All these thoughts running through my pea brain tonight of what I need to do to get ready for the next season, that is rapidly approaching. I’m going to just outline some things here as a sort of checklist for myself that may give others some insight as to what all goes into competing at the club level…
First of all, I need to locate a good graphics shop that can put some signage on the boat! If you know anyone that does this sort of work well, please recommend them in the comments section, or ping me directly. I want to have the boat slathered in Cartwright Realty signage before the first tournament – Jan 11, 2014 on the Winter Haven chain of lakes.
Obtain a new Mercury Fury prop for the boat. This one is sort of a must do for us, as the current prop just really isn’t ‘right’ for the boat. The boat often struggles to get up on plane (Poor holeshot) with a full tournament load and it seems that I’m not seeing the top end speed that I should be seeing given my motor and boat combination. I’m missing about 4~8mph on the top end. We’re only hitting 60mph or less today, according to the GPS. I’m definitely nearing the motor’s redline of 5750rpm with the current prop – a Trophy 26. Tom Mahoney has graciously offered to let me borrow his Fury 25 to see if it is the correct prop and pitch for my boat. I need to take advantage of that offer soon, and order the right prop.
The first two items above are ‘must do’ items. The prop line item may sound unnecessary, but in tournament fishing, time is your enemy. We’re wasting time when we fool around for two to three extra minutes trying to get the boat up on plane, plus the motor isn’t running at peak efficiency with the current prop resulting in extra fuel/oil burn. The right prop, in our case, might save us a few hundred bucks over the next year of tournaments, volunteer events, and pre-fishing activities.
These next few items are less important, but still offer meaningful benefit to the tournament fishing team.
Add a second 8′ Power-Pole Blade to the boat. We have one on already, and that thing is worth it’s weight in gold. So why do we need two of them? When only one pole is down, the boat can ‘spin’ or rotate around the axis of the single pole. This is especially problematic in higher winds or greater wave activity. Two poles allow us to keep the boat’s bow pointed in the originally intended direction, giving both anglers access to the same stretch of water (We’re a ‘team’). If we pull up on a good area, but the boat’s bow is constantly changing direction with one pole down, it can effectively cut off the Co-Angler’s ability to cast to desired area. A second blade gives us full control in all but the hairiest conditions.
Last, but not least, I need to upgrade the boat’s electronics. Yes, yes, you can fish without the latest electronics, but why would you want to? Have you seen what these gadgets are capable of these days? There’s a reason why the pro’s boats are littered with the latest fish-finding computers… They work! They give you the ability to ‘see’ what’s under the water. I’m talking picture quality images. The technology available today is mind-blowing stuff for a kid that grew up fishing from the shore and an old ‘john boat’ with a paddle and cinder block anchor (If I was lucky enough to have access to one that day).
Anyhow, I needed to add some content to the blog as well as compile my ‘wish-list’ to Santa Claus (Tiia-Claus in my case). Hopefully I’ve not been too naughty this year!