Tow, tow, tow your boat

Few people log as many miles towing boats as the Elite Series pros. Therefore, few of us have as much experience and insight into the intricacies and nuances of towing a bass boat. And among those anglers who log tens of thousands of miles pulling their rigs all across the country, perhaps no one knows more about it than Florida's Terry Scroggins.

You see, when Scroggins isn't pulling his bass boat all over creation, he's probably towing his 28-foot, 10,000-pound ocean boat to the beach to do some saltwater fishing. Both rigs come along nicely behind Big Show's Toyota Tundra, but there are important differences that Scroggins must account for before he ever leaves home.

"When you're towing heavy loads — whether it's a bass boat or my ocean rig — it's critical to balance the weight of the boat on the trailer," Scroggins says. "That means putting it on a level surface and making sure it's riding evenly between the two sets of wheels on the tandem wheel trailer."

When the rig is balanced properly, you'll not only get a smoother ride, but you'll also maximize your gas mileage.

"The biggest culprit of a rough ride is having the trailer tongue sitting too low," Scroggins says. "Luckily it's an easy and cheap fix. For about $25 you can get a Reese hitch with the proper adjustment to give you that balanced ride."

If you park your tow vehicle and boat on a level surface and see that the tongue of the trailer is lower than it should be for a level ride, find a hitch that will raise it to the proper level. Similarly, if it's too high, you'll want one with the right drop-down.

"When you get it right and you have the right tow vehicle, you'll be going down the road and hardly realize the boat is behind you. Until you get it right, though, you're going to have problems. When you log as many miles pulling a boat as I do, the little things can become big really fast."

Originally published November 2011