If you’ve been thinking lately about getting your boat in for service or repair, now is definitely the time to do it. March is going to bring some bodacious fishing with the arrival of Spring and warming water. Including the trout. So don’t wait, get prepared.

Marine businesses at the present are pretty much caught up from last season. But they’re fixing to get busy. So right now, is the ideal time to do what it takes as far as your vessel and equipment is concerned to really be successful when the time comes for good fishing.

Let’s go through some vital items you or the shop may want to have checked and/or fixed. How about spark plugs being changed? Better yet, an engine tune up! Water impeller changed? Prop shaft greased? Are all the hoses in good shape and not dry rotted? All wiring looks good and not oxidized or corroded?

Are your bilge pump(s) working and clog free? Is your livewell pump working properly? How about your plugs for the transom, livewell, and scuppers? Do they still seal the holes good, or are they chalking, pitted, or stiff?

What about your linkages and switches? How about your trolling motor plug in? Ah, how are your batteries? It’s very critical Keep ‘em charged up. One of the worst things you can do is not charge your trolling motor battery (ies) upon a return trip. Keep em charged up!

Now is a good time also to detail that vessel while you have a chance to take your time and do it right. I don’t mean just wash, and spritz some quick wax stuff on it. That’s good for in between detailing times.

I’m talking about a good 3 to 5 hour process involving a four-letter word to some. WORK! Like some good ole elbow grease. Wash it thoroughly and give it a real good hand detail wax or a GOOD orbital buffer polisher. And don’t skimp with your products. Put a quality wax product on it and you won’t be sorry.

If you go and buy something in a bottle or can for $5 and expect it to do a good lasting job for ya, you’re sadly mistaking. You just don’t care about your investment!

You’ll spend in the neighborhood of around $20 for a bottle or can of something that’s going to do a good job. You’ve heard me mention them before. Check out Woody Wax boat care products. . You won’t be sorry. Period!

How about your trailer lights? All working? Mine aren’t. I noticed 1 bulb out last trip, and will be changing it real soon. I know, they seem like constant maintenance. But, it goes along with the territory. LED’s are a lot better, but a little pricier.

How about the tire tread? What about your hubs and bearings? Is your winch strap in good shape, or all frayed and rotten? Or better yet, your winch? Is it greased and still working smooth, or have you let it get all rusted up and stiff?

I’ve just skimmed the surface of some items to do that will help in making a successful day on the water for the upcoming season and throughout the year.

In the long run, it’s about one thing and one thing only. Putting more fish in the boat! And you’re not going to do that if something goes wrong out there with your vessel that you could have prevented beforehand. There are many more things that a good professional tech knows what to look for and check out.

The thing to look for are places with certified marine techs, and places that have been in business for awhile. Don’t skimp!

The “BEST BET” for March is definitely without a doubt going to be the trout in our area. One, because they haven’t been pressured for a couple of months due to the cold season. And two, because the water is warming up to the eating and playing standards for them. They’ll be shallow before they start their transition to deeper water bays, so start with your weedless jerkbaits and jigs suspended under Cajun-Thunders in 2’ to 4’ of water.

Also, this time of year is for our migratory pelagics such as cobia, mackerel and bluefish to start running through town.

I don’t know anybody that really targets bluefish per say, but if you get into em, they can be fun for a while. Just pretty much tie on any shiny plug that’s not your favorite and that should suffice.

The cobes will be hanging around channel markers and nearshore rocks. A good frisky pinfish suspended under a cork is hard for the ling to turn down. Jigs and swimbaits in white or chartreuse should work for the artificial plastics.

Mackerel will definitely not forsake a chum slick line and a fresh shrimp tossed to them when anchored up. Start on some spotty bottom in 6’ to 10’ of water. Don’t spend too long in one spot. If nothing is happening in say…….15 to 20 minutes, move to a little different area.
See ya on the water.

Submitted By: Capt. Rick Burns
Reel Burns Charters