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goose89

Should I or shouldn't I ??

Question

goose89

Been thinking about "unwinterizing" (open water fishing) my rig next weekend, weather permitting. I don't have a heated garage. Am I being foolish?? Or am I worrying too much. I don't want to wreck anything with water freezing after I'm done. Is there anything fool proof (I am known to be foolish) that I can do to insure I won't wreck anything on the boat and motor. Is just draining livewell tanks and putting motor down for a few minutes to drain the water out enough?? Or should I white knuckle it until March / April??? Any advice, either way, appreciated.

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Sandmannd

I would give it a bit yet. Still plenty of fun hard water fishing left yet. I start getting mine ready when the ice gets to thin for my big butt to make it out there.

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Superduty

I have had my boat in the water every february for years. No heated garage and never had a problem. I think it is actually better for the motor to get some run time than sitting for a longer period of time.

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PierBridge

You are good to go...... safety and safety equipment would be my biggest concern as you know the water is dangerously cold this time of year.

Life jacket on at all times, preferably someone with you, cell phone charged and in a zip lock baggie.

I usually pull my boat just out of the water and let the boat, motor and trailer drain as close to the bottom of the ramp as possible so you don't ice up the ramp for other boaters.

Good Luck and be carefull!

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BobT

Without a heated garage if you talking about using the outboard on a lake or river you could risk damage to the cooling system or engine block if it gets cold enough and some water inside freezes. I'm sure they are designed to drain for the most part but is it worth the risk?

Bob

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eurolarva

If the gear housing has a crack or leak it could be expensive. After running it maybe drain a drop of gear oil to make sure no water comes out and that it is not milky white. If there is a leak down there and the gear housing fills up with water that water can expand and trash the lower unit. It is not likely this can happen but possible.

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goose89

thanks for the replies. keep em coming. The rig is new last year, so in cracks or leaks in lower unit as of last fall when winterized. Is is true about potential damage to block or cooling system??? thanks in advance

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BobT

I guess it depends on how well the cooling system drains when you pull your boat out of the water. If there's any water contained in a tight area such as around the water pump or inside the engine block and then freezes, it could expand and crack something, I would think.

Maybe there's an outboard mechanic that can help us out here.

Bob

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shamrock7

As long as your tilt the motor all the way down once you get out of the water and let it drain completely, you will be fine. Give it a couple of minutes, then tilt up to regular trailing height.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Naturboy
      Those were caught from a shallow lake (17’) in 9 feet of water at the bottom of the first shoreline break. I was using a UV buckshot and minnow head since the water was murky. The crappie is still swimming the walleye not so much. I didn’t get the exact location. Sorry  
    • Sunset Lodge
      Hello from the NW Angle!

      Minnesota fishing has been most productive in 20-24 feet of water.  Guests are bringing home their limits of Walleye and Sauger with the occasional Perch and Northern mixed in. Fish have been most active early and late in the day and the bite has been terrific. The use of electronics continues to be very beneficial with fish taking jigging spoons, jigg’n raps or rattle baits.  Snowmobile ttrails on the Minnesota side continue to be maintained and are in great shape. We are still making ice, with most spots at over 30 inches. 

      North and East of us in Canada, big Crappies are coming in on light tackle setups out of 30 feet. If you are looking for walleye, they are everywhere!

      Until next week, 

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    • JBMasterAngler
      On the Bayfield side of the bay, the target depth is typically 10 to 40 ft. The basswood island area is where they go after lakers. There’s a plowed road that goes out there. As of last week the ice was about 20 inches in that area, might be thicker now. Check out the Bayfield webcam, you can see what kind of activity is going on.
    • Jarrid Houston
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    • cat44
      Anybody know if there is a pressure ridge/ice heave out in front of the Warroad Access? I know ice conditions will change throughout the coming weeks. Looking forward to getting after some pike.  The last few years there has been a pressure ridge there, last year it went from Springsteel over to Swift. And we've been up there plenty of times when there hasn't been one at all. Just curious to find out what conditions are like in that bay. Thanks!
    • Hoyt4
      Most likely our last trip up this year unless we go up for crappies but i'm running out of weekends. We had another great trip this weekend the fish are so fat this year more than I remember in the past.  Got my old man out for a good walleye bite he had a blast and caught a ton of fish. One day they just attached the bait as it was coming down they would come up and smash. Next day you put in the bottom and not even see the lure on the vex bring up a tad and they would smack it. Fun and a lot of snow hitting yesterday when we left.
    • PRO-V
      Agreed!!
    • SaintPaulPaul
      Switch to regular Budweiser and they seem to just jump out of the hole. No, seriously the way I improved my landing success through the ice was to go to small treble hooks. One small one on a 6' leader, a weight and Colorado blade above the leader seems to work for me. If you are on the flag right away, you don't risk gut-hooking them. I also recycle my Power Pro musky line and put it on tip ups. Also, I should add that I always  have a jaw-spreader and 8" forceps for quick and easy hook removal.
    • Iowabrewcrew
      Funny...seems like when the Emerald run slowed down up there 4-5 years ago, the fishing followed suit!
    • anyfishwilldo
      they only ran for a couple days.  They have them on the canadian side but its illegal to transport live bait across the border
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