I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

• Battery Tray "Out for delivery" & Trolling Motor Tips

I'm being held hostage by Fed Ex today. I'm waiting for the battery tray I ordered from BPS. There's no telling whether or not I will hear them knock or if they will just leave the package on the doorstep without any notice at all. I can't afford to go anywhere because it varies as to whether or not a delivery is rescheduled or if they just leave the package when no one is home.

Once it gets here, I'll pull the cover off the boat, attempt to see if the screw holes line up with the old ones, yank the battery, pull out the old tray, and install the new one. I have yet to take the boat out on the water to try out the trolling motor with some new juice on board. I did spin the prop at different speeds in the driveway to make sure the new battery fixed the problem though. See one of my safety tips below before trying something like that.

If you ever have a battery tray that is too small for a new battery (as batteries with certain dimensions are sometimes hard to find), you could cut the most lateral edge out so the battery rests flat. It wouldn't have anywhere to go because the edge of the compartment is probably inches away. That's assuming the tray has a strap to hold the battery down. Some people might say an open tray like that wouldn't be a good idea if acid were to leak out. If you do buy a new tray, make sure the screw holes line up right. Drilling new holes in a boat is not something I prefer doing. If you do buy a tray that doesn't line up, you could always use velcro strips to hold it down on the floor of the compartment to keep it from sliding in addition to a strap holding it down against the tray. I'd love to hear other ideas.

Here are two tips for stowing the trolling motor. First, make sure you unplug it. You don't want the button to get hit accidentally while you're working at the front of the boat. A body part might be in the way. Second, at least with this motor, make sure the prop is turned towards the outside of the boat. If this one rests on the medial side and the button gets pressed by accident, it'll rip up the carpet at the front of the boat and possibly ruin the prop.

Cleaning out the guts just inside the prop is another good maintenance tip. The spin can pull debris down around the rod at the center of the prop. Make sure to read your manual. It probably shows you how to remove it. As I said before, make sure it's unplugged. On this one, you remove the propeller nut starting with pliers while holding the prop blades steady. The prop is then pulled straight out. As you are doing this, keep your eyes peeled for a falling propeller pin. If the pin was in a vertical position, it may just fall out of the hole that was keeping it in place against the prop. Remove any gunk around that center rod and put everything back together with an added 1/4 turn of the prop nut with your pliers.