangrove Snappers, Triggerfish, Barracudas, and lots of Sharks. Best action is out past 90 ft. offshore of Anna Maria Island. Live and cut bait are both working. Now is the time to get out and go fishing while the weather is nice. Tight lines and good fishing Capt. Larry McGuire Show Me The Fish Charters 941-720-6475


 

October 2008 Saltwater Fishing Forecast

On: Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 1:29PM | By: Captain Sergio Atanes


Water temperatures are on the down slide, which means hot fish bites. This is one of the better months for fishing Cobia along the channel and range markers inside the bay. The best times are towards the end of either incoming or outgoing tides. The slack tides allow the Cobia to surface feed on the small baits around the structures. Live pinfish suspended several feet under a large cork works great, as this helps keep the bait in sight of the Cobia long enough to get a strike. Mangrove Snapper move into the artificial reefs and rock piles striking small greenbacks and live shrimp. Use a #1 jay hook or a 1/0 circle hook with a small lead just enough to get to the bottom. Trout action kicks in as the water temperature drops.

Try using top water plugs in the morning, and, as the day progresses, move to a medium runner plug or jigs. Snook have moved back inside the bay this month along the shores of Cockroach Bay, Bishop Harbor, and Joel’s Island. After a long hot summer they start to settle down and get back to their normal feeding pattern; early morning and late evenings and, of course, always at night. Live greenbacks are a must as long as the bait is in the bay. Shrimp works great at night free-lined under the lights and top water plugs early in the morning. Redfish schools will move in around the oyster beds with the incoming tide, and small blue crabs or medium greenbacks are bound to get a hit. I have found some of the new scented baits on the market work great for just leaving on the bottom, and, in some cases, it’s out fished live bait. Artificial reefs start producing some of the best Grouper catches this time of year. I prefer frozen Spanish sardines suspended several feet from the bottom, using a 5/0 circle hook, leaving the rod in the rod holder, and the Grouper will hook himself. Meanwhile, you’re fishing with a light tackle for Mangroves and Sea Bass. Capt. Sergio Atanes S & I Charters, Inc. www.reelfishy.com


A Few fish tails from the reelin & chillin

On: Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 1:17PM | By: Captain Terry Frankford


The Reelin & Chillin was able to find several species with Redfish topping the list. Also, Mangrove Snapper were plentiful; Spotted Sea Trout were hanging in the grass flats. A fly fishing trip was almost scrapped due to wind, however we still made it happen. Enjoy a few fish tails aboard the Reelin & Chillin: Scott Blankenbicker with ten year-old daughter, Sara, and friend, Makaela, headed out for an afternoon charter. After hitting several spots we finally found some nice Redfish on a dock in North Sarasota Bay. Sara picked up her first Red ever at nineteen inches. Soon after, her friend, Makaela, hooked into a huge twenty-eight inch fish. Dad and I just sat back and had a ball watching two ten year-old lady anglers having a ball. Later we moved to a grass flats area hoping to get into some screaming action with Spanish Mackerel. No Mackerel; however Sara managed to catch another Red measuring twenty-two inches. Father & son team Randy and Justin Scheule requested a little spin and fly fishing. No problem when they booked, however on the day of the charter the wind forecast was between ten and twenty-five knots.

We headed out thinking fly fishing was a bust and decided to just go spinning. We hit a couple spots around some mangroves protected from the wind. The second spot—pay dirt. Both anglers caught Redfish until the six dozen select shrimp were gone. My guess is we caught and released at least a dozen Reds. We then headed for the grass flats, netting a couple hundred sardines on the way. Seeing terns hitting bait on the flats we put the power pole down and had non-stop action for the remainder of the trip. Trout, Snapper, and one Ladyfish were feeding on the bait with the terns. In the last twenty minutes Randy decided to try a fly. Casting adjacent to the wind, he had no problem getting the fly out. I chummed the water with live sardines as they casted. Long story short, several Trout and Mangrove Snapper were caught on the fly by both anglers. He was casting a floating fly line with a chartreuse Clouser fly.

Captain’s Tip—A little chumming never hurts I know it’s not what the purist fly or lure angler has in mind, however a little chumming can make a big difference in putting more fish on the line. It’s different when in your own town, and on your own boat with plenty of time; however when you only have four hours on a charter to put fish on the line, a little chumming goes a long way. On the above trip we knew fish were in the area because we were catching them with live bait. When the fly rod was brought out I would chum with five or six sardines on almost every cast. We could see the fish hitting the surface, and they didn’t hesitate hitting the fly. Some anglers use a plastic ball bat with the end of the bat cut out. I rigged up a plastic gin bottle with the bottom cut out and an old rake handle stuck in the neck end of the bottle. The gin bottle was used because the plastic is thicker than, like, a soda two-liter bottle. I used the rake handle because I wanted it a little longer than the standard plastic bat so I could get more distance. I put a half dozen, or so, sardines in the bottle—spin them around a few times to get them dizzy then fling them into the target area. Give it a try sometime; it works great for both fly and spin fishing.

Tight lines & good times, Capt. Terry Frankford Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc. 941-228-7802


Sarasota Area Fishing Report

On: Tue, Sep 2, 2008 at 2:28PM | By: Captain Terry Frankford


Capt. Terry Frankford The Reelin & Chillin was able to find, several species with redfish topping the list. Also, mangrove snapper were plentiful, spotted sea trout were hanging in the grass flats. A fly fishing trip was almost scrapped do to wind, however we still made it happen. Enjoy a few fish tails aboard the Reelin & Chillin: Scott Blankenbicker with ten year old daughter Sara, and friend Makaela headed out for an afternoon charter. After hitting several spots we finally found some nice redfish on a dock in North Sarasota Bay.

Sara picked up her first red ever at nineteen inches. Soon after, her friend Makaela hooked into a huge twenty-eight inch fish. Dad and I just sat back and had a ball watching two ten year old lady anglers having a ball. Later we moved to a grass flats area hoping to get into some screaming action with spanish mackerel. No mackerel, however Sara managed to catch another red measuring in at twenty-two inches. Father & Son team Randy and Justin Scheule requested a little spin, and fly fishing. No problem when they booked, however on the day of the charter the wind forecast was between ten and twenty-five knots. We headed out thinking fly fishing was a bust and decided to just go spinning.

We hit a couple spots around some mangroves protected from the wind. The second spot - pay dirt. Both angler's caught redfish until the six dozen select shrimp were gone. My guess is we caught and released at least a dozen reds. We then headed for the grass flats netting a couple hundred sardines on the way. Seeing terns hitting bait on the flats we put the power pole down and had non-stop action for the remainder of the trip. Trout, snapper, and one ladyfish were feeding on the bait with the terns. In the last twenty minutes Randy decided to try a fly. Casting adjacent to the wind. he had no problem getting the fly out. I chummed the water with live sardines as they casted. Long story short several trout and mangrove snapper were caught on the fly by both anglers. He was casting a floating fly line with a chartreuse Clouser fly. Captain's Tip -A little chumming never hurts I know it's not what the purest fly or lure angler has in mind, however a little chumming can make a big difference in putting more fish on the line.

It's different when in your own town, and on your own boat with plenty of time, however when you only have four hours on a charter to put fish on the line, a little chumming goes a long way. On the above trip we knew fish were in the area because we were catching them with live bait. When the fly rod was brought out I would chum with five or six sardines on almost every cast. We could see the fish hitting the surface, and they didn't hesitate hitting the fly. Some anglers use a plastic ball bat with the end of the bat cut out. I rigged up a plastic gin bottle with the bottom cut out and an old rake handle stuck in the neck end of the bottle. The gin bottle was used because the plastic is thicker than like a soda two liter bottle. I used the rake handle because I wanted it a little longer than the standard plastic bat so I could get more distance. I put a half dozen or so sardines in the bottle - spin them around a few times to get them dizzy then fling them into the target area. Give it a try sometime, it works great for both fly and spin fishing. Tight Lines & Good Times, Capt. Terry Frankford Reelin & Chillin Charters Inc. 941-228-7802 terry.frankford@verizon.net www.charterfishingsarasota.com


Fishing Report, Jacksonville, Fl. Areas

On: Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 6:58AM | By: Captain Vic Tison


CREEKS - The redfish in the creeks are on and off this past week. During the first part of the week they were doing good then slowed down the last couple of days and I think that was due partly because of that low pressure spinning around almost on top of us. It's now moving up the coast so the bite should get better and better again as the barometer should be rising again. The flounder in the creeks have been showing up more and more. They're not as large as the flounder will be later on in the year during our 'fall flounder run' but you can sure luck up on some 4 to 6 pounders during the summer if you concentrate on them enough. Spotted trout are still downtown and south of downtown Jacksonville as the salinity line just keep staying down that way this year. We actually need some rain about 100 to 125 miles south of here to flush the salt-line back to where it usually is. I know, we're having rain almost each and every day but when it rains here the fresh water gets flushed out too quickly to make a difference. Schools of hungry jacks blow up here and there so keep a top water lure tied on for some fun action when you see the water surface start to explode. Just drive right up to the splashing water and cast out and hang on.

JETTIES: The action at the jetties has picked up for some real rod-bending. Bull, (oversized) redfish, tarpon, bull sharks, black tip sharks, nurse sharks, larger jacks, a few cobia and even a few kingfish are being caught at the rocks and just outside. Believe it or not there are a few black drum still around. I don't ever recall black drum staying around here this late in the summer but we've caught some 4 to 12 pounders and friends of mine are saying they're still catching a few also. Whiting and yellow mouth trout are hit and miss right now but should be picking up better this time of the year. Some small sea bass with a few nice sized ones mixed in at the rocks and the mangrove snapper are looking better than last year's crop. I can't wait for sheepshead season. Come on October! How would you like to spend two hours chasing a king-sized shark like Skip and Steve did this day. Man, can that Shakespeare Ugly Stick take the punishment!

RIVER: Bull redfish, black drum, yellow mouth trout, whiting and small croakers are all hitting in the rivers now. We've even caught some yellow mouth large enough to eat a 5" croaker. Now that's nice. If you're lucky enough to find one of the "secret spots" some people are hitting the croakers are nice sized ones, especially for this time of the year. I've actually had people show me some 1 1/2 and 2 pound croakers at the ramps but they sure aren't going to tell you where they're getting them. I know down around the Buckman Bridge usually during July and August they're some real nice croakers but I really haven't found any over 1 1/2 pounds myself. Schools of jacks are up and down the river. Just look for splashing surface water and drive to them in a hurry. They're be back down and schooling bait up again and may show up 500' away from that spot. Spotted trout downtown and south of downtown to past the Buckman Bridge. Here's a couple of nice river-reds.

SURF: Kingfish in the surf? Yes. They're regularly catching kings right off the pier now. I've actually seen photos of three up to 40 pounds that was caught in the last few days. There was a nice tarpon hooked up at the pier yesterday also. Whiting and pompano are hitting Ok. I wouldn't say it's really hot for these two species but you can catch enough for dinner. Flounder and black drum are being caught in the surf along with a few redfish. Of course the sharks are out there too so be careful not to wade out, especially if you smell like bait.

OFFSHORE: My good friend Captain Chad Starling of Team Buck Rogers Fishing Charters tells me the hottest thing going right now is Kingfish. Slow trolling or drifting with live bait will work best. Several 40's and a couple 50's have been caught during tournaments this year. Several sailfish have been hooked over the past few weeks. Live bait or skirted ballyhoo work best. Please take the time to revive these fish; take your picture and get them back in the water as soon as possible. Amberjacks are running a close second. Live bait over artificial wrecks or butterfly jigs work great for amberjack and fish in the 40lb range have been pretty regular. Make sure you have heavy gear and you have the drag set right because they will test your equipment and your back! They love a big bait. Grunts and beeliners are probably best. Make sure the bait is really frisky though. They like a challenge. If the bait is half dead, they will swim by it all day without eating. If your bait makes a run for it, hold on! If you have back problems, they will either fix it or make it worse. Bottom fishing has been red hot for red snapper, vermillion snapper, mangrove snapper, and some grouper. Vermillions up to 3 lbs have been coming over the rails if you make it outside 25 miles.

Please everyone, let's keep the sandwich and snack wrappers, drink cans and fishing line out of our waterways. If we all take our trash back to the cans at the ramp we can sure improve the quality of our favorite past time and save our waterways for our children and grandchildren. Captain Vic Tison Co-Host of WOKV's 'Just Fishing' Radio Show, Saturdays 6:00am to 8:00am United States Coast Guard Licensed Captain International Game Fish Assoc. Certified Captain Regional Director for the Florida Guides Assoc. Member of the National Assoc. of Charterboat Operators Member of the American Professional Captain's Association Sponsor of The Inshore Saltwater Anglers Club Vic2Fish & Adventures, Inc. P O Box 28208 Jax., Fl. 32226 904-699-2285 Web Site http://vic2fish.com


Jigging for Golden Nuggets

On: Thu, Aug 7, 2008 at 12:21PM | By: Merry Beth Ryan


Often referred to as "golden nuggets" pompano are a highly sought after fish. Pompano invade our inshore waters late fall and early winter. Once the water temperatures drop into the 70's the pompano head inshore to feed on small crabs, shrimp, and any other tidbits such as sand fleas they can find. Pompano are a very elusive fish to say the least. Just as with many other species of fish they are there one day and gone the next. Patience is a must while fishing for pompano. You will have to do some running around while at the same time doing your homework on their patterns. Just when you think you have them figured out they throw you a curve ball and your back to playing hide and seek with them.

The good news is once you do locate them your rewards will be well worth your efforts. Pompano will skip right out of the water which helps locate them. There is no need to put your engines into overdrive to locate the pomps. A slow moving boat keeping a steady pace will actually work to your advantage verses cruising through a school of pompano at a high rate of speed. If you are operating your boat too fast and happen to run through a school of pompano you will quickly see just how fast they can disappear. Keep your eyes peeled and when you spot a school of ladyfish that usually is a good indicator that pompano are scattered in with them as well. Another thing to watch for are schools of bat rays and stingrays they too will attract pompano to follow in tandem them eating all the goodies they raise up from the sandy bottom. Where you see one pompano skittering across the surface you are bound to see others close by. I can remember the first time I spotted a pompano skip out of the water and it nearly landed in the boat I was in.


MIDSUMMER BOAT MAINTENANCE TIPS

On: Wed, Aug 6, 2008 at 10:29AM | By: BoatUS


ALEXANDRIA, VA, August 6, 2008 - Seaworthy, the newsletter from BoatU.S. that helps boaters and anglers prevent damage to their vessels, recently looked into some of the more common reasons for on-the-water boat troubles that occur mid-season. "Preventive maintenance will help you avoid the headaches and keep your crew or fishing buddies comfortable and safe," says Seaworthy Editor Bob Adriance. "So going over the boat's systems in the spring is very important. But now after a couple months of use, it's time to look at things again. A midsummer check-up will ensure you make it back to home port without a problem." Here are some midsummer maintenance tips for both power and sailboats:

  • Through-hulls: Make a thorough check around any below-the-waterline hole or opening. Check all through-hulls for leaks and cycle seacocks to ensure they close properly. If it's hard to move the handle, make a note to service it next time the boat is out of the water. Any hose clamps should be tight and hose ends secure. A bilge pump cycle counter is a simple upgrade and the best early warning system that unwanted water is coming aboard.
  • Engine belts: For inboard engines, look in areas near the belts checking for evidence of black dust - a sure sign that engine pulleys need to be realigned and the belt replaced. Push on the longest run of the belt - it should not deflect more than one half inch.
  • Engine hoses: Squeeze coolant and fuel hoses with your hands, looking for softness, cracks or bulges. Replace any that are suspect. Wiggle the ends to ensure they are secure and inspect for any possible chafing issues in the engine compartment.
  • Sterndrives: Inspect the folds in the bellows and replace if they show signs of cracking.
  • Sacrificial zincs and anodes: A wasted zinc is a sure sign of trouble, possibly stray current at the dock. Ensure all zincs are no less than half gone - and replace them now if they are.
  • Control cables: Look for chafe, splits or swelling of the plastic jacket - a sure sign the cable needs replacement.
  • Outboard engine mounts: Smaller engines can sometimes vibrate loose, so re-tighten clamps and ensure the cut-off switch is operable.
  • Hydraulic steering system and trim tabs: Ensure reservoirs are full. If you have to add fluid, there is leak that must be fixed immediately.
  • Batteries and electrical system: Dead batteries are often nothing more than corroded connections - sandpaper can easily clean them up. With conventional batteries check water levels and add if necessary. Inspect cables and wiring for chafe, especially wherever they may pass through a bulkhead.
  • Shorepower cable: Look for burn marks on the plug ends and the connection to the boat. Replace both the plug and receptacle immediately if you find any.
  • Head: If your boat has a flushing toilet and its handle is getting hard to operate, you've likely got calcium buildup. Pour a cup of vinegar into bowl pumping only once or twice. Let it sit for one night before flushing with one-fourth cup of mineral oil.
  • On deck: Old, stiff, or chafed dock lines should be replaced. Also check anchor line and chain shackles and any splices.
  • Sailboats only: Look for any broken strands on standing rigging. You can find them by running a loose rag up the rigging, which will snag on any broken ends. Cracked swages are an indicator for immediate replacement. Contact a rigger if you suspect a problem. Running rigging also needs to be looked at - especially the roller furling line.
  • Trailers: Inspect bearings and ensure they are well packed with grease. Hydraulic brake reservoirs should be full. Lastly, check the tires for wear and ensure lugs are tight.

    BoatU.S. - Boat Owners Association of The United States - is the nation's leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its 650,000 members with a wide array of consumer services. For membership information visit http://www.BoatUS.com or call 800-395-2628.