By Capt. Chaconas
Every Boy Scout knows the motto but bass anglers, pro or Joe, need to be prepared.
Reels spooled, hooks sharpened, baits organized. Good enough for local events. But today’s pro road warriors log upwards of 40,000 miles on superhighways and back roads. To compete, today’s pros need to get there first!
Boat, motor, trailer, and tow vehicle might need a little help to make it until repair crews get their hands on it. These guys are more prepared than any Boy Scout.
To keep on rolling, truck and trailer tires have to be moving. FLW Ranger/Evinrude pro Jonathan Newton says he never leaves home without a tire repair kit. “It can save you a lot of time when you pick up a nail or screw. You can fix it on the spot, been there done that.”
A small compressor or a can of Fix-a-Flat can inflate a repaired or leaking tire. Newton also carries a spray bottle with soapy water to find smaller leaks. A tire pressure gauge keeps tires properly inflated for optimum performance on the road.
Stren Series Lake Champlain winner Ranger/Evinrude pro Pete Gluszek says there are a wide range of repairs no longer needed on today’s trailers…leaf springs, hubs, and wiring.
To prevent small problems, he does a walk around his entire rig, looking to tighten engine mounting bolts. “If you can turn it, turn it.” He carries deep-well sockets to cover all sizes and depths.
Gluszek is well versed in most repairs to keep him on the road and on the water, but adds, “You must know your mechanical limitations. When you have gone as far as you can, make sure you have local dealer and manufacturer phone numbers handy to get more assistance.”
Ranger/Yamaha FLW Tour pro Kurt Dove carries a special “IT HAPPENS” box to overcome many unfortunate possibilities. Dove is plugged in when it comes to electrical systems running throughout his rig.
After a bit of trial and error, he does what he can to deal with a myriad of electrical problems. “You just come up with different situations and fight through it.”
Dove suggests taking some basic electrical classes or hanging around your dealership asking questions about marine or garage mechanics to find out how the voltmeter works. With ample supplies of clips, clamps, and connectors, Dove attempts to bypass problems to continue to use other equipment.
“The main thing is to keep your boat operable. It might not be at 100 percent, but 95 percent might get you through until you can get extra help from a pro mechanic or technician.”
Away from home, pros aren’t trying to fix problems, they’re just trying to do enough to stay on the trail. As the rubber hits the road, pro bass fishermen prepare for long tournament trips. Their journey may begin with a turn of the key but could also end on the side of the road tripped up by a minor repair that could have been avoided with a little knowledge, a bit of experience and a lot of preparation!