Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Prepare your Fishing Boat and Yourself for the Big Sea

Fishing is one of those activities that many people enjoy doing during the summer. Some people enjoy fishing it from the shore, and others prefer fishing from a boat. The last choice provides certain advantages as you can reach more fishing places, which usually produces better results. However, having a fishing boat requires you to have your boat in good conditions all year long, and making sure it is prepared it every time you decide to go out fishing.

Whiticar wants to share some simple instructions and suggestions that any first time charter user should consider before heading out on the fishing boat.

Whether you are, a beginning fisherman or an experienced fisherman who has all the resources available, you must take into consideration the following:

1. License your boat: Your boat is usually licensed through a state's game and fish commission or department of natural resources. This license is a sticker followed by a series of letters and numbers and must be renewed each year.

In case you are going to test other states waters, remember that most states have reciprocal arrangements where a boat licensed in one state may be used in the waters of another state by a visiting boater. Please do not forget to ask about this when you go to get your license.

2. Inspect the boat: Look for dents or cracks in your boat, especially at the bottom and around rivets. Also inspect the drain plug to make sure the drain hole still seals, and all the electronic devices work correctly.

3.Inspect and replace any necessary safety equipment: To operate a fishing boat, the law states you need to carry certain equipment to enhance your safety.
Life jackets: Most jurisdictions require a life jacket or other PFD (personal floatation device) for each passenger aboard, and for children below a certain age, they have to be wearing their PFD.
Kill switch: Many jurisdictions require a kill switch for boats with motors above a certain horsepower, so the boat can be turned off even if you have been thrown from the boat.
Fire Extinguisher: Check the laws for your jurisdiction to see what kind of extinguisher is required.  Please remember to have the fire extinguisher filled and close to the engine motor.
Signaling devices: You may need an air horn, whistle, flags, and/or flares that will alert others in case of an emergency.
Night-time running lights:  If you are planning to go out fishing at night, you should take notice and check with your jurisdiction to find out what type of light is required for the size of your boat.
GPS Plotter/Sounder

4.Look for the weather conditions: Weather is unpredictable. Sometimes a late night forecast can destroy all of our fishing plans. Be aware of the wind conditions and look ideally for periods between frontal systems, particularly fall, winter and spring, when dead-calm days’ sneak in between blows.  During the summer, high pressure systems often bring many successive days of calm weather, particularly in the morning. 

*Remember, taking a weather radio with you can alert you to upcoming changes in the weather before you notice e the changes in the sky, wind, and water choppiness.

5.Take your tackle and other items to help you organize your gear: Bring your own tackle and even your own bait a board. Also take with you rod holders and tie-downs for items that may shift as the boat moves.

6. Get an anchor: Get the right anchor according to the size of your boat (mushroom anchor, plow-style anchor, kedge and Danforth anchors). This will help you keep the bow into the waves and stop the boat for fishing. You also will need to have enough nylon anchor rope to have from 5 to 7 times the distance from the anchor cleat to the bottom.

7.Get all the extra items you will need: When going out on a charter boat, you must keep in mind that you'll be gone for quite a long time.  For that reason, you should take with you: 
• Two coolers, one for food and drink, the other for your catch.
• Emergency Food and Water: At least a half-gallon of water, some granola bars and beef jerky, or canned food that can get you through a day or two.
• Pain relievers
• Sunscreen
• Rubber-soled shoes (to avoid slipping on board)
• Your ID and some extra cash

8. Be Aware and Prepare for Sea Sickness: Before leaving home, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about a seasickness remedy.  Make sure you have enough of your medication(s) for the duration of the trip.

9. Consider a professional inspection: When you inspect your boat but still have some doubts about its status, you can have your boat inspected by professionals in the area. Boats used for saltwater fishing can be inspected by marine surveyors accredited by either the National Association of Marine Surveyors or the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors.

Remember to contact Whiticar Boat Works if your boat presents any cracks, has engine failure, or if you just want to do an electronics upgrade.

3636 SE Old Saint Lucie Blvd
Stuart, FL 34996
 (772) 287-2883

2010 Harbor Town Drive,
Suite K, Ft. Pierce, FL 34946
(772) 460-0660