Dealing with Rising Fuel Costs

Gas prices are expected to peak at over $4 a gallon in 2011. As many American families are feeling the pinch of the recession higher fuel costs are negatively impacting travel. In the past you may have trailered your boat to the back of your SUV or pick-up and traveled 60-80 miles for a boating trip. Now, that same one or two day fishing trip can cost as much as $120 in gas.

High fuel costs don’t mean you have to give up fishing trips until the economy turns around. Try local fishing and boating stops, or shorten the length of time you spend on each outing. Also make sure your engine is running properly with Yamalube 2w oil. An efficient engine equals higher fuel efficiency, which means less money coming out of your pocket to pay for fuel.

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Warm-water Fishing in January?

In a previous post I had mentioned that January is the off-season for boat buying. This remains true, but there are places you can go warm-water fishing in January. The San Marcos Daily Record reports that power plant lakes are perfect for warm-water fishing during the winter. Hot water discharge canals generate a good current flow and warm water pulls in shad and bass in areas of Texas.

A Daily Record columnist reported successfully trolling for bass while testing out his new outboard engine. If there is a power plant near you, check out whether you can boat in or near the hot water canals. It may still be a bit nippy on the surface for you, so bundle up while you’re enjoying a rare January fishing trip. Remember to properly outfit your engine with Yamalube 2m oil.

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Mass Bird, Fish Deaths Not So Mysterious

On Saturday Night Live this past weekend, Andy Samberg joked about the “aflockalypse” and the “apocafish” in reference to the mass deaths of various wildlife. Blackbirds fell out of the sky on New Year’s Eve in Arkansas, 40,000 crabs died in Britain, and 2 million fish in the Chesapeake Bay are floating belly up. Are these mass deaths the sign of something sinister? Will there soon be no safe fish to catch? Not even close, expert biologists are saying.

According to biologists, mass die-offs happen all the time. Federal records show they happen as often as every other day in North America. In the past eight months, the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Heath Center has recorded 95 mass wildlife die-offs in North America, and suggests that the number is actually a dramatic undercount. Weather, pollution, parasites, and disease lead to mass die-offs globally every year. With the world so connected by technology, people are trying to make global connections between the deaths that don’t really exist. For all you dedicated boaters, stock up on your Evinrude xd50 oil, because there’s no need to worry about cruising through lakes of dead fish when you take your motor boat out this summer.

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Best Time to Buy

With snow falling outside your window, you wouldn’t think that January would be the best time to buy a boat; yet, the experts say that now is the time to find a bargain. Some store owners are eager to clear out Christmas stock. Others want to drum up business for out-of-season items and make room for new product lines. Desperation breeds deep discounts, and with a bit of bargaining you can walk away with some cool swag and a new boat.

Still not convinced? Consider this: boat dealers draw few customers in the winter, especially in northern states. You could wait until boat shows to purchase a new outboard motor boat, but you’ll be unlikely to get a good deal because dealers put time and money into shows that they’ll want to recoup. Instead, visit a showroom this month and drive a hard bargain. You’ll be one of the few customers around, giving you plenty of leverage. Come springtime you’ll be showing off your brand-new boat. When making your purchase, don’t forget to stock up on boat necessities, like Evinrude xd100 oil.

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Fishing Licenses

The silver carp mentioned in previous posts only “fly” in the Illinois River. The reason they leap out of the water only in Illinois has to do with the contouring of the river banks. To partake in the annual Redneck Fishing Tournament using a dip stick net, you must have an Illinois fishing license. Licenses are fairly easy to acquire and won’t run you up a huge bill.

Non-residents can get a fishing license for $31.50, which should be good for the season. If you’ll only be in town for a little while, you may want to go for the $20 ten day licenses. The town of Bath, which hosts the fish contest, has only a little over 300 permanent residents, but thousands come out each year for the event. Everyone seems to get the proper licenses just fine. When you head out to Bath with your outboard motor boat, make sure you’ve got your licenses and yamalube 2w oil on hand.

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Redneck Fishing Tournament

Picturing a redneck on a fishing boat isn’t that far a stretch of the imagination. What about a redneck fishing tournament in which rods and reels aren’t allowed? In Bath, Illinois the natives host an annual Redneck Fishing Tournament in which all contestants must use nets to catch the invasive silver carp also known as flying carp. The fish are nicknamed flying carp because they leap high out of the water and are known to smack people in the face.

During the annual redneck hunt, contestants catch the flying fish with nets, or sometimes the fish just leap straight into the boats. There are prizes given for the most fish caught. Because they are a non-native, invasive species which devastate local ecosystems, there is no limit on the number that can be caught. The caught fish are not great for eating, so they are ground into fish meal and used as fertilizer. Silver carp are actually attracted to the noise generated by 2 stroke cycle outboard motors and become frenzied as the boats draw nearer. To participate in this endeavor, load up your outboard motorboat (filled with yamalube 2m oil, of course), and head on down to Bath, Illinois!

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Invasive Fish

As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve gained a lot of insight from watching the Discovery Channel program “When Fish Attack.” One of the attacks involved an invasive species of fish called the silver carp. Silver carp are native to north and northeast Asia. They were brought to the U.S. in the 1970s to help control algae growth in aquaculture and wastewater treatment facilities. Unfortunately, they escaped from their pens and spread into the Mississippi, Illinois, Ohio, and Missouri Rivers.

They have wreaked havoc on local fish populations because of their voracious appetites. They also reproduce much more rapidly than native fish species. Underwater cables that give off electrical pulses to deter silver carp have been stationed at the mouths of the Great Lakes because there is a fear that if the carp get into the Great Lakes they will destroy the environment and fish farm economy. The people of Bath, Illinois have a rather unique way of handling the silver carp problem, which I’ll detail in a later post. Remember, if you’re taking your boat out this weekend, make sure you have plenty of evinrude xd50 oil.

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When Fish Attack

Shark Week isn’t the only time you can learn more about aquatic life. Last night as I was flipping the channels after dinner, I stumbled on a Discovery Channel program called “When Fish Attack.” The hour-long special detailed different freak marine accidents that have been caused by fish and other marine life. Surprisingly, there were less tales involving sharks than I thought.

There was a story about a young man who got seriously sliced up when a black Marlin that he was trying to reel in leapt toward his face. Another woman, an experienced deep sea diver, was dragged down 30 feet below the waves by a bottlenose whale. A man trying to bag a mako shark fell into the waves near his bait. Thankfully, all of these people survived and suffered little injury, but it just goes to show how unpredictable the ocean can be. Before your next seafaring adventure, make sure that all of your safety equipment is up to par and your engine is full of evinrude xd100 oil.

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Fixing an Outboard Motor Water Pump

The outboard motor water pump pumps water from the lower unit to the top of the motor. This process keeps your engine cool during use. Sand, shells, mud, and other debris that get caught in your water pump can cause damage. If left unchecked, debris can do enough damage to warrant replacing. To replace an outboard motor water pump, use the following guidelines:

1. Remove the bolts on the lover unit using a wrench. The make of your outboard will determine what size wrench to use.
2. Take the trim tab off the bottom of the anti-cavitation plate.
3. Be careful when removing the last bolt as this will detach the lower unit from the motor. You don’t want the unit to slide out uncontrollably!
4. Place the lower unit aside for now. The shift and motor shafts should now b exposed. Remove the shafts by applying pressure and sliding them out.
5. Remove the bolts from the plastic casing around the water pump. Lift the casing off.
6. Slide the pump impeller over the motor shaft and remove the steel plate along with the gasket the impeller was on.
7. Remove the steel cup and “o” ring out of the plastic casing (previously removed). Remove the key way from the motor shaft.
8. Lay the parts of your new water pump out neatly in your work space. Installation of the pump will take place exactly in reverse of the previous seven steps. Make sure to grease the tops of the motor and shift shafts, as well as grease and replace the bolts.

Since you’re already working on your boat, make sure to check the oil level and top off with Evinrude xd 100 oil when necessary.

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