Get Your Boat Ready for Fishing in 10 Steps

Derek Bierman   Saturday, April 14, 2007 2:36 AM

Is your boat ready for fishing season? Here are 10 steps to check off before you hook your boat up to the hitch.

Step 1

Is my trailer licensed?

Before you land a fine for pulling your boat with an expired license, make sure you have your current stickers.

Step 2

Do I have my boat registration?

Make sure you have your boat registration handy incase any law enforcement officials want to make sure the boat you are using/pulling belongs to you.

Step 3

Are my boat registration numbers correct?

My uncle was approached by the coast guard during a fishing tournament, and he was really hassled for not having his boat registration numbers in the correct format. If you are unsure it should be formatted like so, "TN 1379 DC". Also make sure your date stickers have a good 12 inches of space from those registration numbers. If you need new numbers you can order them from one of these sites.

Step 4

Does my boat need gear lubricant?

Were you good to your boat and drained the heavy weight oil before winter? You were? Good, now you need to add it back in. If you run anything besides a two stroke, you should also check your motor oil at this time.

Step 5

Do I need to check my trailer tires?

If you do not want to find yourself on the side of the road with a flat tire or worse need a spare, you probably want to add some air and check or buy a spare.

Step 6

Does my boat trailer need any wiring repairs?

"Officer, I swear those trailer lights worked when I left..." Did you really check? It just takes a little water in your wires to cause a trailer light mishap. That water can work its way clear up into your wiring and cause a break you cannot see. Give yourself plenty of time to replace your trailer wiring if it needs it.

Step 7

Are all my boat and trailer fasteners tightened down?

I have lost a boat because I forgot to tighten it down to the trailer after doing some wiring work. Double check that every strap and crank is tight.

Step 8

Do I need to add or change out my boat engine fuel?

Old gas can be disposed of at most fueling stations. Do not dump it on your lawn you work so hard to keep green. If you run a two stroke you will need to pick up some oil to mix in with that fresh tank of gas.

Step 9

Do my marine batteries need to be charged?

If you want to avoid using your truck battery, you better charge up those marine batteries.

Step 10

Do I have all my boating safety equipment?

This gets me every year...funny thing is that I am never in the boat when the game warden checks. My brother always gets the ticket when I am lacking in safety equipment. Check to make sure you have an ore, life jackets for all passengers, fire extinguisher, air horn, lights for night fishing (and they work). You might want a cell phone or a CB incase of an emergency.


Not all boats or situations are the same. This is the checklist I try to use every year, and it helps most of the time. I still tend to forget things like bait, fishing tackle, etc. Have fun and remember boats need to go counter clockwise on the water.

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re: Get Your Boat Ready for Fishing in 10 Steps
5/10/2007 5:15:33 PM  Daniel says,

Just was I was going to do this weekend, and you gift wrapped my to do list. Thanks!

re: Get Your Boat Ready for Fishing in 10 Steps
12/29/2011 10:47:09 PM  Sugar says,

A rolling stone is worth two in the bush, thnkas to this article.

re: Get Your Boat Ready for Fishing in 10 Steps
4/17/2013 5:28:55 PM  LOPEZ FAMILY says,

hi me and my husband just got our first boat he loves fishing and the whole family is excited to get it in the water it is a used pontoon boat but its nice we bought it from his aunt she lives in another state she only gave us the trailer title and said she had to send off for boat title dose the boat have a title like a car and im really confused about the numbers you have to put on the side of boat and registering the boat can you tell me what and how I can get the things I need to get my boat legal and we live in Missouri and is the registration numbers we put on side of boat how do you get a num. and were and do we need a num for the trailer to im sorry I know im a dum ass when it comes to these things it over whelms me if you could just give me some info please thanks

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