Surprise! It’s Spring — Mild Winter Means Go Fishing
Remember staying inside, sipping hot chocolate and watching the snow fall outside your window this winter? Yeah, we don’t either – and it wasn’t because we didn’t have any hot chocolate.
The winter of 2011-2012 just never came. In fact, January was the fourth warmest in 117 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Most people’s reaction is mixed: sad to lose the snow and glad to skip the chills. For anglers, the news couldn’t be clearer: Time to go fishing.
Even so, natural resource and fish and game departments across the nation are bumping up their 2012 fishing schedules to match the warm weather on lakes, rivers and shores. In fact, fishing starts in Ohio in less than two weeks after the state’s Department of Natural Resources releases rainbow trout.
Before you start counting tackle and rescheduling your usual May fishing retreat, put a little TLC back into your marine batteries. After the overview from Battery Expert Gale Kimbrough in Boats.com, here are a few specific steps on how to de-winterize your marine batteries.
- First thing, check the battery status. Pop open the vent caps and look at the liquid levels of each cell. If the liquid electrolyte is lower than the plates, refill the cell with distilled water. Next, use a hydrometer to check the specific gravities in each cell of every battery. If the state of charge is below 75%, move on to charging the battery.
- Next, charge the battery. Battery chargers are specifically designed for certain battery types. For your cranking battery, get a cranking battery charger. Get a deep-cycle battery charger with an amp rating that matches the ampere hour rating on your deep-cycle battery’s label. (Divide the ampere hour rating by 10 to get the amp rating.) When charging your battery, be sure to set it to an automatic setting or constant voltage setting.
- Once charged, clean the battery. Mix baking soda and water to create a toothpaste-like mixture for cleaning the terminals, connectors and the battery tops. Scrub the mixture around the terminals and then rinse and dry the mixture off.
- Finally, reconnect your batteries to your boat. Don’t over-tighten the connections. Give the connected terminals and battery posts a spray of corrosion preventative to finish the job. Check your batteries’ state of charge the night before you head out. If they’re low, charge them up.
Like any good angler, you want to prepare for your trip. With your batteries properly de-winterized, you’re now a great angler, ready to get out there early in the year.