By Steve Graf
So, with temperatures exceeding the 100-degree mark this summer, that means it’s too hot to fish! From an angler’s perspective, anytime temperatures are above the 95-degree mark, I need to be doing something else besides wetting a hook. Today we’ll look at a few ways to pass the time and get some things done around the house…projects or “honey do’s” that maybe you’ve been putting off from this past spring when the big ones were biting.
The first place I start is by cleaning up and cleaning out my boat. I always like to remove all the rods and empty all storage boxes in the boat. Then I vacuum the entire boat, front to back. I like to clean my live wells while I’m in the cleaning mode. I use a live well cleaner by Fish Care Products that does a great job of getting those water ring stains out and will make your live wells look like new. I’ll also clean my cooler with another great product called Cooler-D-Funk. It totally cleans and deodorizes the entire cooler.
Now is also a great time to do a job that many anglers hate; check the water levels on your batteries. The biggest problem in most boats is getting to the batteries. One thing boat manufacturer have not figured out yet is how to build a boat where things are more accessible, especially in the back well of the boat. As much as I hate this job, it is a great time to do this chore before I head into the fall fishing season, and it will prolong the life of your batteries.
After this, I’ll check for wrapped fishing line on the props on both the outboard engine and the trolling motor. This is something I do often during the fishing season due to the fact there are so many anglers on the water now which means more fishing lines in the water. Nothing can do more damage to your trolling or your outboard engine than old, discarded fishing line. It will totally eat the seals up and cause major damage, not only to your motors, but your pocketbook as well.
Now other than boat maintenance, I’ll do a few other things like reorganize my fishing cave, or what I call “Graf Mart,” which is a total disaster after the spring is over. I’ll also check the dates on every rod to make sure I have fresh line on each before I head to the fall tournaments. Several anglers have noticed my dating on each rod and wondered why I do it. Two reasons…first, I always know what size line is on each reel and I label the month that line was put on. This way I always know if I have old or fresh line on every reel. Always remember, the most important connection between you and the fish is your fishing line.
These are just a few of the things I do during the dog days of summer when I have no desire to be on the water with sweat dripping off my nose and running down the back of my shorts. While I’m thinking about it, it’s also a great time to see your dermatologist and have those suspect areas checked. Even though I’ve been very conscious about protecting my skin with sunscreen, clothing, and proper headwear, I still had a spot turn into Melanoma. You don’t want this to happen, so don’t put this off and think it will just go away. Bad skin spots will turn into something deadly very quickly. I’m one of the lucky ones in that I only had one spot on my upper left ear where Melanoma had set up camp. Which, by the time you read this article, I will have had part of my upper left ear cut out. The good news…after a full body PET scan, everything was negative internally. What a blessing that we caught it early! Don’t take skin protection lightly! Till next time, good luck, good fishing, wear proper clothing and don’t forget your sunscreen!!!!