NWA outdoor briefs

NWA outdoor briefs

April 14, 2022 Comments Off on Keep it rolling at the ramp Latest, On The Water

Keep it rolling at the ramp

Spring has finally arrived, and more people are getting out to the lake to enjoy a day of fun in the sun.

Added traffic can mean longer wait times at boat ramps to get the day started and wrapped up at the end of the trip. Here are a few tips to help everyone out and keep the line running smoothly at the launch ramp.

  • Don’t wait until you’ve backed down the ramp to transfer your gear from the tow vehicle to the boat or unstrap the boat from the trailer.
  • Don’t make others wait while you’re having a discussion with your fishing buddy on where to go, unless you want those behind you offering some colorful suggestions.
  • Always make sure the boat’s drain plug is in when launching the boat. Unplug it when done for the day.

To protect Arkansas waters, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission enacted a regulation in 2021 requiring all boaters to remove all drain plugs, including those in livewells, before leaving the boat ramp. This helps prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species.

  • Don’t wait until a weekend during peak boating season to practice backing the trailer and launching your boat. Go to a boat ramp that doesn’t see much traffic and practice there.
  • Make sure there are enough life jackets for the people on your boat before you get to the ramp. State law requires all boats under 16 feet long to have one U.S. Coast Guard Approved wearable personal flotation device on board for every passenger. Boats 16 feet and longer also require an additional throwable flotation device.
  • A common mistake new boaters make when loading the boat at the end of the day is to put the trailer too far into the water. You want the bottom of the boat to contact the trailer when it reaches the halfway point. It can then slide up the trailer bunks straight. If the trailer is too deep, the bunks won’t guide the boat and it will slide from one side to the other when you try to pull the trailer from the water.
  • If you’re pulling a trailer, park in the long spaces designated for your rig. If you’re using a kayak, canoe or meeting someone with the boat and are driving a car or pickup that doesn’t have a trailer behind it, try to find a parking space that isn’t reserved for trailering vehicles.