Saturday, February 28, 2015

Pontoon Retirement Fishing Craft 366

For many years now I have fished with friends that have boats, but more often fished from docks and banks of the SW Florida salt backwaters.  Someday I hoped maybe to have my own boat to go fishing when and where I wanted to.  Susan and I enjoy the backwater fishing south of Marco Island Florida.  We also love catching these Sheepshead fish show in the pictures below.  They are fighters and they are a very good eating fish so needless to say we only throw them back when they measure less than 12 inches in length. And you would not believe the number of these fish that we catch that are 11 to 11 and 7/8th inches long.  We even joke that the little critters may be smart enough to somehow quit growing at this size.  Rarely but exciting as it can be you do ca
catch them as large as 28 inches in length.  My two biggies the last 22 years have been 23 and 28.  We don't have a net on the boat yet, but next year we will just in case we ever catch hold of some big fish.
Anyway back to the subject of this Post this  Fishing Craft is a 18 foot Sun Tracker Fishing Pontoon.  Purchased from Bass Tracker Marine Sales in Ft. Myers Florida...It has 3 swivel fishing seats two in front and one in rear..The Captains Chair (Mine) also swivels around to face the rear on the starboard side of the boat.  Marines know all about the Port and Starboard business since we were after all part of the US Navy you know.  The boat came with this red Mooring Cover that protects it while it is being stored from rain and bird dropings.  It also has a Bimi top as you can see behind me in picture to the left here. Boat is equipped with a 75 HP Mercury outboard motor.  It can cruise along at 20 plus miles per hour with no trouble.  I am currently taking a safe

boating class offered here in Naples by the Coast Guard Auxillary.  Off to the starboard side here you see Susan in her maiden voyage in the Captains seat.  She loved it, loves to feel the power at her fingertips maneuvering the boat on our way to the next fishing hole.  Below she is happy to have added to our keeper fish numbers. 

The boat is quit a lot of work expecially in Salt Water usage.  Fresh water has to be run through the engine for a few minutes to remove the salt water from the internal water pump.  Then all of aluminum on the boat has to be rinsed with fresh water to prevent corrosion from eating away at the aluminum.
And that consist of the entire boat and trailer also made of aluminum.  Lots of work but was not a surprise as I mentioned before I was first mate on a couple other boats and helped clean them as well as the fish.  I like the ownership and responsibility of maintaining a boat of your own.  It takes even longer as you want to make sure that every inch is done properly.  Then you put the mooring cover back on with its multible snaps and craw in under it and lift it up with aluminum post in 5 locations to make sure the water and bird dropping run off and not into the boat.  I took it to Ft. Myers for a 20 hour oil change and check up.  Also had them install an hour meter so I don't have to guess when the next 100 hours roll around for normal service. And as fate has it we put it in the water to find that now the gas gauge no longer works.  No doubt when installing the hour meter a wire got knocked off the fuel gismo.  We can live with that as it has a 34 gallon fuel tank that will allow us plenty of buffer even with say 10 trips out on the water.  We are enjoying taking others fishing ocassionally and also taking folk on dinner cruises up to Naples or Goodland to stop and eat at a restaurant that has a dock. It is fun just to be out on the water fishing or cruising.  I so love how God gave us a moon close enough to pull our ocean waters after it as it revolves seemingly with the earths rotations each day.  Without it we would have stagnet water in our coastal areas not conducive to healthy waters for fish and other life along our coast. It keeps our waters clean and crisp and our fish that live there also. Well the wind in my sails are not as strong as when I began this rant so I think I will call it quits for now...Sure there could be more fishing tales ahead...

2 comments:

Farmin Lahrmans said...

Sounds like fun! Enjoy!!!

Happy Hoosier said...


It has been fun...a little more work involved on clean up after salt water exposure than I had anticipated...but that's OK life is a learn as you go kind of thing...