The summer is finally over: the air is getting brisk, there are leaves on the ground, colors in the trees, and plenty of stripers to be caught! Sure, we had a ton of fun over the summer — there were bbq’s, parties, vacations, and boat time. But just because we are headed into the later part of the year doesn’t mean that your boating fun has to stop. In fact, this is a great time of the year to be out on a boat, with a little something for everybody to do or see.
So don’t winterize that boat yet, don’t do your final yearly maintenance too soon, because we are going to give you some reasons to stay motivated to continue boating for at least another 6 weeks or so.
First on the list: fishing. As the waters begin to dive down from their peaks in the summer, the stripers begin their descent back down south. We know that many fishermen love to get waist-deep in the surf and catch their keepers from the shoreline, but there are still plenty of fishermen that swear by being out on the boat. Each day is completely different than the previous, and the key to catching bass this time of year depends on capitalizing on opportunities and having the right tackle aboard every time you leave the dock. It’s always an adventure.
And if you are a freshwater angler, there are plenty of opportunity for you on the edges of lakes and rivers where the bass are feeding before winter. Fall always seems like the finest fishing season, so take advantage of it!
Less crowded: For those of us that live on or near the barrier islands, it’s amazing how much change comes with the day after Labor Day. All of a sudden there are no lines to the launch ramp that you had to sit in an hour-long queue earlier in the summer, the lines at the fuel dock suddenly disappear and the water is just less congested. All of that frustration of boating during the busy summer months just melts away. Enjoy this time while you can.
Nature watching: This is especially great for the freshwater lake boaters, as you can view all of the beauty that mother nature has given us. Here in New Jersey, there are 202 lakes, many of which offer beautiful, gorgeous views this time of year — the wildlife, the sounds, the fresh, clean air, and of course the turning leaves. Pack a picnic, grab some warm clothes, and a fishing rod (if the wife lets you!), then get ready for the scenic beauty and maybe even catch a bass or two. This is the kind of weekend adventure that will really win points with the wife.
Better for your boat: obviously you will make sure to do your monthly maintenance on your boat before packing it up for the winter, but the longer that the boat is in use, and the less time your boat, engine oil, batteries, pumps and its bilges lie dormant, the better it is for your investment. It’s good for your mechanical system to run instead of sitting still.
As much fun as it is to continue to boat into the fall, there are also some precautions that you should be aware of. The weather can change quickly in the fall, making boating a sometimes tricky endeavor for inexperienced handlers. The days are shorter, meaning planning longer trips is more difficult, and the water temperatures are dropping, which means there is an increased danger if you fall into the water. Read our blog post about Cold-water Immersion Safety Tips in preparation for a fall boating trip.
Make sure to plan ahead, pick your days wisely, and be smart out there on the open waters. But most of all, have fun! The fall can be one of the most relaxing, and enjoyable times to go out for a boat ride.