Need advice on the do's and don'ts when going on saltwater

  • Jared
    Posts: 60

    So now that I am really comfortable with my boat i wanted to attempt to take it in one of the bays in San Diego. Not gonna head into open water at all, just wanted to take my son for some salt water action.

    I’ll take any and all advice on how to prepare for and clean after, properly.

    She’s a 2020 Lund 1650 Rebel XL Sport with a Mercury 75. I won’t be using my trolling motor as it’s not rated for salt (Minn Kota Maxxum 80)

    The Back 40
    Posts: 1955

    Don’t bring a banana on board…and make sure to flush the motor out. My Mercury has a flush system built in. I guess other than that, I’d just rinse the boat/trailer/truck off when done.

    St. Paul, MN
    Posts: 10172

    Make sure you read and heed all state and USCG regs as far as required equipment that must be on board for your boat size, for example, flares, signal devices, fire extinguishers, radio, etc.

    And then apply a liberal dose of common sense on TOP of the basic requirements. For many small boats, a marine radio may not be required, but IMO you’d be freaking crazy to be on any big water without having one AND knowing how to use it. Also, just because the regs say one of this and 3 of those, doesn’t mean you can’t go beyond. I would never want to be in big water with only 3 flares.

    Also, IMO it would be madness not to take the time to connect the DSC on a modern marine radio if you have a GPS unit that supports it. With DSC, simply pushing the “emergency” button will transmit your GPS location automatically over the VHF without any need for you to do it in the midst of a situation.


    Shell Rock Iowa
    Posts: 2831

    I’ll take any and all advice on how to prepare for and clean after, properly.

    If possible swing by a fresh water lake that is not busy. Leave the rig on the trailer, back in as far as comfortable dunking as much as the trailer as you can. Let it sit there while you start the boat engine and run it for a few minutes.
    After that swing by the car wash and hose it down inside and out with hot soapy water. When done with that, wipe it all down dry. You do NOT want to leave any salt residue.
    This includes your fishing gear. Spooled line will hold salt, any lures or tools used should be washed before storage. Just have a grab box to put used lures into while out on the water, so you aren’t tempted to put them back in your tackle box.
    Yes, salt water fishing is either a bit more work or very hard on your gear, sometimes both. Good luck and enjoy your time on the water.

    Posts: 104

    If you do the dunk in the freshwater, pull the plug and fill the inside as much as possible. It is amazing how salt water gets in and on everything.

    Lake Nebagamon Wisconsin
    Posts: 389

    Haven’t been out to San Diego for a few years, but if you are going to stay in the bay, I suggest that you go out to the bait barge, get a bucket and purchase some anchovies. Fish around the bait barge with just a hook and maybe a small sinker…..there is always somebody hanging around the bait barge waiting for a free meal – could be barracuda, or something else depending on the time of the year. The bait barge is where the charter boats get their bait. You might want to take your son out on one of the 1/2 day party boat charters to the La Jolla kelp beds. internet the San Diego Sportfishing or Mission Bay Sportfishing. No need to get your boat wet in the salt water. Let me know, I might have some tackle you could use.

    jim s
    Posts: 23

    Man might be easier to rent a boat on the Bay, just saying!!

    Adam Steffes
    Posts: 440

    I think I would take a hard pass on putting my boat in salt water. Nope, not gonna do it. I would miss something and end up with rust or corrosion damage somewhere and regret it. I would also have anxiety over it the whole time I was in the salt so I wouldn’t enjoy it anyway. I would rent or charter. Better yet if I could charter and use someone elses gear and tackle.

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