Let the offseason begin!

Brent Chapman with his Triton.Courtesy of Brent ChapmanBrent Chapman with his Triton.
I have two tips for the week and both are tasks I've just completed. The first is boat maintenance, and I do a lot of it. Typically, every two or three tournaments, depending on conditions, I will go through the whole boat and tighten everything up. I will also lubricate things that might be making noise while on the water as well, like a trolling motor. By simply tightening all the bolts and screws, you can prevent major malfunctions on the water. We have incredible techs at every tournament that keep our boats in tip-top shape, but — like the old saying goes — an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Some key things I check include the bolts that keep the motor on the jackplate and the jackplate on the boat. Then I check all the bolts on the trolling motor mount. I'll lubricate anything there that might be making noise. Next, I check all the tires on the trailer for air pressure and any unusual wear. I check the bearings and make sure those look good and are properly greased. Then I go through all the rod locker lids, graph mounts and anything else that can shake loose over time.

Overall, it only takes a small amount time, and it can save me not only time on the water, but potentially thousands of dollars in repair bills. Take the time and make sure you keep your boat in tip-top shape.

The second tip I have for you has to do with selling your boat and/or getting a new boat. Take time to really organize your boat and take notes regarding how you have it organized before you empty it for sale. This will make the transition into the new boat smoother. Figuring out the best way to organize your boat is like a puzzle or cool experiment.

Getting an organization system can save you time on the water and make your day a little more enjoyable. Nothing is worse than looking for that one bait you know will get bit, but you just can't find it in the boat. Make sure it fits your style of fishing and works for you. Once you find an organization style that works for you, be sure to take pictures or notes so you can duplicate it in your next boat.