Now that Memorial Day has passed, we're right at the beginning of the best season for fishing. Let's face it: there are other fish out there, but if you're a serious angler, then you're probably on the hunt for bass. These fish are fun to catch, taste delicious and can be found in just about any part of the country.
Recently, Field And Stream Magazine listed the best places to check out around the U.S. if you're a bass fishing enthusiast. Some of the locations they wrote about include:
- Falcon Lake, Zapata, Texas: You'll want to bring your sunscreen if you take a trip to Falcon Lake, as it's right near the U.S.-Mexico border and temperatures routinely top 100 degrees. But you'll also want to bring plenty of bait. You can expect to catch quite a few largemouth bass over 10 pounds on this pond.
- Lake Erie (especially near Sandusky, Ohio): You'll be hard-pressed to find a better place to catch smallmouth bass, and this time of year Sandusky has lovely weather.
- Lake Guntersville, Guntersville, Alabama: This was the site of the Bassmaster Classic in February 2014. You can typically find 8- to 10-pound bass on this lake, particularly in the summer, which Field And Stream describes as "grass-fishing time on Guntersville."
Of course, you'll have an easier time catching fish at these destinations if you have a boat with all the latest marine electronics and navigation equipment. If you'd like to have more success locating fish, make sure you purchase a new fishfinder from ePal. We have the best prices, and you'll find that our free ground shipping can't be beat!
One of the most important tools you can have on board your vessel is a multifunction display that connects your chartplotter, fishfinder and other instruments together so that they can be monitored in one place. If you haven't had one of these gadgets installed on your boat, now may be the time, as Raymarine has announced three new models that are almost certainly going to show up on your wishlist.
Here are the three models that were unveiled by Raymarine, along with some of their most notable features:
- A9 & a12 Multifunction Touch Display: Available in 9-inch and 12-inch models, as well as the already-available 5 and 7.5-inch displays, these multifunction screens can serve as your central command center when you're on your boat. They feature a beautiful touch-screen that can be manipulated with pinch-to-zoom functionality. They feature a super bright, high resolution LED display that will look great even with a daylight glare.
- GS195 Glass Bridge Multifunction Display: Owners of premium yachts will be hardpressed to find a better screen for their control panel. The 19.5-inch multi-touch display provides captains with unparalleled flexibility in terms of configuration, and built-in WiFi means you don't have to worry about cables running in and out of your cabin.
You can find all the latest marine instruments and technology at great prices by shopping with ePal. We carry the largest selection of gear and devices you'll find anywhere, and our free shipping policy to the lower 48 states means that the price you see on our site is the one you pay. Browse our store today for our latest deals!
Now that Memorial Day has passed, it's time to break out the water skis and go for your first run of the summer. This entertaining pastime is one of the most fun, whether you're a novice or a seasoned skier. To commemorate the beginning of water skiing season, make sure to follow these tips so that you have the best time:
- Always have at least two people on board the towing vessel. One should be the pilot, and the other should be watching the skier to let the driver know when they have fallen into the water.
- Before you go on the water, make sure that the skier and the person watching have the standard hand signals memorized so that they can communicate. This includes using a thumbs-up to accelerate and a thumbs-down to slow the boat.
- It's cliche to say, but keep trying if you're having trouble getting in a standing position on the water's surface. Waterskiing is like any other sport, in that practice makes perfect.
- Let the boat pull you up, rather than trying to lift yourself out of the water. As long as your skis are pointed straight and up, you should have an easier time getting on the water's surface.
- Make sure that the skies you're using are the right size for your height and weight. Consult with a specialist when picking our your equipment.
It's important for water skiing teams and groups to have the best equipment possible, especially when it comes to boat accessories. Make sure that your vessel is fully stocked with a marine radio and other communication equipment before you leave the dock. You can find this gear for affordable prices by shopping at ePal!
New data shows that boat sales are recovering from their winter slump, which could mean that the summer season will be a profitable one for builders and dealers. Trade Only Today reports that preliminary numbers from marketing and research Info-Link indicate that unit sales of outboard and powerboats were also higher year-over-year.
"We're on a continued upswing," Jack Ellis, Info-Link managing director, told the source. "April has essentially demonstrated what we as an industry had been predicting or hoping. We're going to come out the other end of this brutal winter and people will start buying boats again, even though it's a little later than last year."
Ski boats had a particularly good month, with sales rising 15 percent. Outboard sales were also higher, at about 10 percent above last year's levels. As Ellis notes, this has a lot to do with weather. In the winter months, the only part of the country with an active boating community is Florida. However, it's also clear that an improving economic outlook is having an effect on customers' willingness to invest in new watercraft.
Boating typically takes the biggest hit when the economy slows down, as customers find they either have less disposable income or they are worried that their jobs may be in jeopardy.
However, it seems pretty clear that the boating industry has a bright future ahead. If you've recently purchased a new or used boat and you'd like to outfit it with the latest marine accessories and technology, your best bet is to shop with ePal. We carry the top brands, and our free shipping policy can't be beat! Browse our website today for our latest deals!
One of the most fun things to do on the water is to take a jet ski for a ride with your friends and family. Personal watercraft are endlessly enjoyable to ride, but if not handled correctly, they can be extremely dangerous. It's important to make sure that you and your fellow riders are practicing safe habits while you are enjoying yourselves.
Here are a few tips to ensure that you have a good, injury-free time riding your jet skis:
- Always have a spotter keep an eye out for approaching boats and other personal watercraft. They should also have a marine radio handy so that they can communicate with these boats if necessary. This is especially true when you're on a smaller river or lake, where you're more likely to be near other boaters.
- Do not drink alcohol and drive a jet ski. These vehicles are weapons when you are intoxicated and you can easily lose control and hurt yourself or others.
- Wear a life jacket at all times. Even if you're a relatively competent driver, the fact is that you have no control over what other people are doing. Someone else on a personal watercraft could lose control and strike your vehicle, knocking you unconscious. If this happens, a lifevest will save you from drowning.
If you're looking to purchase safety equipment for your next boat trip, or you want communication devices that you can use to keep an eye on boat traffic, your best bet is to check out the huge inventory of equipment at ePal. We carry the best brands at the best prices and have the best shipping policy on the internet.
Paddlefish are a popular target in the Midwest and Northern United States, as they typically live a long time and grow to extremely large sizes. As a result, you'll occasionally hear about anglers reeling in big catches. Recently, however, an angler in South Dakota caught a paddlefish that represents a whole new ball game for the species.
The Star Tribune reports that Bill Harmon caught a 127-pound, 9-ounce paddle fish in Lake Francisc Case on May 7, which beat a record that had stood for 35 years when another angler caught a 120-pound specimen. Harmon's catch is seen as a victory not just for the angler, but for the species, which had in recent years seen its numbers dwindle. A stocking program was instituted in the early 90's, which led to the replenishment of paddlefish populations at Lake Francis Case.
"One of the original goals of the paddlefish stocking program was to initiate a sport fishery for this species," Jason Sorensen, a South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks' fisheries biologist, told the source. "Paddlefish are a long-lived species and the Lake Francis Case population has some very old fish. There is potential for anglers to harvest large paddlefish and Bills' recent catch is proof of that."
If you want to catch large paddlefish like the one Harmon pulled in, you're going to need heavy gauge fishing line, as well as a large capacity reel for deeper parts of the lake. We'd also recommend investing in a good fishfinder from Garmin, Raymarine or Furuno, which will help locate the biggest groupings and schools. You can find the latest fishfinder technology at ePal, along with other fishing and navigation equipment that will make you a more successful angler!
Hopefully, there won't be a time when you'll need to contact the United States Coast Guard (USCG) due to an emergency aboard your vessel. However, it's always good to know how to get in touch with the USCG in the event of an emergency, such as a boat collision or a medical issue for one of your crew members that requires speedy transportation to the shore.
There are three principle ways that you can contact the USCG, although only two of them are recommended if you are in distress:
- By Phone: You can call them on your cell phone, if you have service, simply by dialing 911. Once you tell the dispatcher that you are at sea or on a lake, they will immediately forward your call to UCSG (or the lake policing authority, if they have immediate jurisdiction). Of course, cell phones don't always have service when you are far away from shore, so this will only work if you are within a few miles of the coast.
- Using your VHF radio: Channel 16 on VHF frequencies is reserved for USCG communications. If you're in distress, hold your transmit button and say "Mayday" three times. Then provide all necessary information about your status and location, including the vessel name, your position, the nature of your emergency and the number of people who are on board. Once you make the call, wait 10 seconds. If you don't receive a response, keep repeating the call.
Of course, you'll have a much easier time contact the USCG if you have a marine radio on board that is reliable. If you're in need of new communication equipment for your boat, make sure to browse ePal's online store today for the latest deals.
A loudhailer can be one of the most useful boat accessories that you have onboard your vessel. Yet many mariners have no idea what these devices are or why they would want one on their boat. A loudhailer is exactly what it sounds like: a public address (PA) system that connects to your boat's communication module so that you can talk to other vessels that are nearby.
This instrument is also typically equipped with a siren that will broadcast internationally-recognized distress signals in the event that you require assistance while at sea.
If you're not sure what to look for in a loudhailer and what distinguishes one unit from another, here are a few tips:
- More wattage means more power. A loudhailer with a power rating of 100 watts will be louder and broadcast farther than one that is rated at 30 watts.
- Some loudhailers are designed to work with both your horn and your radio, while others are not.
- There are different siren signals to indicate different types of distress and warnings. For example, the Furuno LH-300 Loudhailer comes with six preset sirens that are used in different situations, such as when your boat is being towed or has run aground due to reduced visibility. The more sirens that your unit is equipped with, the more flexibility that you'll have in communicating with other vessels.
To find out more about loudhailer equipment and other boat parts, we invite you to check out the ePal online store today. Our selection of marine equipment is unparalleled in the industry, and you won't find better prices anywhere else. We also offer free ground shipping on all orders to the lower 48 states, so you can rest assured you're getting the best deal for the best equipment.
Your transducer is one of the most important boat accessories that you have on your vessel, so it's critical to make sure that it's working properly. When it stops giving you accurate depth readings or the water column, then it's probably broken and needs to be either repaired or replaced.
Having said that, you may be wondering if there's a way to troubleshoot your transducer to determine whether the problem is with the instrument or if perhaps it's simply receiving interference from another sonar device. Here are a few tips for figuring out the source of the problem:
- Check for any external damage on the transducer itself: There are a number of ways that this instrument can become damaged, either because you struck an underwater object (if you have an in-hull transducer that protrudes from the bottom of the boat) or perhaps because barnacles have attached to it. Any cracks in the surface of the device might let in water, which can cause it to malfunction.
- Inspect the electrical connections: Your transducer is connected to a series of wires that feed into your instrument panel. Make sure they haven't become corroded or detached from the system.
Marine transducers typically last many years, so with the exception of physical damage and wiring problems, most customers don't experience broken units all that frequently. If you're looking to replace your device with a more advanced model that provides more detailed information about what's going on underneath your boat, you should check out ePal today. We carry a wide selection of marine electronics that any boater will find useful, and our free ground shipping policy on all orders to the lower 48 states can't be beat!
Boating season is underway, and if you're considering heading out to your slip to take your vessel for a ride, you'll want to make sure to brush up on boating safety. This will make it much less likely that you'll experience any accidents or injuries while you're on the water, and you can focus more on enjoying your trip rather than worrying about whether you'll hit a snag.
Here are a few tips for ensuring that your voyage goes off smoothly:
- Carry backup marine equipment: As noted by Boating Magazine, make sure you have backup gear on board that you can use in the event that your primary electronic instruments are damaged. We highly recommend having an extra marine radio on board as well as a handheld GPS system that can be used to send distress signals and transmit where you are. It's very easy to lose gear overboard and suffer malfunctions.
- Check weather forecasts: Before you hoist your anchor or cast off, make sure that you take a look at the weather forecast to make sure you're not heading into a storm. In addition, you should check surf reports to make sure that you won't encounter any massive waves, particularly if you're heading more than a mile or so away from shore.
- Equip your boat with a horn: No sailor or boater should leave the dock without a horn or siren that can be used to grab the attention of others on the water. These marine instruments are a necessity, particularly if you're going to be boating in a crowded area such as the Gulf of Mexico or off the coast of California.
- Install a carbon monoxide monitor on your boat: Engines produce quite a bit of carbon monoxide, which is odorless and can turn deadly within a matter of minutes. It's particularly important to have a detector on the inside of your vessel that can let you know if gasses are collecting.
- Keep an eye on the water surface: Especially when you're close to shore, you should watch for lapping waves and other signs that there are objects just under the water's surface.
- Leave a float plan with the Coast Guard, friend or family member: Before you head out, make sure that you let someone know where you'll be going and when you plan to be back. That way, if you don't return on schedule and can't be reached by phone or radio, searchers will know where to start looking for your boat if you become stranded.
- Never drink while piloting your boat: Drinking while piloting a boat can be just as dangerous as when you're behind the wheel of a car. Not only does it increase the risk of striking underwater objects and other boats, it puts you at risk if you're in an accident and need to make sound decisions in terms of how to help your crew and avoid injury or drowning.
- Remember that boats don't have brakes: When you're approaching your slip, always put the motor in neutral well before you reach the dock. Otherwise you could suffer a major collision that could result in injuries or worse.
If you find that you need any marine and boat accessories to make your trips safer, you should check out ePal today. Our gear selection is the best you'll find on the internet, and by shopping with us you could save hundreds of dollars over list prices. For more information, visit our online store today!