It’s Hunting Season but What About the Boat! 

by Capt. Jake Davis

While fishing the other day with a client (imagine that, me fishing), we observed the turning leaves and a flock of Canadian Geese fly by and he says, “It’s time for hunting season”.  Being from up north, Paul says “I need to get the boat serviced and winterized”.  “Winterized”, now there is a term I have not heard since I was stationed in Wisconsin almost 20 years ago. I had not really thought of it much because I fish year round here in North Alabama, and it’s second nature for me to take my boat in for a check up/service every three months. But for you hunters and fair weather fishermen, before you park the go-faster-than-light bass boat or the ol’stump jumper flat bottom in the garage and pick up the Browning to go hunting, here are some friendly suggestions from my service center, Tim’s Ford Power Sports.
First and foremost before anything, go see a certified master mechanic at a reputable dealer. A few of the items you should have done are: drain the fuels, have the cylinders fogged with fogging oil, drain the cooling system, treat the remaining fuel in the gas tank, put a little antifreeze in the cooling system (use the eco safe type), service the batteries, change the lower unit oil and water impeller, grease and lube all moving parts to include the trailer, check the hydraulic steering fluid, and let’s not forget about those live wells.
Next on the list is to service is all those rods and tackle you’ve collected over the past year! Remove it all from the boat. This is the time to start cleaning and servicing your reels and baits. You can take your time and change the hooks out on those crankbaits and put new skirts on your spinnerbaits, etc.  Don’t forget to remove the batteries from the hand held scales.
Lastly, if you’re going to store the boat outside, consider having it “shrink wrapped”. This will keep leaves out and most of the critters. When it is time to go fishing again, all you have to do it cut the shrink wrap off and put the rods and tackle back in the boat.
The other great reason to do all this now is, before you know it, it will be time to chase those “Big Old Brown” fish, and if you don’t get the boat serviced now, you will be wishing you were fishing while you wait in line with everyone else who put off servicing their boat.
I’ve only touched on most of the items you should do before heading to the woods or the TV to watch football. I highly recommend you find a certified master mechanic or your local reputable dealer to get your boat serviced and ready for the next year.
        Capt Jake Davis is a USCG Licensed Professional Fishing Guide on Lake Guntersville, Tim’s Ford and Nickajack Lake. Visit or call/email 615-613-2382,