Bass Fishing’s Check Up

As I walked through the doors at my Doctor’s Office, the first words I heard were, “Mr. Ingram, when was your last check-up?” As I stood there all I could think was, I’m not really sure when it was. Before I could answer her I was welcomed back to earth by her voice saying, “You don’t know? Why don’t you know?” Well, I just don’t, thank you very much! See, sometimes that sassy side just has to come out of me!

While I was sitting in the waiting room for what seemed like days, I got to thinking about her question. If only she would have asked me about my tow vehicle. I could have told her the date & mileage of the last oil change and check-up. As far as that goes, I could have even told her the total amount of mileage on my SUV and the last tire rotation. But no, she wanted my last check-up as if I would remember something like that. Maybe it was because she forgot to give me the sticker for my next check-up that you put on the windshield. Why is this I wonder? Do we really take better care of our tow vehicles than ourselves? We all know that we need our vehicles for getting us to both work and to the lake. We also know that we have to keep them in tip top shape so they will be dependable, just like our own bodies. As we get a few years on both our bodies and vehicles, we need to pay more attention to them and have regular check-ups.

This brings me to my main point. If we have a doctor check-up on our bodies, and we have mechanics check-up on our tow vehicle, then when was the last time you did a good check-up on your bass rig? I know most of us wipe down our bass boats as soon as we trailer them. Wiping our boats down is a good thing, you get to check the hull for any damage or for those little scratches that always brings a tear to the eye. Some anglers even drive to the nearest car wash and clean the rig up even better. After we get home, we unpack the boat, clean out the trash, and put things up. Then once we are satisfied, we retire into the house, to make up a few more fish stories to tell before calling our buddies.

Our nice bass rig is clean, but did we do a good check-up on our bass boat? Or will our boat just sit in the carport until the next fishing trip and have the same thing done to it after the next fishing trip? Like our tow vehicle, our bass rig should have a good inspection every now and then. It also gets us from point A to point B and back and sometimes it’s not near as pretty a ride as our tow trucks. If you take a second and think about it, from the time that big motor fires up, it’s “WOT”, (wide open throttle) to your fishing hole, and then you shut it off until the blast off to the next hole and this goes on all day long. This is hard on any motor. A break down or mal-function could ruin a great fishing day or the misfortune of missing a tournament pay check. We all know how hard we drive our rigs so we should really give them some tender loving care every chance we get.

Before the next fishing trip or tournament will you do a quick check over of your rig? Many of us don’t, we just assume that it’s fine and ready to go. Do you remember the last bass fishing trip? That trip, when the wind was strong, the water got very rough, and you were glad that your bass boat performed flawlessly. Do you remember saying that it was so rough that it shook the fillings from your teeth and your butt hurt for a week? Well now, what did your boat tell you? If your boat could talk, it would probably ask you to check it’s hull and all the wiring connections and maybe the batteries and their trays. I would even check all the hoses, both fuel and water to be sure there are no leaks. I would also check the trolling motor & mounts. While you are looking the trolling motor over be sure to inspect the prop. Inspect the prop for signs of wear, cracks or chips; also verify the prop nut is tight. It never hurts to keep a spare trolling motor prop in the boat just in case, but remember to have the extra washer & nut just in case you drop the old one over board. While we are talking about props, be sure to inspect the big motor prop for the same things. All that rough riding you could have hit something and not even know it until the next trip out. Once again, it wouldn’t hurt to have a spare prop with an extra washer & nut in the boat. Trust me on this one, no amount of 100 mph Duct Tape will hold a prop on for any amount of time. In my case, if you lose your prop, there’s a good chance that the washer & nut is gone too! Last but not least check your plugs and make sure they are still tight and always have a few extras in the boat. You just never know when you will need one.

So maybe next time before pulling out from the carport do a fast little check-up on your bass rig. It just might save your fishing trip that day. Oh, one more thing, before pulling out onto the road make sure there is no orange cord following your boat with half your shop wall trailing behind it! Yes, it can happen. I keep that plug in my SUV console to remind me of it! But then, that’s another story!

Tight Lines & Good Fishing to You,

Please take a Kid fishing when you can, it just might be his "Pro Start" in life!
Also please remember our TROOPS; it is because of them that we have this great Freedom in our land.
God bless our Troops and the USA!

Ricky Ingram

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