It's this time of year every year when I re-remember some things. If you keep some of these things in mind, you may be more successful and enjoy your time on the water even more.
The mosquitoes are especially unpleasant this year, or at least they are in all the places I've been. Once you're on the water they're not too bad, but you don't want to spend much time putting the boat in and taking it out, especially early and late in the day. Insect repellent certainly helps. DEET is the stuff that makes many repellents effective, and DEET comes in different concentration levels in different repellents. The lower levels of DEET will keep mosquitoes away just as well as the higher levels, but not for as long. Many people who spend a lot of time in mosquito country prefer to use the lower levels and just apply them more often. I've seen first-hand what high level DEET will do to plastic, and that's not something that I want happening to my skin.
Speaking of putting the boat in and taking it out, now is a great time to practice that routine. The people who fish in the boat with you should know how to drive the boat for a couple of reasons.
Make sure your fishing line is in good shape so you can land that lunker when it eats your bait.
First, if something bad happens to the primary boat operator, someone else in the boat should know how to drive it.
Secondly, having a second driver in the boat can make the loading and unloading procedure so much easier and faster. When you back into the water to start the day, one person should be in the boat, another backing the trailer into the water. When the boat slides off the trailer, the boat driver simply idles away from the dock, the truck driver parks the truck/trailer and comes to the dock, and the boater driver picks up his partner.
At the end of the day you pull into the dock, the truck/trailer driver jumps out, the boat backs away from the dock and only approaches when the trailer is in the water.
If you have to tie up to the dock, you are effectively taking it out of use for anyone else for who knows how long. Your boating partners should know how to drive the boat.
Remember to take the plug out of the boat when you're traveling down the road. In some places towing a boat down the road with water in the livewell is not permitted. This is an attempt to slow the spread of invasive species.
Also in some places you can't transport minnows from one lake to another without proper documentation.
If you've been fishing very much this year, now is a good time to check your line. Add fresh line if you detect any nicks or rough spots in the line.
Do a quick check around your boat trailer and make sure the lights are working and the wheels and tires are safe and in good condition.
If you keep life-jackets or foul weather gear in your boat, air it out. I keep a set of Cabela's Guidewear in my boat. It's great stuff and I don't want to ruin it by letting it get moldy.
There's lots of summer left. If you keep these things in mind while you're fishing, you'll enjoy the rest of the summer even more.
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