Frostbite fishing

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dw61
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:09 pm
Species: anything with gills

Frostbite fishing

Post by dw61 »

I'm new to fishing this late in the winter and am wondering what people's experience is with cold temperatures and outboards. I've been going out several times this winter but never when the temps have been much below freezing. By the time I get home I can put the trim down and the water drains right out. What are peoples experience when the temps are really cold say in the 20's or teens. I guess the quicker you get the trim straight down the better but there must be some helpful advice too. Unless everyone has a nice heated space for their boats.

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Reelax
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Posts: 4860
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:27 pm
Species: Salmon, steelhead, brown trout
Location: Fletcher, Vt

Re: Frostbite fishing

Post by Reelax »

Best to drain motor and trailer just as it lifts out of the lake for both ramp ice control and motor. Any water in that lower unit will quickly freeze once you trailer in cold weather... most folks will turn motor over, others blow out water with mouth from water exit hole 🤪I’m a turn it over guy... just get all the water out and you will be fine. I have 1280hrs on a 2015 merc 4 stroke I bought new and it has NEVER been winterized...

It loves the coold😅

Best bite should be in FEB!
Matt B

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Detritus
Posts: 272
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:50 pm
Species: Anything we can catch
Location: Vergennes

Re: Frostbite fishing

Post by Detritus »

Definitely trim the motor to vertical before you drive home, wait till all of the water runs out, and turns to dripping. Pull your safety lanyard off at the key switch and crank it for about 3 seconds. Reinstall lanyard, trim up engine and you're done. Do the same with your kicker if you have one.
"Country Angler" - '93 Trophy 2002 - Cold water boat
"Strike Three" - '04 Triton SF21 - Warm water boat
"The Dumpster" - '90 Starcraft SF14 - Camping Boat

Jack

dw61
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:09 pm
Species: anything with gills

Re: Frostbite fishing

Post by dw61 »

Thanks so much for the advise. I've had an I/O for 30+ years and a couple diesels but this is my first outboard. It seemed too simple when I went through trimming it to vertical. I'll add the engine crank that's a good idea for all the little places water gets. Fishing has been good so I wanted to keep going out but not at the expense of my engine. Thanks again. And yeah I'll do the same for the kicker.

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Detritus
Posts: 272
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:50 pm
Species: Anything we can catch
Location: Vergennes

Re: Frostbite fishing

Post by Detritus »

Your old I/O pumped water from your lower unit pickups on your outdrive up over a "hill" and down into your water jackets on your engine for cooling. When you pull that boat out of the water, all of the water in your outdrive would drain out, but all of the water in your water jackets does not. If you let that freeze, you will end up with a ruined engine block.

On an outboard, the pickups, lower unit, and impeller (water pump) design are essentially the same as your old I/O, however the water jackets and engine block are directly above the lower unit. When you shut the engine off, all of the cooling water just runs straight out of your water jackets back down your exhaust port, through hub exhaust, telltale hose, and the cooling water supply system through your impeller housing and out your pickups.

The little cranking routine at the end is just a little extra insurance that there are no pockets of water potentially trapped in your impeller housing or other nearby passages to freeze solid and create an obstruction upon your next restart. I do see a little dribble out of my pickups when I have one of the boys pull the lanyard and crank a few seconds.

Glad you're still out there fishing.
"Country Angler" - '93 Trophy 2002 - Cold water boat
"Strike Three" - '04 Triton SF21 - Warm water boat
"The Dumpster" - '90 Starcraft SF14 - Camping Boat

Jack

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Dilly Worm
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Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:22 pm
Species: smallmouth bass, salmon, togue

Re: Frostbite fishing

Post by Dilly Worm »

Reelax wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:15 pm
I have 1280hrs on a 2015 merc 4 stroke I bought new and it has NEVER been winterized...
Oh. I thought when I got the little propane heater and ice scraper for the windshield, and put up the canvas, that I had just "winterized" the boat :mrgreen:

It's January, the boat's "winterized," lets go trolling :D

But seriously, good advice on draining the water and turning over the motor, and not icing the ramp.
I do not exaggerate when I talk about fishing - I underestimate, like I say "just one more cast honey, then I'll come home" !
Keep Calm and... Fish On !

dw61
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:09 pm
Species: anything with gills

Re: Frostbite fishing

Post by dw61 »

Yes thanks for all the info. It's just peace of mind that I'm doing the correct thing and not something stupid that could cost me a new engine. I really appreciate all the detail from those who have the knowledge.

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