Bringing a Freshwater Boat out in the Bay

Discussion in 'Bay Fishing' started by dakicka, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. dakicka

    dakicka Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys,

    I'm pretty active on the Freshwater Forum but I haven't gotten into Bay Fishing in SD, yet. I own a 2007 Tracker w/ 90HP Mercury Optimax. I've been over by Mission Bay and parts of Downtown's Bay lately and man its been absolutely gorgeous out! I've been itching to take my boat out there to not only fish but 'pleasure cruise' a couple weekend days a year, but always heard that its death to a bass boat: the engine, the wiring and the carpet.

    Does anyone care to weigh in on this? Can I take my boat out there and do some process before/after to saltwater proof it per say? Thanks in advance for any help on this!
     
  2. salt water guy

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    Yo, Dakicka – my two cents… It’s true, the salt will take its toll. I’m not specifically familiar with Tracker’s construction, (rivets vs weld) but the absolute key is a thorough wash-down afterwards. Don’t forget about your trailer. Your Mercury will be OK and there are products such as Salt-Away, etc that can help if you’re so inclined. Go for it man… The variety and quality of the fish in our bays is amazing.
     
  3. toolbox

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    Wash it all down extra good..including trailer.. double flush motor and WD40 the snot out of the rest and you'll be fine.
     
  4. dj thrillz

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    If you bring it into SD Bay, stay clear of them tugboats lol, them things create some gnarly waves, and fw bass boats and big waves arent a very good combo. I have seen a couple bass trackers but they were in MB, never any big waves there.
     
  5. JJbasser

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    i have a 14' tracker, and i have had no problems in the bay. got swamped a little once. it does get gnarly when the wind kicks up. wash her down real good after.
     
  6. dakicka

    dakicka Well-Known Member

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    Guys,

    Thanks for weighing in. I received the 'official' thoughts from Mercury and Tracker Marine today and I'm excited with what they had to say!!! Paraphrased below:

    Yes, you can take your freshwater Bass Tracker fishing boat in the Bay, you can even take it in the Ocean if you wanted (although we wouldn't advise it if high waves haha). There's a general process you want to do after each outing, and do this as soon as you can:

    1. Attach 'engine muffs' which are basically ear muffs that compress onto the bottom holes of each side of the lower unit.
    2. Hook up a garden hose to the muffs.
    3. Turn engine on in the idle position, and keep idling for 5 minutes so that the engine is flushed sufficiently.
    4. While it's flushing go ahead and wash the boat and trailer down with warm water/soap (all exterior hull, trolling motor, parts of the carpet that may have been hit with saltwater, engine cover, prop, and the trailer bunks, trailer itself and the hitch and back/bottom of your tow vehicle.
    5. Detach the muffs and let the boat air dry outside over night.
    6. Store your rig and you're ready for another day!

    With this new found info, I'm absolutely 'STOKED' to know I can now venture into new terrain and enjoy all San Diego has to offer. I can't believe I was limiting myself all this long by just going to lakes!

    With that said, Please see this screen shot of where I'm planning on launching from tomorrow and giving this my first shot at the Bay. I believe the area is called Dana Hotel on Mission Bay? And there's supposedly a convenient launch close to the red mark on the Google Maps.

    Questions for ya'll:

    1. Is there anywhere specifically good to cruise around by here?
    2. Any 'prime' fishing spots I can try while on the boat and know I can get on some fish?
    3. Do I need separate rod/reel for the bay or could I just rinse down my rod/reel after? I have a zillion rods/reels for Bass but none specific to bay or saltwater, what would be a good size? All mine are 7'0 M, 7'0 MH and 7'3 Heavy with 12 lb fluorocarbon or 15 lb fluorocarbon and a few 6'6 spinning outfits with 8 lb fluoro.
    4. What would be a versatile bay 'setup' to rig up for me and a friend to catch some fish tomorrow? rod/reel/line/rig/bait?
    5. Can I bring my dog out with me on the boat and can he swim in the water?
    6. Any good spots to 'beach up' to have lunch with a lady friend?
    7. Are there any launch procedures/rules/times to be aware of? Any cost to launch? Any facility/water to flush/clean my boat right after?

    Thanks guys!!!
    PS If anyone wants to get out there with me sometime just shoot me a message. I'd be happy to bring some guys out and have a fun day fishing so you can show me the ropes around the bay and stick some fish!

    missionbaymap.jpg
     
  7. fisheromen

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    Your light bass stuff will be fine. Just spray them off really well. I keep a couple bullet-proof Ambassadeur 5000s for most of my bay stuff.

    Always wondered about the engine flush. Seems you are only flushing the lower end housing and only part of the engine. After running for several minutes the water coming out is only warm, at best, meaning the thermostat has not opened yet. Without the thermostat open, the water jacket is not being flushed, right? Without being under load, my engine never comes up to temperature, at least not in 15 minutes.

    Any thoughts?
     
  8. Largemouth

    Largemouth Well-Known Member

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    Ive been told by several mechanics that you must use the muffs for no less thn 10 mins. As fisherman said you need to allow the ther,ostat to open up to fully flush the system.

    Pm sent.
     
  9. dakicka

    dakicka Well-Known Member

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    Thanks brother. Got your PM and that helped a ton and re-confirmed my newest research. Looking forward to some bay action!
     
  10. evo8rcr

    evo8rcr Well-Known Member

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    Personally there is no way I would take my boat in the salt. I'd rather rent a skiff for $50
     
  11. Roy Justice

    Roy Justice Original Member
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    I used my 150 merc/ Ranger in the bay and kelp beds regularly for about 10 years. It was fine. thermostats can be removed in SoCal, they are really only necessary in cold water climates as they help the engine reach it's desired temp when it's real cold, down here engines reach operating temp in minutes. I took mine out and it had much better flow and I could flush the engine thoroughly.
    The issue is electrical connections. I used liquid tape and painted over every connection i could find. another issue is the steering cables. Mine was on the pulley system and constant maintenance ws needed to keep the cables from freezing up. Be sure to use the liquid tape on the bilge pump connections since they'll be underwater lots.
    Be sure to flush the bait tank and bilge lines to get debris out of the lines before they get sucked in to the pumps. Wash the boat and trailer really good and use saltaway. I also took the housing off of the engine and inspected clamps on the fuel lines frequently. Anything that can break will wear out faster if you don't take good care but thats true in fresh as well.
    Low profile bass boats are excellent fishing machines in the bay. I loved having a seat in the bow with a trolling motor, it made fishing structure so much easier and it also gave you more control in drifts.
    The trolling motor will fail first, especially if you have a foot pedal mounted on the bow. You should take it off and seal the connections under the plate or switch to a remote control.
    Good luck you will love fishing the bay but remember to watch for big unexpected waves, you will get wet.
     
  12. dakicka

    dakicka Well-Known Member

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    Very Informative. Thanks Roy!
     
  13. fisheromen

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    Be careful doing this in more recent engines. Many require a constant temperature for all components to work correctly.
     
  14. Roy Justice

    Roy Justice Original Member
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    Be careful doing this in more recent engines. Many require a constant temperature for all components to work correctly.
    That may be true mine was a late model Black Max. I have to say though I had a constant worry about over heating until I took out the thermostat because it just did not have a good stream of outflow. I often thought the impeller had failed but it was the thermostat. It just did not open , probably due to the corrosive effects of the salt water, the spring just wouldn't pop open but once the stat was gone, it could drill holes in the ground from the force of the stream
     
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