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How to prep your boat for the winter

It is that sad time of year again, when anglers need to think carefully about prepping their boats and motors, getting them ready for winter storage.

Whether you keep your boat in the garage or outside exposed to the elements, the things you do right now to prepare it for the winter will go a long way in determining whether or not you’ll enjoy a trouble-free start to the fishing season next spring.

I can’t think of anything worse than finally having spring arrive and heading off for the first fishing trip of the new season, only to discover that the big motor won’t start, the electric trolling motor is on the fritz, or the bilge or livewell pumps have cracked and need to be replaced. It’s bad enough that it will cut into your fishing time, but the gouge in your pocketbook will be even worse, especially when you consider that you could have been avoided all of the headaches if you’d just taken the proper steps to put your boat to bed for the winter.

This is what Rob Sprange and I were chatting about the other day when I dropped by the Winnipeg Sport and Leisure store here in Kenora. Rob is the service manager there and I wanted to get the “straight goods” on several conflicting opinions about how to properly prep your boat for winter. For example, I’ve heard that you shouldn’t leave your cranking and trolling motor batteries inside the boat during the winter. Instead you should bring them inside the house and store them in the basement. As a matter of fact, I’ve even been told that you should never lay batteries on a concrete surface, like the garage, as they will loose their charge and freeze.

Ditto when it comes to shrink-wrapping your boat. Shrink wrapping is the newest thing to come along and it is a nifty way to seal your boat from the elements and protect the interior when you store it outside. Still, I’ve also been told there are some important shrink wrap dos and don’ts.

So, who better to seek the answers from than the expert?

With this in mind, let’s make this week’s blog a fun little challenge. Ask yourself: What are the key things you need to consider when you prep your boat and get ready to store it for the winter. Jot down everything you think you need to do and then watch this short video in which Rob outlines the key steps. These are the key ingredients to a trouble-free fishing season come next spring.

Gord Pyzer

Gord Pyzer

Fishing Editor Gord Pyzer is widely regarded as Canada's most scientific angler. Known in fishing circles as Doctor Pyzer, he worked for 30 years as a senior manager with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources before devoting all his energies to fishing. A member of the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame, the award-winning writer is also an internationally sought out speaker, tournament angler and field editor with In-Fisherman Magazine and Television. As well, he co-hosts the Real Fishing Radio Show with Bob Izumi. Catch Gord on the Outdoor Journal Radio Show live every Saturday morning 8:05AM EST. If you're in southern Ontario, tune your radio to Sportsnet 590 The FAN AM or visit www.fan590.com and listen live online.