What’s the best bait for rainbow trout?

One of the best fish to catch are rainbow trout, as their mild flavor and widespread range mean that they're easy to find and terrific to eat. They're also pretty easy to catch for beginning anglers. You just need to know where they'll be swimming (typically along the West Coast in freshwater rivers) and have the right bait.

When fishing for rainbow trout, you have a couple options for bait:

  • Deli shrimp: The cocktail shrimp you normally see at the supermarket are actually terrific bait for trout, according to FishingWithRod.com. They're not a natural food sou​rce for trout, but they're easy to find and seem to be effective at attracting fish.
  • Powerbait: This is designed specifically for catching trout. It is manufactured to have specific scents that trout will find enticing, and you can typically find it in any bait and tackle shop. This type also tends to last a little bit longer in your tackle box.
  • Worms: The old standby is a favorite of trout, and obviously worms are pretty cheap. If you're just looking to have a little fun on the lake and you're not terribly serious about fishing as a hobby, worms are a great, low-cost option that lets you have fun and gives you a reasonably good chance of catching fish.

Another key to fishing for any species is to have a good fishfinder on your boat that can give you accurate depth readings and provide information about the water column. By equipping your boat with a transducer and fishfinder from ePal, you'll have more success in locating the best parts of your favorite fishing grounds. That way, you'll go home with a much bigger catch!

3 pieces of equipment that will help you catch more fish

For the vast majority of anglers, you can head out to a lake with nothing more than a fishing pole, some bait and a lot of patience. After all, many of these individuals aren't necessarily fishing in order to find their next meal. Instead, they simply want to sit by a lake and take in the view, and if they catch a fish, it's just an added bonus.

But some of us actually want to catch big fish, and we'll look for any gear that will increase the odds of this happening. Here are three pieces of equipment that you should add to your boat that will make your more successful as an angler:

  • Fishfinder: This probably seems pretty obvious, but many fishermen will head out to the water without one despite its usefulness. 
  • Trolling motor: Let's say you're in a small bay that is part of a larger lake, and you want to maneuver around without starting up your main engine. A trolling motor can help you make small, slower movements so that you don't disturb the water and scare away the fish. These motors are much quieter and help with minor adjustments in your heading.
  • Underwater lighting: Adding a light such as the OceanLED 2010FM HD LED will help attract fish, particularly at night. White and green are typically the best colors, as they are visible at greater distances.

You can find this equipment at ePal. We carry many of the best manufacturers and equipment at prices that you won't find anywhere else. In addition, you will receive free ground shipping on all orders to the lower 48 states, with special flat rates for expedited shipping. Check out our online store today!

Selecting the right type of reel for your fishing rod

Have you decided to take up fishing recently? Or has it been a few years since you've done it and you're looking for a refresher course? We have you covered! We're going to give you a rundown of some of the equipment needed to fish and help you determine which marine instruments you need to catch the biggest fish.

In this article we'll go through the three basic types of reels that you'll want to consider when constructing a new fishing pole:

  • Baitcasting: One of the most common reels for more experienced anglers, a baitcasting reel gives you the best accuracy when casting, but it's a bit difficult to use. You need to be careful when casting, as it's hard to control how much line is thrown, which could result in tangling and other problems. This is the best reel to use when you have heavier fishing line.
  • Spincast: This type of reel is particularly suited for children, as it's easy to use and gets the job done. Basically, you push a button when you want to cast your line, and once you let go of the button it stops casting. Then you reel in your catch when you think a fish has taken your bait. Spincast reels don't offer the same kind of accuracy as other reels, but in terms of simplicity, they're hard to beat.
  • Spinning: This reel provides a nice middle ground between a baitcaster and spincaster, as it's easier to use than the former but more accurate than the latter.

In addition to having the right fishing equipment, you'll also want to make sure your boat is outfitted with the best marine electronics. Having a GPS system on board can be a lifesaver when you're fishing in unfamiliar waters. To see the latest in marine communication and navigation technology, check out the ePal online store today!

4 tips for troubleshooting your marine transducer

There are few boat accessories that can be more useful than a marine transducer, particularly when you're piloting your boat through an area where surface depth can fluctuate quickly. However, like any piece of marine electronics, they can give their owners problems if they're old or they weren't installed properly.

If you have a transducer and fishfinder but you find that they don't seem to be working for you, here are a few troubleshooting suggestions:

  • Be careful about interpreting depth readings when you're near another vessel. If their transducer is transmitting at the same frequency, it could be interfering with yours and producing inaccurate results.
  • If you have an outboard motor, make sure your transducer is installed closer to your starboard side. Your propeller can make it difficult for the transducer to take accurate readings of the bottom, so it is critical to make sure they're situated as far away from each other as possible.
  • Should your transducer cease to give you any reading at all, it may need to be cleaned. Make sure that any barnacles, seaweed or other material is removed so that it isn't obstructed when taking readings.
  • When you're piloting through shallow water and you have a high-powered transducer, make sure that you turn off automatic sensitivity and instead adjust it manually.

If you think it's time to replace your transducer and install a more powerful unit, make sure to purchase your new one from ePal. We have a wide selection of marine equipment from the best manufacturers, including Lowrance, Garmin and Raymarine. In addition, we provide the best shipping deal in the industry, with free ground shipping to the lower 48 states!

Product Spotlight: Uniden 4.3 Digital Wireless Video Surveillance System

Recently we discussed some steps that you can take to make sure your boat is secure when it is parked at the dock or in a slip, which include making sure it is locked up and chaining it to the dock when you're not using it. But you don't need to stop there if you're concerned about boat theft and vandalism.

If you're looking for an even more secure solution, we recommend checking out the Uniden 4.3 Digital Wireless Video Surveillance System, a security setup that provides you with two cameras and is expandable to four. This easy to setup system can be installed at your slip or dock and captures footage on MicroSD cards.

One of the best features of the Uniden is that its cameras are weatherproof, which will come in handy if it is installed near an ocean. Rain and wind won't affect its functionality and with a motion detector the system is always ready to capture footage of burglars and thieves that approach your vessel.

Another great aspect of these cameras is their full color, 4.3 inch monitor, which allows you to see much more clearly than competing systems. In addition, you can view your footage live over Skype! As long as your cameras are near an internet connection, you'll be able to monitor your boat remotely.

For more information on ePal's wide selection of boat security devices, as well as other boat accessories, make sure to browse our site today! You can also give us a call at (877) 245-8649 if you have any questions. Our customer service representatives can provide expert advice and know-how for any product you're considering purchasing!

Protect your boat with these theft prevention tips

Boat theft is a serious concern for all marine enthusiasts. Because docks and slips often feature only minimal security, your watercraft are more at risk than they should be. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent these incidents from occurring.

  • Install a GPS tracking unit: At ePal, we carry a wide selection of marine GPS tracking units that can be installed in your boat so that you can receive real-time location information. You can even set up a "fence" around your boat so that if it leaves these boundaries, you receive an alert.
  • Lock your cabin: It may seem self-evident that you should lock up your boat after you use it, but so many owners simply leave their vessel open because they don't think that theft will happen to them. Lock the cabin and make sure that the ignition for the engine can't be accessed without a key.
  • Take pictures of your boat: Make sure that you have plenty of photographs of your boat and have written down part numbers, license plate and serial numbers for all equipment. This will make it easy to identify your watercraft if it is recovered by the police.
  • When docked, secure your boat with a steel chain: Even if you have locked your cabin and made it impossible for someone to pilot your vessel without a key, you should also chain your boat to the dock so that it can't be towed out.

If you're looking to add security equipment to your vessel to make it theft-proof, you'll find that ePal has the best selection of this gear. We also feature the lowest prices and for all orders we offer free shipping to the lower 48 states. Check out our online shop today!

5 tips for better docking

If you're a new boat owner or it's been a while since you've piloted your watercraft, you may need a refresher course on how to dock a boat. It's a deceptively challenging task, as you have to learn how to master your boat when it's idling, particularly with wind and current affecting its momentum.

Boating Magazine recently outlined 12 tips that will help you dock your boat more quickly and safely. Here are some of their best pointers:

  • Develop a plan before you approach your parking space. Assign roles to each passenger beforehand so that they can prepare for docking
  • Learn how to do a pivot turn, as this makes it much easier to maneuver in a crowded area where other boats have been docked and are looking for a slip
  • Leave some slack in the ropes when you're tying up your boat. If you make them too tight, the boat could end up hanging from the dock if the tide gets too low
  • Reacquaint yourself with driving your boat in reverse and using this function of your engine to slow down. This will minimize the impact on your bow if you strike the dock
  • The first line to toss onto the dock is your spring line. This should be looped through the cleat before you throw any other ropes.

Properly docking your boat will ensure that the hull, as well as all marine instruments and boat accessories that are exposed on the outside of the hull, will remain intact and undamaged.

At ePal we have a number of marine radio and GPS devices that can make it easier to get in touch with harbormasters so that you can find parking spaces. Make sure to check out our inventory today!

Area around Tappan Zee Bridge to be closed for construction

The Tappan Zee Bridge, which runs over the Hudson River and connects the rest of the state of New York with Manhattan, will be undergoing a major renovation project over the next four years. As a result, the U.S. Coast Guard will be clearing an area around the bridge called a regulated navigation area (RNA), where boater access will be either restricted or even prohibited over the course of the project.

Local news source IOHud.com reports that Coast Guard officials have blocked off an area 200 yards south and 300 yards north of the bridge that has been declared "no wake," so boaters will be restricted to slow speeds when passing through.

One of the main reasons for the restrictions is that there will be several boats moored in the area that are part of the construction project. With these vehicles sitting still overnight, they present a hazard to other boaters, and are more likely to be damaged if the area isn't restricted.

"The devices themselves, with or without work boats moored to them, can pose a hazard to unwary boaters, especially those going too fast," officials told the source. "In periods of reduced visibility — after dark or when there is fog or heavy rain — the potential hazard from speeding is even greater."

Navigating riverways, whether there's an RNA or not, can be dangerous if your boat is not equipped with the right marine instruments to give you accurate depth readings. Having these tools on board lets you enjoy the ride rather than having to worry about whether you're going to strike objects. Make sure to check out ePal's selection of navigation and communication electronics for marine vehicles!

How do marine transducers work?

Having a marine transducer can be a huge help when your boating in unfamiliar waters, but many sailors, fishermen and other marine professionals don't actually know how these devices work. Before you purchase any marine equipment, it's a good idea to learn the basic function of the device and how it can make your life easier, so that you make a more informed decision about which transducer is right for you.

Inside each transducer is a small object called a piezoceramic disc, also referred to as an element. The boat will apply electric voltage to the element, causing it to vibrate at a particular frequency. Those vibrations create sound pressure waves, which are sent through the water in a cone-shaped beacon. As the waves travel through the ocean, they'll hit objects such as a fish or a rock on the bottom of the ocean and either reflect back to the boat or be scattered off into the water.

The sound waves that get back to the boat can cause small distortions in the shape of the element, thus affecting the voltage that is being applied to it. The transducer can interpret these voltages to determine the shape and size of the objects that the sound waves hit when they were reflected back to the hull of the ship. Your transducer judges depths by calculating the amount of time it took for the sound waves to leave and return back to the boat.

While there is a great variety of transducers available from companies such as Raymarine, Garmin and Furuno, at a basic level this is how they all operate. To find out more about the capabilities that a transducer provides its user, check out ePal's inventory today!

A brief guide to picking boating shoes

Perhaps one of the least discussed boat accessories is footwear, but don't let that fool you: Choosing the right pair of shoes for your boating adventures, whether you're a recreational sailor or a commercial fisherman, is crucial. Yet many boaters will leave shore in a pair of shoes that aren't meant for the conditions they'll be dealing with at sea or on the lake. This not only will make the experience more difficult but it could also make it more dangerous.

Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting a pair of boating shoes:

  • Accessibility: Sometimes you need to be able to slip your feet into your shoes immediately in case of emergencies. 
  • Drainage: Your shoes are going to get wet. The trick isn't so much to find a pair of shoes that keep your feet completely dry, but to find a pair that drains well enough so that it doesn't feel like you're in a puddle with each step.
  • Dry Time: This is more of a consideration if you're on your boat every day, but it's important to have a pair of shoes that can dry out in a couple of hours.
  • Traction: Slipping and falling on your boat, particularly if you're dealing with rough seas or poor weather, can be dangerous. Your boat shoes should have superb traction so that you can move quickly across your deck without fear of losing your balance and footing.

At ePal we carry a wide selection of boat parts, accessories and apparel that will make your voyages more enjoyable and safer. Not only do we have the best prices, we also offer free shipping on all U.S. sales, as well as flat rates for expedited shipping. Check out our site today!