This page will be used by Billy Bass to Share Life's fishing tips
Billy Basser here with my first “tips and quips” subject!
You guys in our club know I have been using a Motor Guide Tour Edition 80 for the past 10 or 12 years and it has been good to me up until this year. I had it fixed twice in the last year and this last time was the last time. I burnt up the foot somehow and have relegated it (in small parts) into my recycle bin for the trash men to take on Tuesday of next week. R.I.P. I say!
What you folks didn’t know was that I got a 70 pound thrust Minn Kota trolling motor on the boat I won in 2004. It didn’t last too long as it was a little underpowered for the 20 foot Triton boat that I got.
In 2005 I won a Motor Guide trolling motor in the one day Bassmaster Weekend Series tournament trail and that is the first Motor Guide I had on the boat. It went to its grave a few years later and I got another one from my friend Brad Foxx when he was hot and heavy supporting Kyle Foxx his son who is a Bassmaster pro.
Two weeks ago I was able to get a Fortrex 80 pound Thrust trolling motor from another friend who is in our club and happened to have an extra trolling motor in his garage. Thank you Rod for this wonderful trolling motor! I got it home and have been working on getting it installed for the past week. I took my time and made several trips to Home Depot for bolts and stop nuts and washers to get the trolling motor installed properly. Here’s how it went:
I remember back when I was fishing the Bassmaster Weekend Series one day tournaments, one of my partners had to borrow a spare trolling motor from one of the other competitors he knew. He mounted it in the Gator Mount base and used it most of the day. It too broke as one of the cables broke much like his previous trolling motor because he stowed the trolling motor incorrectly!
This is my point and my advice to each of you. When stowing your trolling motor make sure the foot petal is not stressed. I mean that you have two sides to stow the foot of the trolling motor on. The prop can face away or toward the deck. Make sure the foot petal is as horizontal as it can be. The worst thing you can do is turn that foot so it either makes the foot go all the way to the top or all the way to the bottom of the travel because you don’t know how much stress you are putting on the cables that turn your foot left and right.
I hope that these trolling motor tips will help you to have many years of stress free trolling on our lakes and ponds!
God loves you and so do I!
It is 4:00 AM and I am at my computer unable to sleep any longer this morning and am anxious to begin writing about this subject as it is near and dear to my heart.
We had a tournament a week ago Saturday on Lake Tarpon and some of the things I am going to talk about caused us some concern in relation to the subject we are talking about today!
1. Please keep your tires inflated to the recommended tire pressure for your boat tires that come from your boat manufacturer. Most of the tire pressures that I know about are set at 50 pounds. If yours are different then plan accordingly!
2. Make sure that the tires are rated ST. That is the rating for boat trailer tires. Please do not put car or truck rated tires on your boat trailer. I speak from experience with some of our former CBC members who put car tires their trailers not knowing what should have been installed. I do not know the technical reasons, but I do know that one of our members had car tires on his rig and blew out both tires on one trip to a tournament. He blew out one on the way to a tournament and replaced it with his spare. He blew out the other tire on his way home. I happened to be in convoy with him and was able to loan him my spare so he could get home. He corrected with ST rated tires and was good to go from that time on. Live and learn! A good lesson for all.
3. Make sure that your bearings are greased after each tournament if you have bearing with zerk fittings on the front of the wheels. Most new wheels are now fitted with graphite soaked bearings and do not have any access to them to add graphite. I have soaked bearings of this nature and have had them for 15 + years without a failure (knock on wood)! Also please check your bearings for excess heat as you travel to and from tournaments when stopping for gas or food just to be sure they are not overheated and in need of some maintenance. This is more important on single axle trailers for obvious reasons!
4. Make sure that you have a 2x6 or 2x8 two foot piece of wood for a base for you trailer jack. Make sure you have a ½ inch drive deep socket for the lug nuts on your trailer as well as a ½ inch drive breaker bar to loosen the lug nuts. The wheels may have been put on with an impact wrench and may be very difficult to remove without that ½ inch drive breaker bar. We had to go to one of our anglers home to get his deep socket which was 13/16 inch ½ inch drive for his lug nuts. It was good that he only lived 10 minutes away from Lake Tarpon. Please have a reliable bottle jack to lift the trailer after loosening the lug nuts. We had a great one for this function this time. Plan ahead!
5. Make sure you travel down the road with your “lights on for safety”. I have preached this for some 30 + years as some people will duck in behind you without realizing there is a trailer attached to your truck. It is also useful and the law when travelling in the rain. I sometimes forget, but am usually in compliance with my brain to keep me safer as I go down the highway!
6. Please keep your trailer lights in good working order so you can safely go down the road with your boat in tow. Sometimes we travel in the dark and the lights are that much more important to keep us visible to other drivers on the road.
7. A very important thing to remember hooking up your rig to your truck. This is sometimes done in the dark and I have had one or two of our former members who thought that they had locked their trailers on the receivers when in fact they had not. It was frightening to be traveling down the highway and have your rig come free of your truck because you locked it on TOP of the receiver instead in down fully on the receiver. Your rig is tongue heavy and you won’t lose it until a hard turn on a curve or a bump that lifts you tongue off the receiver. Be sure and check with your hand to make sure that the hitch is on the receiver and covering the whole ball so you don’t have the problem I just mentioned. Keep your chains properly secured on your hitch so if you do have your hitch improperly connected you will still have some safety if your rig does come apart from your truck. The guys who had this happen to them were lucky and had at least one chain still connected when slowing down the runaway boat and trailer and the damage was minor except for the embarrassment.
I hope these tips will help keep you safe and sound when towing your boat down the road to your next tournament!
God loves you and so do I,