A clean boat means bass

Taking care of your bass boat means cleaning it on a regular basis, which will lead to more efficient use on the water and more bass in your livewell.

Most bass fishermen have fiberglass boats that can be torn up by virtually anything they touch. Rocks, trees, stumps and docks all tend to put a few scratches on our boats every year. I have found several things that help.

First, wax your boat once a year to help protect it from minor scratches and make it easier to clean off the scum after a day on the water. I use “Shazzam,” which is manufactured by Wilson Frazier’s Elite Series Products. It washes and waxes with no water, so I can keep my boat looking good on the road. It is so slick that many times the boat will not even need to be wiped down after fishing. That saves me time and keeps my sponsors happy and my boat looking good. The last thing I want to do after fishing hard all day is scrub on my boat.

Next, if you fish tournaments, don’t park next to an aluminum boat at weigh-in; it can do more damage in 30 minutes than a tornado. On the other hand, if you have an aluminum boat, park next to someone you don’t like.

Third, get a Keelshield to protect your keel while beaching or stump jumpin’. You can even park on a concrete ramp with one of those things; they are an amazing, inexpensive and extremely effective way to protect your boat.

If you like to use a cover while towing, be aware that they can cause more damage than they prevent if not secured correctly. The wind and a 20-foot long canvas cover can act as sandpaper on a boat’s finish and engine cowling. Additionally, the cover can act as a kite, reducing your vehicle fuel mileage. I don’t travel with a cover for these reasons.

When staying overnight or leaving your tackle in your boat at home, be sure and cover your boat and lock all your compartments. Skeeter’s I-Class boat has a built-in alarm system, something that has definitely been a long time coming for bass boats. I-Class boats also have personalized programmable codes that automatically set the alarm and lock all the lids at once. How cool is that after a hard day’s fishing? I used to dread going around locking each lid at night. If you really want to play it safe, bring your equipment inside every night and get a Loc-R-Bar for your remaining stuff.

Improve efficiency by keeping everything clean. The most important things in your boat to keep clean are your electronics. Wilson Frazier’s Krystal Vision cleans without scratching and is the best thing I have found to clean off my Costa Del Mar sunglasses as well. I hate not being able to see clearly because my sunglasses or electronics are dirty. Just taking a second look at something you could not see clearly wastes time.

Before taking a trip, inspect your tires and be sure they are properly inflated. Also, check your trailer hitch and pins to make sure everything is in good shape. I always do a walk-around before I leave and after every stop for gas. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to put on the straps or motor toter, so it is good policy to have a walk-around before taking off for your next trip.

Dustin Wilks is a 31-year-old professional bass fisherman and Raleigh native now living in Rocky Mount. He has qualified for the Bassmasters Classic five times and operates Fish Like a Pro Fishing Lessons (www.fishlikeapro.com). His sponsors include Skeeter Boats, Yamaha, Daiwa, Culprit, RJA Custom Crankbaits, Extreme Glove and Costa Del Mar.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply