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Dockside Tips

With over 25 years experience, Capt. Bo has learned a thing or two.  He is happy to share some of them in this blog.  If you have a boating or  fishing question that has not yet been talked about, feel free to drop Bo an email.  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  We look forward to hearing from you.


I want to help you understand your depth finder / fish finder. This very important piece of marine electronics makes you a hero or a zero, so learning to use it should be as important as finding the drive-through at your local burger joint when your belly is growling because you got skunked, AGAIN!

When I was working on learning to fish a new spot, I sat down at the table at home and looked at the navigational chart very closely. I would look for steep drop-offs. I would look for a crease in a flat, that being a section of the bottom that was deeper than the surrounding area. I would look for hard bottom and soft bottom, in other words, really get to know the place before I set out and fished it.

On the day that I went to check out my new fishing spot, I would not be so concerned to tie on a fly or a lure but first let’s have a look at the screen. I would steer the boat so I came up on the steep drops perpendicular to the slope. I would then run down the slope on a slight angle. This drill would show me first if it was as steep as the chart shows and on the slight angle, further confirm  how long the drop-off ran. I would get through that first drill then do it again, this time looking for fish or “marks”. If you have a good moving current  you may see the fish holding just below the drop-off, and this way, as the bait was washed over the drop, the fish who was looking upwards could make an easy meal.

Are you getting this?

It is simply not a device to turn on like your TV and see fish.  You’re going to have to get to know what things are going to look like! I often heard “I have one of those on my boat but it doesn’t work!” and I would start the lesson on that cue.  Well what do you know! I got a few calls from guys thanking me for helping them not  waste money by throwing that non-working depth finder away. As the waters of time flow under your keel, you will begin to use the “control“ buttons on the machine.  This will only improve your use, but, to get you going keep the settings on “auto”. However, you should probably “lock in” a bottom depth to keep the machine from finding the bottom on its own and confusing you.

Best of luck!

Depthfinder... It's not just something to clutter your helm!

Last Updated (Sunday, 28 November 2010 15:59)


Cork Rod Grip Restoration

I want to talk about rod care.  I have been a Professional Fishing Guide Captain for more years than I care to remember. I look at pictures my clients have taken over the years and given to me as keepsakes and I cherish them all.  My clients have become my friends and I have seen many of their families grow up. I look at these pictures and I see me getting older. My hair went from dark brown to white, I wear my shorts much higher in the waist than I once did and my motorized chair should be here soon.( I am just funning about the shorts and the chair).

I really dislike foam style fishing rod grips. I love the feel of the firm natural cork grips. I can feel a fish strike all the sooner as I do not have resilient foam to dampen the impact. I have often told my sports you will even feel the fish “miss it”.

Like our bodies, time takes its toll on cork. It gets soiled with oils from our hands and sunscreen, it cracks a bit, and just plain looks used up well before its time. You should also know my gear was getting handled a bit more than your personal gear will get handled and here is how I found to best to keep it looking good.

Step1.Head off for  a good old fashion trip to the wash pale, with some plain soap and warm water. Then, while you’re at it, you may as well scrub the whole rod, (reels are removed)!

Step 2. lace the rod in the sun to get it dry. Be sure none of the voids in the cork grip have any water hidden in them.

Step 3.Get some 400 grit wet/dry sand paper and lightly sand (and I mean very lightly) as all you  want to accomplish is to remove the UV darkened surface. Now for those who may not  know this, I will let you in on a bit of knowledge.   Cork is the bark of a tree, so now what I tell you will make some sense.

Step 4. At most good hardware stores you can find a paste wax to be used on wood, some even have cork on the label:  When you get this home, get a little on your waxing rag and apply a light coat, let it haze up, and then buff.   Do this a good three to four times. The first time then once every now and then will keep it in good fishable shape for many years.

If you have a new rod, just wax it up and go fishing!

Remember hook sets are free! Take all ya want!

Last Updated (Sunday, 28 November 2010 16:05)