Time for some ideas on how to save on your gas bill when boating.
Spread these tips, or better yet, leave a comment below with your best money-saving fishing tip so we can all benefit and save some bucks.
- Make sure your prop is smooth. Propellor shop experts will tell you how to get the most performance out of your boat. Spend some short-term money on the best prop for your boat to save long term.
- Fish with a plan. Group your Loran/GPS numbers into a small area.
- Balance your boat. Keep your bow down by setting a universal ice chest at the front. Anytime there is too much weight in the stern, gas is wasted. Make sure tackle boxes and ice chests do not slide around. Consider buying some non-skid shelving material and placing a chunk underneath both.
- Clean jack plates and waxed hulls reduce resistance, similar to waxed skis. Sand tends to scratch up the prop or bottom when on a moving trailer. Also scrape any moss, algae and barnacles from the bottom of the boat. The angler will gain optimal speed and efficiency.
- Every boat has a sweet spot in relation to RPMs. For example, a 28-foot boat might get 8 gallons per hour while running at 3,200 RPMs, but 10 gallons per hour at 3,300. Record the amount of gas burned at different speeds.
- When fishing inshore, do not fill the tank. Boaters can actually save 400 pounds of weight by filling a 125-gallon tank halfway. Of course, when heading offshore, anglers will want to fill up.
- When on plane, back off the throttle. As fun as it is to let loose and impress the crew, backing off the throttle saves gas.
- Offshore anglers can call the National Weather Service or visit its website weather.gov to get an area forecast.
- If you have a spray-dodger charger, remove it while your boat is running. You might take some spray in the face, but you continue to reduce resistance.
- In addition to not requiring gas for most types, kayaking and canoeing also gives an angler optimal stealth. (Some kayak-canoe hybrids, such as NuCanoe, come with an option for a motor.) The Tampa Bay area has some of the best kayak fishing in the world because of its abundance of inshore game fish, shallow waters and mangrove tunnels.