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Fishing Solo
by Christopher Hines


When you decide to go to your favorite body of water at the last minute it can be hard to find someone to tag along or perhaps you just prefer to go alone. I know for myself I often fish 4 days a week alone. I love to fish by myself but when you do there are some things you can do in order to make sure your day goes as smooth as glass.

When I am asked what the most important thing that I have in my boat is, my answer is my cell phone. Yes they can be a pain, but also a life saver. Always make sure you keep a good zip lock bag in your boat to keep it in just in case of rain or damp conditions. In the case of an on the water injury, boating accident or health issue your cell phone could save your life and others.

The first thing I do before I leave the house in the morning is let someone know what lake I am heading to and what ramp I will be launching from. Give details as to when you can be expected to return and call and let them know if your time on the water will be extended.

Always make sure you have plenty of water. I try to keep 2 bottles of water for every hour I plan to fish. I then add a few more, just incase the bite is a little better than expected. It is better to have more than needed than not enough as dehydration can become a serious issue.

Make sure you take a snack, no not a 7 course meal just a snack or sandwich of your preference. Peanut butter and crackers, cheese and crackers, candy bars etc. can sustain you if you get into a bass catching frenzy and donít have time to eat the sandwich of your choice.  

Check your oil level; always try to keep more in the tank than you plan on using. I also keep a few extra quarts on board just in case I do fail to check the oil level prior to launching. Don't pass up that gas station either, I know gas prices are high, to the point that it is keeping many off of the water but make sure you have enough gas. Itís better to spend an extra twenty dollars on fuel rather than finding yourself ten miles up the river trolling back to the dock in 100 degree temps.

When getting to the ramp place everything you will need into your boat before you drop it in the water. By doing this you will not find yourself taking an unexpected swim to retrieve dropped items. Now is also a good time to be certain that plug is in.

To make dropping my boat into the water easier I keep a thick rope that is 8' longer than my boat. On one end I have made a big loop and on the other end is a heavy duty snapping hook, similar to the one on your winch. When you get down to the water attach the end with the loop to your wench, make sure it is locked in the forward position, and attach the snapping hook to the eye under the bow of your boat. Set the remainder of the rope on the front where it will come off easily and not become tangled as the boat slides off the trailer. As you back down let your boat slowly start drifting off, as it clears the trailer slowly pull forward. This will pull it onto the ramp for you keeping your feet dry for the day. When you have pulled up far enough that the boat will not hit the trailer, back up just a bit to take tension off the rope. I donít recommend doing this without a good keel protector. Be sure to place the rope back into your boat because it can also serve as an excellent emergency tow rope.

Now you should be set to enjoy day of peace and quiet alone on the water, just you and the fish. Oh and don't forget that camera or none will believe that lunker story!