Preparing Your Boat for Spring Fishing

Spring marks an excellent time for fishing, with the warming water enticing lethargic fish to become more active and hungry. To ensure you can partake in this seasonal fishing excitement, it’s essential to get your boat ready for spring. A practical approach might involve revisiting your winterizing checklist and working through it in reverse order.

  1. Uncover the Boat: If your boat was covered during the winter, start the preparation process by removing the cover temporarily and conducting a thorough inspection. Ideally, periodic checks on the boat’s status have been made over winter, but overlooking or remote storage situations can happen. Examine the entire boat for general condition and look for any visible damage caused by weather or animals.
  2. Prioritize Safety Equipment: During the boat preparation for spring, prioritize checking all safety equipment early in the process. Ensure that personal flotation devices (PFDs) are still in good condition. Evaluate the age and functionality of the fire extinguisher. Inspect ropes for signs of wear and fraying.
  3. Address Minor Repairs: Insert the boat plug, reattach hoses that were removed, and inspect for loose connections. Check hoses for any cracks or signs of brittleness; replace them before refilling any fluids.
  4. Thoroughly Examine Trailer Tires: Ensuring your boat can confidently travel to and from the water is crucial when preparing for spring. Assess the spare tire’s condition and examine the wheel bearings. Determine the last time the wheel bearings were inspected.
  5. Verify Electronics and Batteries: Charge batteries and test all electronic equipment. Don’t overlook testing the trailer lights to avoid any complications.
  6. Motor Test: When preparing the boat motor for spring, use an intake plug and water hose to test the motor in the driveway. This proactive approach can help identify and address any potential issues before encountering congestion at the boat ramp.
  7. Update Paperwork: Check the boat registration for its validity and make sure all launch permits are in order. Ensure that you have a current fishing license for the year 2023.
  8. Organize Your Tackle: Once the boat is ready for spring, shift your focus to organizing your fishing tackle. If, like many, you’ve already been fishing from shore locations, pay extra attention to the lesser-used rod and reel combos that might have been overlooked during the winter.

Many parts of the country have experienced relatively mild winters, allowing some boats to hit the water in February. However, as you prepare your boat for spring, keep the cover on standby in case of any unexpected late-season cold spells.

Image/Source: TakeMeFishing

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