Getting Ready for Spring Fishing


Capt.Jimmy Samia

Getting ready for spring fishing is more about anticipation and waiting for the weather to get good enough to get the boat out of storage than actually getting the boat on the water. At least, that’s the way I’m feeling about it right now. I’m sitting here recovering from a chest cold that sent us to the clinic to get some meds to help alleviate the discomfort and am just starting to feel better. Just recently, I was added to the Lake Ontario Discussion and Reports (South Shore) page on facebook. To say my cell phone has been blowing up is an understatement. Everyone is feeling the same amount of anticipation waiting for the weather to break so we can get back out onto the water.Here at Ace Charters , we are anxiously awaiting and anticipating when we will be able to get our boat out of storage and into the water for our shakedown cruise on the Hudson River. This post will outline and describe getting ready for spring, at least the way we have been doing it for the past several years. So let’s get started!

The “Ace” is stored inside a metal barn located in Oswego,NY and has been kept there for the past few years. It sits on a trailer and is stored with several other boats of various shapes and sizes.

Getting ready for spring fishing and heading out onto the Lake

The Ace Charter Boat on its way to action!

Our first step, of course,is to contact the owner of the barn so that we can rendezvous with him to get the boat out.The Ace is one of the last boats to go into storage and is the first boat to come out come springtime. The Ace has never been stored outside during the winter. We hook the boat up to our Chevy pickup truck and tow it a short distance to Scriba Hill Campground where we have been staying at for years!When we start our Lake Ontario fishing charters in early June, many of our clients stay in the cabins here at the campground as well as the price is very affordable.

The batteries on the boat will need charging and thats the first thing that needs to be done. We use a portable battery charger and an extension cord connected to power supplied at the campground. While the batteries are charging, we give the outside of the boat the once over with hull cleaner to remove any of the stains and growth that the bottom paint didn’t repel from the previous season. Next, any spots that need recoating with bottom paint get touched up.We have had great success with VC17 as all you need to do is clean the spots with solvent and then roll the VC17 over the area that needs covering.There is no sanding required and the VC17 dries very quickly! We then move on to washing and waxing the exterior hull. Most of this can be done in about half a day.

The interior of the boat is then inspected for any necessary repairs or cleaning. We do clean the inside of the Ace before we put her away for the winter so there usually isn’t too much to do here. All the electronics are then brought back onto the boat and hooked up. We coat all connections prior to storage with dielectric gel. This really helps to prevent corrosion and assures solid connections. Next, we go through the dashboard electronic switches to check the functionality of all onboard components such as nav lights,bilge pumps,windshield wipers, windlass,etc. This is where you find out if any winter Gremlins got on your boat and messed with your stuff. It always amazes me that when getting ready for spring fishing that things that worked perfectly in the fall when you put the boat away somehow quit working come springtime.

If all goes well here, the boat is then hooked up to the tow vehicle and brought to Coeymans’ Landing Marina on the Hudson River awaiting to be launched into the mighty Hudson and tied off to the dock near the gas pumps. All the striper tackle is then brought onboard. If we have time, we usually try to top off the gas tanks in anticipation of the annual shakedown cruise to take place the following morning.

As you can see, there is quite a bit that goes into getting ready for spring fishing and having the boat ready for the beginning of another charter fishing season. As previously mentioned, this time off the year carries with it the width of anticipation awaiting and finally being able to get the boat in the water so that we can go fishing. I can’t wait. Can you?