Consumers spend a whopping $646 billion each year on outdoor recreation, and one out every five of those dollars is spent on recreational boating and fishing. -- Boat US, July 31, 2014
There is a growing concern in the boating industry surrounding the future role of fuel standards, specifically regarding E15. While the biofuel is being hailed a success, there are many unanswered questions and concerns.
It may be time to re-evaluate the original intention of ethanol or the future of the industry and how it affects our leisure pursuits may be in jeopardy.
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Ethanol was introduced to the boating community as an energy-saving alternative. However, consumers found many problems in using ethanol and soon discovered it actually had a lower energy content than full petroleum-based fuels.
Marine manufacturers and boat owners have been plagued by the "advantages" promoted by the use of ethanol. And according a National Marine Manufacturers Association, Inc. statement, there is reason for concern -- "The potential for consumers to use fuel with a percentage of ethanol above 10 percent in boat engines is detrimental to the U.S. recreational boating industry. There are numerous serious well-documented safety, environmental, and technology concerns associated with ethanol blends over 10 percent in recreational boat fuel tanks and engines."
Until fuel blends containing more than 10 percent ethanol have been tested and approved for use, watercraft and boat owners should not assume the use of higher fuel blends is acceptable. While today's pumps are currently dispensing E10, (10 percent ethanol), for marine engines and watercraft, this may change in the not-too-distant future. A blend of E15 is being promoted and has proven to be more problematic. E15 blends should be avoided until further studies on the impact on marine engines and the environment have been completed.
To learn the impact of E15 and what we may be forced to accept, contact Jeff Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org for updates and information.
All is not lost if you rely on luck and happenstance.
The break in summer rain is a good time to take advantage of what inshore waters have to offer. Cooler waters result in more active baitfish along the flats and shoreline waters, which result in more active and abundant gamefish.
You may not be granted immunity for enthusiasm so be careful in your approach as if things were still the same.
If we hang out closer to home or dock, most of us find a break in rain and wind conditions. But those committed offshore usually find themselves wasting fuel. Most trips to deeper water fishing grounds have been postponed in hopes of more favorable weather patterns and some indication that the fishing has improved.
The catch of note this week has been flounder. Holding tight along the outer edges of sandbars and shell banks which funnel into deeper waters, flounder have congregated in small schools waiting their next meal. These passages will channel baits along the narrow section of the run which make easy targets for hungry flounder.
Best rigs and technique
Rig a 1-ounce tear-drop weight onto your line, employing a swivel, an 18-inch. 20-pound leader and a 2/0 circle hook tipped to a lively mud minnow.
Drop your line into position and move back against the current a distance comfortable for you to maintain contact with the sinker. Keep your line tight and slowly lift your rod tip until you have gathered two or three feet of line, reel in the slack and repeat.
Working back against the current ensures your bait will be presented at the head of the fish, which is more natural. Once you have hooked up you will be moving the fish away from the area and there is less chance you will spook other fish. Your odds of catching more depend on your ability to repeat each successful motion and to remain calm and quiet. Act your age.
Light spinning gear is better suited for this type fishing and use the smallest sinker possible, but be sure it is heavy enough to keep the bait on the bottom.
I recommend using a circle hook because even if you are not aware, the hook will set itself even if slack line occurs. Also using circle hooks increases the survival rate for smaller fish you release. Not all fish are keepers.