These are the painfully obvious things we all conveniently ignore. But you shouldn’t, and this is why.
Let’s cut to the chase by asking you a very serious question:
Notice I said when.
Because it happens every day, even to the most experienced boat captains.
Don't believe me? I got an airboat stuck in a couple feet of water when a mat of lilies suctioned to the bottom of the boat and wouldn't come off.
Luckily, this was at a swamp tour where we ran groups of airboats. A text message later I had one of my buds pulling us off that nasty grass!
But do you have that on your fishing trips? Are coworkers standing by in 500hp airboats to come to your aid?
Unless it's a life-threatening emergency, they'll refer you to a towing service.
They have better things to do than hand-hold grown men.
Think of this totally real-life scenario: you're stuck, people are getting dehydrated, being torn up by bugs, becoming sunburned, and daylight is burning.
It won't be long before night arrives, even more bugs come out, and your chances of rescue lessen until the sun comes back up.
Yeah, it's a crappy situation, and these are several things I do to ensure it doesn't happen.
The worst thing to happen to a boat is to let it sit.
Don't be that guy who left his boat outside under a tarp for the last few months and is considering going fishing soon, without op-checking everything before hitting the ramp.
Not only will you be that guy blocking the ramp because the boat doesn't start (surprise), but the risk of becoming that guy waving down more-prepared anglers later that day is a likely one.
And, most importantly, tell someone (back on land) where it is you're going, when you expect to be back and actions to take if you don't make it back.
That right there is your life line, and it's saved my ass more than once.
The most meticulous boat maintenance can still result in a break-down, or worse.
And even if you do leave a float plan, who is coming across the marsh to get you?
That's why I have that very last detail: be a Sea Tow member.
Let me break it down Barney-style.
Sea Tow is a marine assistance provider, aiding anglers who aren't in a life-threatening emergency.
When I inevitably break down, I call Sea Tow, and they come get me right away, at no charge to myself.
This is because I am a member of Sea Tow.
I get priority over non-members, and don't come out of pocket.
You really, really do not want to be a non-member.
I've seen the unwitting and unprepared fork out as much as $1500 to pay for the service they're not a member of.
Compare that to the $179 I pay every year for an annual membership.
I fail to see how I can make this anymore clear.
If you're not a Sea Tow member, you're not a Sea Tow member. Period.
Any insurance agent telling you otherwise is incredibly mistaken or misinformed.
Think of this: when you make that phone call, do you want your fate in the hands of a city-slicker customer rep sitting in a fluorescent-lit cubicle hundreds of miles away?
Or do you want to be speaking with a boat captain familiar with your scenario and local waters?
Again, this is a painfully obvious no-brainer.
I've been a Sea Tow member for years, and they've always done good by me.
Call 1-800-4-SEATOW or hit the button below.
Devin is the founder of Louisiana Fishing Blog and enjoys exploring new fishing spots on Louisiana's coast. He prefers using artificial lures and casting tackle, but won't hesitate to break out a popping cork when the time is right.
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new window. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.