All posts by Capt. Gus Cane

Summer Dolphin Tactics

 

Summer Dolphin Tactics

By Capt. Gus Cane

 

Dolphin, Dorado, mahimahi. No matter what you call them these neon green, yellow and blue speedsters are perhaps the perfect pelagic game fish. Why? Because they fight extremely hard, they are common in warm waters around the world, they grow super fast, and they taste delicious. That’s why Dolphin are such a popular summertime target.

 

To get in on the fun, start with the computer. Satellite forecasting services can help pinpoint likely zones based on water temperatures, underwater structure, currents and temporary features like color changes and weed lines. Reports from the local tackle shop, marina or fishing forum will help narrow the search too.

 

On the water, the boat’s electronics will be invaluable tools. The chart plotter will identify ledges, humps and depth contours that concentrate bait. Some units offer real-time data overlays. Dial in the radar to paint frigates and other birds hunting for bait and keep a pair of binoculars handy to confirm the blips. The sounder will show the differences in water temperatures. Dolphin love hot water, so even a degree or two of change could mean a concentration of fish.

Having a mixed tackle set-up will expand your dolphin opportunities. Big plastic chugger and jet head lures on trolling combos run several waves behind the boat will cover plenty of water. A heavy Nylure lead jig in bright yellow trolled way back is a surefire bet. It often produces when nothing else will. A heavy spinning outfit with a large surface lure like a Sebile Popper can be cast quickly whenever the birds are working bait, or you run across a nice weed line or floating debris. Dolphin love to hang around anything, from wooden pallets, oil drums, trees and other flotsam. These “surface structures” attract small baitfish, which in turn attracts hungry dolphin. Another spinning outfit with a stout live bait hook and a chunk of ballyhoo is great enticement when that gang of gaffers does show up.

Dolphin typically travels in packs so once one is hooked, keep it in the water as long as possible. The thrashing and commotion will pull its school mates into casting range. If, after catching a couple the fish seem to lose interest, throw a handful of small cut ballyhoo pieces overboard. That will usually fire ‘em up again. Another trick is to use the raw water washdown hose and spray a light shower near the boat. The noise and dimpling water often triggers another feeding frenzy.

After a fun fight comes the best part—eating the catch. Dolphin filets are very mild and can be cooked a variety of ways. It’s hard to beat a big slab hot off the grill, however.

Visit Yamaha Outboards.com Today.

 

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

Get the Right Gaff!

 

Get the Right Gaff!

By Capt. Gus Cane

Nets work well for handling smaller inshore species, but for big, powerful adversaries gaffs are the preferred tool for landing fish. There are several sizes, lengths and even styles of gaffs though, so getting the right one is important.

Gaffs handles are usually made of aluminum or fiberglass. The hook end of the shaft is often tapered for less resistance in the water. The butt end is thicker for extra strength and has a plastic or EVA foam grip for better retention with wet hands. The hook itself is stainless steel of various gauges depending on the size and type. A rounded bend hook is the most popular, although diamond-shaped hooks are becoming more common. When considering shaft lengths, take into account the height of the boat’s gunwales above the waterline. Shorter lengths offer better control, while longer ones reduce the reach. Storage aboard the boat when the gaff is not in use is another consideration before purchasing.

For smaller sized fish like schoolie kingfish or dolphin, a 2-inch hook on a 4- to 6-foot shaft gaff is a good choice. The hook’s gape or the distance between the hook point and shaft or handle should match the approximate depth of the fish’s body being landed. The smaller the gauge of hook, the easier it will penetrate. A 3-inch gaff will handle fish up to 50 pounds or so, while a 4-inch gaff is designed for big broad fish like tuna and sharks up to 250 pounds. Keep in mind more than one gaff may be needed to swing fish of that size aboard.

Specialty Gaffs are designed for specific purposes. Tournament king mackerel anglers prefer 12-foot long 3-inch gaffs to make sure “smokers” don’t get away. Flying gaffs are heavy-duty versions with large gape hooks that detach from the handle. A rope is tied to a reinforced cleat on the boat, and once the fish is gaffed, the hook pulls free, yet the rope keeps the trophy tethered. Flying gaffs are mostly used for marlin, tuna and large pelagic sharks like makos or threshers.

Gaffing requires timing, steady nerves and lots of practice. Veteran gaff men make sure the hook point is facing down and towards the boat as the fish is brought alongside to avoid breaking the line. It’s best to aim the hook point towards the head for better control and not ruin the meat. After the fish is gaffed, the angler should back off the reel drag or switch to the clicker mechanism to prevent line overruns if the fish takes off again. Communication between the angler and the gaff man is critical too. The angler shouldn’t pull the fish’s head out of the water, while the gaffer must wait patiently for a clean shot. With the proper timing and deft moves, even the largest prey can be gaffed, subdued and brought safely aboard.

Visit Yamaha Outboards.com today.

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

Bait Magnets

 

Bait Magnets

By Capt. Gus Cane

Live bait enthusiasts know you can never have too much bait on board and one of the fastest ways to “black out” a live well is by chumming. Several methods are effective, but soaking frozen blocks of chum is the most popular.

Available at tackle shops and marinas, frozen chum typically consists of ground-up menhaden or shrimp trawl by-catch. It usually comes in 6-pound blocks in wax-paper boxes. The block slips easily into nylon bags with mesh openings from 1/4 to 3/8 inch and a drawstring closure. To activate, simply lower the bag into the water, give it several good shakes to start the flow and tie the bag off on a boat cleat. The current and occasional shake will do the rest. Before stashing the container box in a bucket or hatch, dip it in the water to remove any residue and add to the slick.

As the chum starts to thaw, oil and tiny particles (scales, bits of flesh, skin) will slowly drift behind the boat in the current, forming a noticeable slick on the water’s surface. The combination will soon attract different kinds of bait depending on the water depth and location. Pinfish, blue runners, ballyhoo, pilchards, herring, and sardines are the prime baits attracted by the chum. Once the bait arrives, small jigs, Sabiki® rigs or a cast net can be used to gather the bounty.

Dry commercial chum, typically menhaden pellets in burlap bags, is another alternative. Dry Chum is vacuum-bagged and can be stored indefinitely, so there’s less mess and waste.

Some anglers prefer to make their own chum using ground-up fish carcasses and frozen menhaden or mackerel. A grinder mounted to plate and placed in a stern rod holder can pulverize this raw or frozen concoction directly overboard. Although more labor-intensive than soaking the frozen blocks, this method does work well. There are also products like the chum churn.  that hangs over the side. The long slender tube is filled with fish parts, and the internal blades chop and dice as the handle is pumped.

Do-it-yourself frozen blocks aren’t difficult to make either if a large chest freezer is available. Dry cat food or oatmeal soaked with water and generous splashes of menhaden oil can be poured into quart-size plastic zip bags and frozen. On the water, put them in a mesh bag and soak over the side just like the store-bought blocks.

Mesh chum bags can be bought in bulk and then thrown away after the trip. If you prefer to recycle, however, tie the empty bag off the transom cleat, so it dangles in the water on the run back in. The waves and splashes will scour it clean for the next time you want to chum for bait.

Visit Yamaha Outboards.com Today!

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

Seatrout Secrets

 

Seatrout Secrets

By Capt. Gus Cane

Spotted seatrout or specks as they’re often called, are a favorite quarry for skiff anglers from the Chesapeake Bay to Laguna Madre. They can be fooled by a variety of baits and lures, they’re abundant and delicious prepared several ways. Smaller trout are not difficult to find. Trophy “gator” trout are very wary, however, and a challenging adversary. To catch big fish, try these techniques:

Start on top but stay flexible. Trout are ambush predators and big trout like big baits. Topwater stick lures are effective, especially with a “walk-the-dog” or a darting, sideways retrieve. If the lure has rattles or a cupped face to make noise or spit water, that’s added attraction. Make long casts and work the lure back with an erratic, wounded motion. The fish will often track the lure for a distance before striking.

If the trout strikes and misses, pause the lure for a moment before resuming the retrieve. Trout usually kill a bait first before swallowing it. If the short strikes continue without a hookup, switch rods and try a subsurface presentation such as a soft-plastic jerk bait, imitation shrimp or suspending plug. Live shrimp rigged on a leader under a clacker-style cork will fool big trout too. The noise of the cork’s rattles/beads mimic frantic shrimp and arouse attention. If a trout hits the cork instead, switch over to a topwater plug.

Trophy trout are also similar to realtors. It’s all about location, location, location. Ambush points like sandy pot holes in sea grass flats, oyster bars, creek mouths, and pilings are convenient places to hide before pouncing on a passing meal. Even color changes between muddy or dirty water and clear can hold big trout. Find those spots, and you’ll find the fish.

Big “gator” trout are mainly loners. They don’t get big by being stupid so hunt for them in less pressured areas. That typically means super-skinny flats or tidal creeks that don’t see a lot of boat traffic.

Big trout like freebies too. While drifting the flats actively casting, rig a live pinfish, finger mullet or pilchard on a circle hook and float and let it drag behind the boat. You’ll cover more water, and that struggling morsel often attracts some of the biggest trout in the area.

If you love to catch trout, redfish and other inshore species, the Carolina Skiff 18 JVX CC is perfect for you!

Designed with fishing in mind, the 18 JVX CC will provide you great access to shallow creeks and rivers where you need to fish.

The JVX 18 CC is a solid performer with a lightweight hull, Mod V Hull design and can carry more weight further and faster to yield more valuable fishing time on the water. With a length of 17 feet 9 inches and a beam of 78 inches, you will be able to reach all of your hot spots effectively and efficiently.

There are many standard options available including full instrumentational console, front deck 12-volt trolling motor plug, 12 gallon live well and a 70-quart removable cooler. Plus, there are many additional options available to meet your needs from a raw water wash-down to upgrades to a 24-volt trolling motor.

Check out the Carolina Skiff JVX 18 CC or better yet, you can Build Your Own Boat by adding all of the options that are important to you.

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

Terminally Well

 

Terminally Well  

By Capt. Gus Cane

Even the most expensive rods and reels are worthless without critical hardware. Catching coastal fish requires a wide variety of terminal tackle—the hooks, swivels, line, leader, crimps and other components that complete the rigs. You might be targeting a certain species. But in the briny, you never know what might show up so it pays to be fully prepared to capitalize on whatever opportunities might arise.

Obviously, line is needed on the reels. The choice between braid and monofilament is a personal one. Both have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Having multiple combos on board offers more flexibility and allows a quick switch from light to heavy if the situation calls for it. If space is limited, carry spare spools loaded with different line classes in case of a break-off, bird’s next or the need to scale up or down.

A similar situation exists with leader material. Multiple spools of different line strengths allow for fast changes. Monofilament leader works well for many applications. For super spooky fish or in clear water conditions, fluorocarbon leader is another option. Again, there are pros and cons to each leader type. Having a mix in the tackle bag will cover all bases. Toothy game fish like king, Spanish and cero mackerel, along with wahoo, barracuda, and sharks, often require the use of wire leader. Single-strand, coated and multi-strand cable are all handy depending on the circumstances. A mix will handle any variables.

The same holds true for an assortment of terminal tackle. Hooks come in multiple styles, sizes, and strengths. A thin-wire 1/0 circle hook nose-hooked to a small pinfish is a good match for a trophy seatrout. But that same hook would be way too light for feeding a palm-size pilchard to an 80-pound tarpon. Similarly, the treble hook on a six-inch surface popper just won’t work as a stinger hook on a kingfish rig. That’s why quantity, quality, and application are so important with terminal tackle. You could go through multiple rigs during a hot bite, and you certainly don’t want to run out or have the wrong stuff. Be prepared, and you’ll be ready for whatever you might encounter.

A good way to organize terminal tackle is by type and sometime species. Clear plastic tackle boxes with multiple (or adjustable) compartments allow loading by size or style. For example, keeping multiple sizes of swivels and crimps in one box allows a quick visual reference. Hooks and sinkers can be organized the same way. The boxes can be color coordinated or labeled with tape or magic marker. Loading several boxes in an open duffel bag makes them easier to tote.

Don’t forget the specialized terminal tackle items either. Plastic beads, copper wire, rubber tubing, dusters, dental floss, floats and balloons all have their place in special rigs. Don’t overlook the rigging tools as well. Pliers, crimpers, needles, deboners, bait knives, scissors and other accessories should be kept with the terminal tackle for quick access.

When you’re 30 miles offshore on a weed line loaded with gaffer dolphin, you don’t want to run out of the right hooks or rigs. Stock up and organize your terminal tackle and you won’t be disappointed.

Learn More Visit Yamaha Outboards.com Today.

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

The Versatile Ballyhoo

 

The Versatile Ballyhoo

By Capt. Gus Cane

When targeting reef and offshore gamefish, the versatile ballyhoo is an excellent bait choice. Fished whole or cut into chunks, ballyhoo will entice everything from snapper to dolphin to blue marlin. It’s readily available, either live or frozen, and can be rigged in a variety of ways.

Although common in subtropical waters around the globe, the Florida Keys is where ballyhoo first made an impact in charter circles. The most common method of collecting a well full is by anchoring near the shallow patch reefs and soaking a frozen chum block off the boat’s stern. It won’t take long for the halfbeaks to show up by the dozens. As they dart through the drifting bits of thawing chum, a well-placed throw of a large cast net can quickly gather enough for the day. Ballyhoo are somewhat delicate, though, so be sure to avoid exceeding the live well capacity or keep the excess catch in the cooler to use later.

Rig a live ballyhoo with an appropriately sized circle hook and fluorocarbon or monofilament leader for live bait trolling. Fifty- to 60-pound test line will result in more strikes. Insert the hook through the lower jaw or side to side through the cheeks and troll barely above idle speed to avoid killing the bait. This same set-up can also be used as a pitch bait for sails or dolphin cruising on the surface.

Brined fresh dead or thawed ballyhoo are probably the most popular big-game bait of all time. Who knows how many marlin—both blue and white—and tuna have succumbed to the unassuming ballyhoo. Historically rigged with a J-hook, new conservation mandates and better hook-up ratios have ushered in the switch to circle hooks. The key again is matching hook size to the bait for solid hook sets. Heavy monofilament or fluorocarbon leaders are normally used to impart realistic swimming action. Some crews switch to single-strand wire leaders to avoid cutoffs from wahoo and barracuda, however. Plain or “naked” ballyhoo are effective and are often rigged with a chin weight egg sinker to get down below the surface chop.

Running a lure in front of the ballyhoo increases the profile, adds color and most importantly helps slow the “washing” effect to prolong the usefulness. Soft plastic or nylon skirts are the most commonly used, with an Islander jet head and blue/white nylon skirt the all-time favorite. Trolled ballyhoo can be used on flat lines, off outriggers or behind teasers and dredges. The number of presentation possibilities is another reason why it’s such a popular bait.

Reef anglers use chunks of ballyhoo for snapper and grouper when bottom-fishing. A single ‘hoo can be cut into multiple pieces. Another method is butterflying the fish or filleting along the sides and removing the tail and spine. The exposed flesh adds scent, flutters enticingly and attracts smaller bait like pinfish and grunts.

Whether you catch them yourself or buy frozen packs from the local tackle shop or marina, adding the versatile ballyhoo to the arsenal will definitely increase your offshore success.

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Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

Advance Planning Will Enhance Your Next Fishing Vacation

 

Advance Planning Will Enhance Your Next Fishing Vacation

By Capt. Gus Cane

Hot summer fishing and vacations go together like hot dogs and watermelon. The action is fast-paced, and it’ s the perfect opportunity to enjoy time on the water with family and friends. To maximize the enjoyment, though, plan ahead to take full advantage of your valuable leisure time.

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Long before you arrive, start by doing as much research as you can about the area you’ll be fishing. Even if you’ve been there previously, conditions change from season to season, and you’ ll want to be prepared. Sport-fishing magazines and the internet are two good sources of information. Pay special attention to trends, locations or conditions, techniques, and baits/lures. For example, an archival search of a magazine website (or hard copy back issues) might reveal a new tactic for catching trophy striped bass. Another might describe a wreck that’ s attracting flounder or flats that are especially productive for tailing redfish.

Local fishing forums and guide websites are more excellent sources of information with real-time updates. By surfing through those, you can learn what the best baits or lure patterns are for the current conditions. Check out the latest reports to see what tides have been producing, the best depths and the current water clarity. Be sure to check the state fisheries agency too. They’ll have the latest on bag and size limits, special license needs or any area closures.

Pick up the phone and make a few calls before you go. The marina where you’ll be keeping the boat or launching is a great source of local knowledge. So are the local tackle shops. They’ll also have all the tackle, bait and ice you’ll need for that specific area.

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Speaking of tackle, don’t wait until the night before your first outing to check over your gear. Give it a thorough inspection long before leaving the homestead. Check drags, guides and reel seats. Re-spool the reels with new line and make sure they are operating smoothly. If not, have them serviced or do it yourself. Don’t forget to pack the other necessary gear as well, like landing nets or gaffs, coolers, leader material, de-hookers and other tools, plus the tackle bag/box with all the terminal gear you might need including hooks, sinkers, crimps, and swivels.

Start a list and write out everything and check it off as each item is being packed so nothing is left behind. Redundancy is always a good policy, especially if the vacation spot is remote. Carry enough rods and reels for all contingencies. You may anticipate fishing offshore, but wind and weather may force a change of plans by the time the trip rolls around. An arsenal of light-tackle could easily save the week if you have it with you, though.

It’s always a good insurance policy to carry a full spare hub assembly and spare tire in case there’s a problem on the road.

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Vacations are the perfect chance to try out some new fishing and with the Carolina Skiff Ultra-Elite Series 23, you’ll have the versatility and features to make that happen. This model has plenty of room and the range to carry the entire family to that special spot and all the amenities for putting fish in the boat once you drop anchor. With a capacity for 16 rods, coaming pads, an insulated live well and three-tray tackle storage, you’ll be able to fish in style and maximize your well-deserved break from the daily grind.

Once the battles are over, cool off with a refreshing dip. The swim platform and transom shower on the 23 make it easy to re-board and rinse off afterwards. And then sit back and relax on the folding rear bench seat or the flip-back leaning post, enjoy a cold beverage using one of the cup-holders and take in the sunset for the perfect ending to another fun-filled summer vacation.

Visit Carolina Skiff.com Today!

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

After the Strike

 

After the Strike

By Capt. Gus Cane

 

World record-holders will quickly agree there is much more to skilled angling than simply finding and hooking a fish. The battle, especially with large, powerful game fish, is just beginning after the strike. In order to successfully whip an adversary that often exceeds the strength of the line by several multipliers requires knowledge, finesse, and patience.

 

Knowing the line and having the drag set properly are two critical aspects. Monofilament line has a tendency to stretch, especially with lighter pound test. Certain classes of mono are marketed to meet a specified line rating for tournaments and records, while others may vary somewhat on the heavier side. Braided or spectra-fiber line is popular because of its sensitivity and smaller diameter. Braid does typically exceed its stated class rating, however.

Regardless of line, a smooth drag set to the correct tightness is key. The normal setting is one-third the breaking strength of the line. In other words, 20-pound test line should have a drag setting of no more than 6 to 6 1/2 pounds. Drags can be measured with a scale after the reel has been warmed up (pull on the line several times to loosen the drag washers and ensure accurate readings). Once a drag has been set, it shouldn’t be tightened.

Drags can and often should be loosened, though. Once the fish is solidly hooked, slightly backing off the drag lessens the strain on the line while the other rods are being cleared or the fish makes a lengthy run. As more line pays off the spool, the resistance from the water actually increases the drag, and the problem compounds when a big belly or bow forms. Loosening the drag reduces the risk of pulling the hook or breaking the line.

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The boat operator has a crucial role too. Keeping the boat at a direct angle or as much as possible to the fish helps maintain the desired connection. The skipper may have to power forward or back down hard on the fish to maintain the best angle and keep the line taut.

Once the initial runs are over, making sure, the fish goes the way you want it to will shorten the fight. Dictate the direction it’s heading by changing angles of the rod. Keep the fish disoriented. This “down and dirty” style prevents it from gaining momentum. Anticipate last-ditch surges, have the wingman ready for the net or gaff and the fight will soon be over.

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Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

Covering the Column

 

Covering the Column

By Capt. Gus Cane

Angling success is tied directly to the laws of probability. The number of baits presented is proportional to the number of fish that can be caught. And the most effective way to present those various baits is by covering the entire water column. Here are several ways to do that:

 

Start on the surface. A topwater plug that makes a lot of noise or commotion will often attract the interest of any hungry fish, either solo or in a school. Single fish will strike thinking the lure is wounded or crippled. Schoolers will race each other in competition to an easy meal. Casting topwater lures is effective for a variety of species, from redfish, seatrout, stripers and snook to dolphin, king mackerel, and even tuna.

Live bait rigged to stay on or near the surface is enticing as well. Predators push bait to the top during an attack, so a nervous morsel suspended under a kite, balloon or cork is always easy pickings. Baits hooked through the nose, or dorsal fin will stay near the surface whereas those hooked in the stomach or lower tail tend to swim downward. Trolled baits and lures serve the same purpose. The combination of splashing and bubbles, often in conjunction with teasers, help draw the game fish into the surface strike zone.

Surface water temperature, thermoclines, clarity, and subsurface structure or habitat are all determining factors for fishing in the mid-level depths. During the hot summer months, inshore game fish will seek comfort in the cooler levels below. Structure-oriented species such as red snapper, amberjack, and cobia typically concentrate below the surface but above the bottom of wrecks, reefs, and other submerged objects. Adding weight or using weighted lures and baits is the easiest way to reach those targeted depths. Rigging mackerel, ballyhoo, and mullet with chin weights accomplishes the task for big game targets. Heavier bucktails, flutter jigs and suspending or lipped plugs are more ways to go deeper with normal tackle. Fish-finder rigs or pinch weights serve the same purpose. Rigging baits behind planers is another effective tactic, and for the ultimate controlled presentations, downriggers are deadly for keeping a bait in a measured—and repeatable—spot midway down in the water column.

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Adding still more weight is the best way to reach and hold bottom or at least bounce off the bottom. Heavy jigs and swim baits require stout tackle, but they get the job done. The same thing can be said for various weights either tied in-line or designed to break away, like those used for deep-drop rigs for daytime swordfish. Different sinker shapes have to be considered too. Oval egg sinkers allow the line to pull freely to impart more action while pyramid or bank sinkers are designed to stay stationary. Regardless of the shape or heft, use just enough weight to reach and hold the bottom in the current. Going too heavy will make it more difficult to detect subtle taps, especially with line stretch or bows.

Visit Yamaha Outboards.com Today!

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

Preventing Ethanol Headaches

 

Preventing Ethanol Headaches

By Capt. Gus Cane

 

Corn was a staple of early settlers, and it’s still a major part of our diet today. But a modern derivative of corn—ethanol—can create havoc in a boat’s fuel system. Fortunately, there are ways to combat the problems caused by ethanol to keep outboards running clean and strong.

 

Ethanol is a form of alcohol distilled from corn and other natural sources. Congress mandated it or E-10 as a fuel additive to reduce engine emissions and the dependency on foreign oil supplies. While those are admirable goals, certain characteristics of ethanol make it extremely problematic for outboard engines.

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Ethanol attracts water molecules, and that causes a major problem with vented fuel tanks. With humidity and condensation, water molecules can collect in the fuel tank and when the concentration accumulates to as little as one-half of one percent, the water, and alcohol molecules combine. When they do, they sink to the bottom of the tank where the fuel pick-up is located. Too much of this mix and the outboard can run rough or stall. Internal damage to the engine components is also possible. Excessive water can lead to phase separation, which reduces the octane level to further impact performance.

 

But that’s not all. Ethanol is a solvent that scours tanks, fuel lines, and other system components. It will dissolve certain plastics and rubber. It loosens debris and deposits. Fuel-injected outboards are designed with precise tolerances, so any foreign objects introduced into the system will cause problems sooner or later.

 

lubeGuideEthanol fuel breaks down quicker than non-ethanol blends too. When it does, it loses octane and becomes stale. Stale fuel causes engine knocks and hard starts, which robs performance and could cause damage.

 

So what are the best ways to avoid all these ethanol-related headaches? The sure-fire way is to never introduce it into the boat’s fuel system. More and more marinas and gas stations are offering non-ethanol gasoline, and the few extra pennies per gallon it costs are well worth the potential problems—and associated repair bills—it will prevent. 

 

If you have no other option than using E-10 blends, buy it from a source with a high turnover, so it’s fresh with the highest octane levels. If your boat wasn’t rigged with a 10-micron fuel/water separating filter when you bought it, install one right away. That’s the best defense against excessive water levels. Make sure it is installed between the fuel tank and outboard so that it traps water molecules and any debris or impurities. Change the filter at least once a season or more often if the boat is used regularly. When you do replace one, first apply a thin layer of clean engine oil to the rubber seal. It’ll seat better and come off easier if you do. Next, carefully fill the filter three-quarters full of fresh, stabilized gasoline before you spin it on the canister. That step makes it easier to prime the fuel system.

 

The last line of defense against ethanol problems is to add a fuel stabilizer and conditioner to every tank. This will help improve performance even if you’re using non-ethanol gas. Make sure the caremaint-yamalube-lube-2stabilizer is a made for marine engines and has a non-alcohol formula. You can get products like Yamalube Fuel Stabilizer & Conditioner PLUS and Ring Free PLUS from your dealer or marine supplier. Add them to the tank before filling up so they mix well and protect your engine they way they were designed.

 

Finally, bear in mind that no additive will improve bad gas. They won’t make it fresh again, remove water or cure ethanol-related problems. At that point, you’re going to need professional help. So to keep your outboard running smooth and strong switch to a corn-free, or at least a corn-lite, diet. And make sure your boat gets plenty of exercises.

 

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Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com