Wednesday, January 12, 2011

1/12 -Naturally frozen bait, during a chill.

If the live shrimp at the bait shop are not already in a "cold water coma." They sure will be by the time you put them in a livewell, and go to use them. it chilly out there this morning.

The reason I'm saying this is because I'd love to try some Trout fishing on Thursday.
I wanted to try a few spots that I haven't been in a while. Actually, a few "creek" spots.

It isn't as easy to "warm up" a livewell full of expensive live shrimp as it is to cool them off on a hot summer day. In the summer, a frozen water bottle will keep the livewell water cool. But what can you do to keep the water warm in the deep winter?

I'll give you a few thoughts I've had.

I have alloy boat brothern up in Washington that use the pee stream water out of the outboard motor going into a basin at the stern of the boat as a hand wash. A warm water hand wash. All they did is connect the outlet to a hose and run it up to the stern of the boat and into a little aluminum sink. So as they're fishing, with the motor running. Customers can wash fish slime off their hands with warmer water.

I thought that was a pretty slick trick.

But, I'm not worried about my hands, I'm worried about my livewell full of cold induced coma live shrimp. So, I let me outboard run. And then fill-up a small pail of water and dump it in my livewell.

The only problem is, it doesn't feel all that much warmer than the water I'm floating in. Maybe it is a bit warmer. Or maybe I just need to run my outboard longer.

This time of year a long run is from the dock to the end of the jetties. A whopping 2.5 miles. Not all that long for the engine to heat up that much, as 50 degree water is running through it, and metered by the thermostats.

Another idea is a small heater.

I know a fellow aluminum boater out of Mayport, that uses a small heater similar to this.

And at the same time, this could be pointed toward the livewell.

 Just needing to just keep the shrimp from laying over and playing dead is the whole reason for looking into such a thing. Because I'm sure it's not good for them to go from comfortably warm to cold river water with a hook in their head.

Damn, it's expensive caring for live shrimp. The cheapest of the heaters like the one pictured is about $55 bucks, and then the disposable tanks are another $9.00 bucks. They'll last 5 hrs.

Last winter was the "mother of all bad winters" in Jacksonville. And when I did locate some Trout, we used dead shrimp on a float-rig. They ate it, but at the same time they never pulled the float down, either.
That day the water temp up in Fort George on my RayMarine C-120 Sounder was 42 degrees.  DOA Rob and I, were anchored up in 10 foot of water. So ya know it wasn't like it was warmer on the bottom.

Many times if you have a quality sounder with a temp gauge. It can benefit you to check your temp reading, and adjust it. If you can. A water hose pouring over the transducer, and a pool thermometer is all you need to double check if your temp sensor is anywhere in the ball park.

I know many machines I've had read wrong. And at one time when I was always hunting King Mackerel offshore. I actually purchased a seperate temp gauge for my dash. It was a $150 item, but it was calibratable to +/-  a 1/2 of a degree. I had two sounders with temp gauges, plus this designated temp gauge. So I had multiples of the information I wanted. And back then, was well worth the money.  Especially in the spring when hunting King Mac water temps as early as April 1 as close to the beach, as I could find them.

I suppose I'll keep trying with the pee stream water out of the motor. It's sort of "free".  Now there's an invention I haven't seen on those boats like the 34 Everglades at the Miami Boat Show. A thermostatically controlled heated and cooled livewell. Instead you'll find heated seats, with adjustable lumbar support, and a drink holder every twelve inches, and a electric up and down windshield. Ya know...for the real "tough" crowd.

Here's this weekend:

Saturday...Mostly clear. Highs in the lower 60s. Lows in the lower 40s.

FEET OR LESS. INLAND WATERS MOSTLY SMOOTH.  Sunday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 60s. Lows in the mid 40s.

70's by Tuesday?

Who wants to go?

One person, weekday only, 2 for 1, is still in effect.

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