Tips to help you plan a fishing boat launch
If you get it right, launching a fishing boat can be an easy, quick and relatively calm experience. If you get it wrong, your boat launch can become a chaotic, stressful disaster, particularly if there’s a long line of frustrated boat owners behind you, waiting their turn at the ramp and watching your every move.
That said, if you keep a cool head and do some simple preparation and planning before you get to the ramp, you should be able to manage a smooth, relaxed fishing boat launch.
Preparing for your fishing boat launch
It’s very important that you take care of as many pre-launch tasks as possible before you get your turn on the boat ramp. There’s no quicker way of making enemies at a launch site than taking up unnecessary time on the ramp.
Most fishing boat launch areas have a designated space for pre-launch preparations; otherwise, you can prepare while you wait in line (remembering to keep moving your vehicle forward as the queue moves forward).
Pre-launch preparation tasks
- Ensure that your drain plug is properly inserted.
- Load your equipment onto your fishing boat, such as life jackets, clothing, ice chests, fishing gear, etc.
- Remove the stern straps connecting the boat to the trailer.
- Attach bow and stern lines to their cleats.
Launching your fishing boat
- Reverse your trailer slowly and carefully down the boat ramp and submerge it just far enough to allow you to get your boat into the water. Ideally, you should have a launching partner who can stand outside the vehicle and direct you.
- Detach the trailer winch from the bow.
- At this point, you can push your fishing boat into the water and pull it away from the ramp area with the bow line, or you can jump into the boat, start the engine and drive it away.
- Once your fishing boat is in the water, your main objective should be to get out of the way and allow others access to the ramp. Tie off your boat and quickly remove your vehicle and trailer, or get your launch partner to do the parking and collect them in the boat at a safe pick-up point.