• ads

Fishing With Kenny

By Cassie Livingston
In Fishing with Kenny
Apr 29th, 2020

Prepare for What Might Go Wrong… Because One Day it Will


Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In my mind there is no doubt that he was an outdoor person. If your passion is hunting and/or fishing then you probably have your share of “what can go wrong, will go wrong” stories. Fortunately, a lot of these mishaps can be fixed or even avoided with just a little bit of preparation. Unfortunately, a lack of preparation can turn a simple problem into a bigger issue.
Having fished tournaments over a span of five decades I must admit it isn’t often I am surprised while on the water. I have always prided myself on being able to deal with the controlled variables of my sport but I have also taken a lot of pride in being prepared for the variables that I can’t control. Only once have I ever had to quit fishing a tournament early due to a mechanical malfunction. I try to think of what might happen and prepare for just that very thing.
However, some things are unavoidable. A blown engine. A broken trolling motor shaft. These things can and will happen if you fish long enough. But what about things such as running out of gas or batteries going dead? These are avoidable mishaps. Always check to see if you need to put gas in your boat or four-wheeler. Check and maintain your batteries, especially if you don’t use your boat very often. A little preparedness would go a long way!
Some common problems I have witnessed over the years are also the ones I believe to be the easiest to avoid. A broken trolling motor prop is a good example. While fishing with a long-time friend of mine once, his trolling motor prop broke. I asked him where he kept his spare prop and he told me he didn’t have one. I asked him why and he said, “I have never broken one before so I never thought of buying a spare.” To add insult to injury, had he had a spare prop, he didn’t have the tools needed to change it out. If you spend a lot of time on the water there is no reason you shouldn’t have a spare trolling motor prop as well as a spare prop for your main engine as well. However, you also need the proper tools to change them.
By now you may be asking yourself “what are some things I should keep with me to keep a small issue from becoming a day killer?” The first thing, since we have already spoke of them, regardless if you are a hunter or fisherman, you should always keep a good supply of tools handy. If you know your sport, you should be familiar with the pitfalls that may come your way and be able to keep the necessary tools to help with the most common scenarios. When it comes to tools, remember, you will always need several sizes and styles of pliers, a few special application sockets and a set of screwdrivers. With those few things you can do a lot.
What about electrical issues? A good electrical connector kit, a roll of electrical tape and a set of crimpers are must haves. Often this is all that is needed to fix a bad connection or a loose wire that may keep your trolling motor from working or your live-well pumps from working properly. Most electrical issues in a boat or outdoor based, once they are discovered, can be easily fixed if you have the proper equipment.
One of the most important things to always have in your possession is a good first aid kit. The importance of this can’t be stressed enough. A few years ago, while fishing a tournament I accidently stabbed myself in the thumb with the sharp point of a culling ball. Once I was able to dislodge it from my thumb my immediate thought was to wrap it up as tight as I could so I could stop the bleeding. While I am not much of a medical professional, I was able to keep a bad situation from becoming a lot worse. Without a good first aid kit, I could have been in a lot of trouble.
Since we are in the outdoors all the time, what about clothes? Well, that’s a great question. I have always kept extra clothes in my truck at all times. During the winter months I keep spare clothes, including socks, in my boat. I also keep an extra pair of gloves in case the ones I am wearing get wet. Once you get cold wet hands or feet without a way to get them warm and dry, your day is done.
Rainy weather presents its own set of issues depending on the time of year. I have two types of rain suits. One I use during the winter months as protection against the winter weather and cold winds, the other I use for normal rain suit purposes. Another thing to keep in your truck or boat is a good parka. It always comes in handy when your fishing partner forgot to bring his rain suit and a downpour is looming. It may not keep them completely dry but it will at least keep them from getting totally soaked.
Let’s see, what else? Oh yeah, extra boat plugs, for both inside the transom and outside, can be a life-savers. A survival kit, while it may seem extreme, is something more and more people are carrying with them. You just never know what may happen at any time when you are spending time outdoors. Extra life jackets are a good thing to have in case you need to loan one to someone who may have forgotten theirs. Sunglasses and Sahara hats should be mandatory in the hotter months of the year. Both make warm summer days on the water more pleasant and enjoyable.
Here is something you may not have thought of, even if you don’t fish tournaments a good weigh-in bag is a good thing to keep in your boat. It will allow you to bail water if your bilge pump quits working or will let you fill your live-wells if your pumps go out. All of these things are simple additions that can make your time in the outdoors more enjoyable. Remember, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure!
Well, it looks like we have run out of time and space for another month. Time sure flies when you are having fun! I sure hope we were able to help give you some ideas on ways to make your outdoor experiences safer and more enjoyable. Please be careful in the woods and on the water. Practice safety, use caution and be patient.
See you next month!