Watch That Fishing Line!

Well its Memorial Day weekend and at least for me the boating season has begun. On my power boating side that means striper fishing here in the northeast. Every now and then the fish get smarter than fishermen and one of the ways they do that is to ge...

28th May 2010.
By Ed Sherman

Well its Memorial Day weekend and at least for me the boating season has begun. On my power boating side that means striper fishing here in the northeast.

Every now and then the fish get smarter than fishermen and one of the ways they do that is to get our fishing line caught up in the propeller on the boat. This almost always means that the fish will break off and miss the chance to get hauled into the boat. Bummer on the lost fish! But don’t turn an event like this into something worse like a blown up lower unit on your outboard engine! The photo below shows what happens:

If this fishing line is left on the shaft behind your propeller it will eventually destroy the seal behind it that keeps water out of your gearcase and oil in the gearcase. The bottom line is that if this goes unattended, the lost fish is going to be the least of your worries.

So, the tip here is to pay attention! If you or somebody on your boat gets a line caught up in your propeller, don’t ignore the issue. Just because the engine still runs and the propeller still turns does not mean that trouble isn’t just around the corner. When you get back to shore, remove the propeller for inspection to see if fishing line, as shown above has wrapped itself around the shaft. If it has, get it rid of it! While your at it, if you didn’t already grease the shaft as part of your spring maintenance routine, do it now. Reinstall the propeller and give that striper another go tomorrow. Have a great holiday everybody!


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Ed Sherman

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Ed Sherman is a regular contributor to boats.com, as well as to Professional Boatbuilder and Cruising World, where he previously was electronics editor. He also is the curriculum director for the American Boat and Yacht Council. Previously, Ed was chairman of the Marine Technology Department at the New England Institute of Technology. Ed’s blog posts appear courtesy of his website, EdsBoatTips.
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