Welcome to Fly Fishing The Salt! If you are just discovering
the joys of fly fishing the salt (or salt chuck as some call it)
here you will find information to steer you in the right direction.
Tips on what equipment to use, why, where and how to fish.
And we will try to include a little inspiration to get you
going. For the experienced salt water angler, there will be
personal stories about real fishermen and their experiences,
tips on what flies for which fish and techniques that work.
Your stories and articles are also most welcome. Share the
knowledge and adventure. Pass it on! This is for you.
The Hole Truth
By Capt. Doug Sinclair, Grantsboro, NC.
I couldn't get the feeling out of my mind. I thought
about it all night. A friend said I could keep my boat
at his dock during a tournament. But, I thought what if
I got there in the morning and it was sitting on the bottom.
That could really ruin your day.
Why do boat manufacturers put so many holes in boats? Maybe
they can't justify putting in a bilge pump if there wasn't a
way for water to get in there. And, how would water find its
way in if there were no hole. I know you are wondering why
I even bring this up.
Well to be quite honest I ran into this interesting little problem.
It poured trucks today and while I had all the drains plugged,
except for the side drains, the boat still had a rush of water
come from the bilge when I pulled the hull plug at the ramp.
Sure there should be some water, but not a couple of gallons.
Yet a few days ago, bright sunny day, I pulled the plug and a
ton of water came out. So is there a leak somewhere? I checked
every place that there could be a problem. All the drain holes
and all the intakes seemed secure. I took extra precautions
and went crazy with the caulking gun.
Did you ever really look at a flats boat? Near the bow there
are three drains. One for the anchor, one for the top hatches
and one for the bait well, which doesn't really count for a
fly-fishing boat. Maybe that well was designed for wet and
streamer flies. Then there is the fuel overflow and two side
drains, cockpit drains from the bow hatches and tube drains
for the rod tubes. Two more drains are in the back of the
cockpit, which allow water to drain directly out the sides
of the hull and two more drains that go into the bilge. This
is probably how they justify having a bilge pump in the first
In the stern there are more drains for the live wells (which
I use for dry storage), back well overflow and the bottom
hull drain below the pocket. I think I'm starting to get
the picture. With all these drains the boat should be dry.
Right? Oops, I forgot the drain hole on the poling platform.
Well, that water just evaporates anyway.
I set about searching for all the little areas that may hold
the secret to the accumulation of water. Inspection of the
bilge area revealed something really interesting. The valve
to the wet well intake was open. I looked around the valve
stem and then decided to check the screen by opening the cap.
Well, I didn't have to turn it very hard because it unwound
easily in my hand. So this must be where the water was
entering. Naturally things loosen up in a boat and that's
not a place I usually check. So I've learned a lesson here.
Don't just look for the obvious visible areas also consider
the storage and bilge areas of the hull. These are areas
that are hard to maneuver around, but you just might find
an answer to a problem.
So all that caulking I did didn't hurt but I probably didn't
need to do it. The problem was a simple fix just by tightening
down that cap to the valve stem and shutting off the valve itself.
All those drains do serve a purpose. As much as letting water
in they do provide a place for it to drain out. I guess it
is nice having all those drains. Makes up for the price of
the boat. I figured each drain is worth about $1,000.
Think of that next time you buy a boat. Here's the best
news - there isn't any water in the hull any more. Hallelujah!
Get out and fish.
Please don't teach your trash to swim. ~ Doug Sinclair
Capt. Doug Sinclair has relocated from New Smyrna Beach, Florida to
Grantsboro, NC. He specializes in fly-fishing and light tackle charters.
Doug charters the Coastal Carolina area of New Bern or Oriental.
Catch him on the web at
www.flyfishacademy.net or call him at (252) 745-3500.
Doug is also a Sponsor here on FAOL.
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