High Gas Prices Keeping You From Fishing? Save Money With These Tips!
Gas prices have hit folks in the pocket books guzzling down a large portion of their income, the like’s of which, haven’t been seen since the 1970’s. Fewer people are spending gas on towing 5th wheelers, high performance speed boats, and bass tournament participation is way down.
Fuel is an important cost to a fisherman and can influence them in many ways from running around the lake in low efficient outboard engines to traveling long distances to famous lakes.
While I’m no fan of the high gas prices, I can say this year will set a record for me when it comes to miles driven to fish, and most fish caught and yet gas prices don’t factor into my schedule.
Ahead I will share some tips that you can go by to hopefully get you back out on the water where you belong!
7.) Learn Your Local Lakes
This was the biggest learning lesson I got in 2021 and 2022. Local lakes and reservoirs have their own unique personalities. Some have docks, some have rocks. Some Grass, some clear, some stained and so on.
Once I learned how a lake was setup in 2021, I was able to pattern it and come back the following year and put myself in the best locations by replicating what worked which lead to great fish harvests and a full freezer of meat!
Within 30 miles of my house are over a dozen small reservoirs that easily feed me and my family. Don’t travel too far if you don’t have to!
6.) Go With Friends
Sometimes I enjoy fishing alone but other times it’s great to have company! If you’re new to an area, join a local social media group dedicated to fishing. If you have a boat advertise that you’re looking for someone to share the expenses with. If you don’t own a boat, offer someone gas money to take you around.
Often times having 2 or more people in a boat is what it takes to figure out what the fish want to bite on that day! If you want to get back to your ancestorial roots, build a social bond by hunting and gathering with others!
If you fish with multiple people, compare gas mileage because even if someone gets just a few more miles better to a gallon, you’re likely go save 10-20% on fuel costs. That adds up over the course of a year!
5.) Choose Aluminum Over Glass
Glass bass boats are amazing no doubt. They’re beautiful, sturdy, and can handle high winds. They also weigh a ton which causes an outboard to work much harder to propel. When you’re weighing all the costs of owning a bass boat, it may be a good idea to look into aluminum instead.
Aluminum boats weigh only a fraction and take much less energy (gas) to get on plane. They cost less and can absorb much more abuse without affecting their value. Insurance costs savings alone will purchase you several full tanks of gas!
With their weights so much lighter, your trolling motor works less as well. An 80lbs thrust trolling motor will pull your aluminum boat twice as fast as it would a glass boat and actually move you as fast as idling will in a bass boat!
4.) Pack a Lunch For An All Day Fishing Trip
I know the majority of fishermen out on a lake only visit during the early morning hours or late evening when the sun’s about to set. If you think about it, it’s really inefficient to drive over to a lake towing a boat only to fish for a couple of hours and head right back home.
Instead, you can fish during the primetime hours then explore when the fish take a break. I will look for hidden brush piles, rock sets, and any depth changes that could hold mega schools of fish leading to even more success!
3.) Use Your Trolling Motor!
I’ve never met an angler who can catch fish with their motor running even at a light wake! Many young guns think that jackrabbiting (full throttle from idle) is cool. If they knew they just literally threw five or six bucks out each time, they might ease into those takeoffs.
Learn to run your outboard at optimum speeds or better yet, use your electric motor and get much more fishing time. Isn’t that why you’re there to begin with? Save the high speeds for escaping storms!
My best bass tournament streak was out of a small bass tracker that had a top speed of 35mph forcing us to pick banks that we could pick apart. Of 7 tournaments we won 5 including 2 of them with big bass!
2.) Use Vehicles That Get Better Gas Mileage When Not Towing A boat!
I own a Silverado that gets about 20mpg. My wife has an Escape that gets 30mpg.
Anytime she and I go fishing from the shore we make sure to fold down her seats and place our poles and equipment back there out of the way saving our fuel costs by 50%!
1.) Start Fishing From A Kayak
If you’d told me three years ago that I would sell my two bass boats and adopt kayak fishing, I would’ve fallen on the floor laughing but after the first trip with my wife, I was hooked!
Fast forward to now and you’ll understand why I said in the beginning of this article that I’ve caught more fish than ever! I fish 3 to 5 times a week using very little money in gas, while getting a great workout in a pedal drive a kayak.
The stealth that comes with kayak fishing makes it easy to get close to fish without disturbing them, and I’m able to fish lakes that have motor restrictions that I’d never had the privilege to fish before!
The cost of fishing is only going to head into one direction, and that is up! Gas will fluctuate in prices but tends to be one of the top 5 costs a fisherman will have to deal with throughout their lifetimes.
To extend your career in fishing, you’re going to have to get creative and learn how to cut costs. Implement some of the strategies above and get back out there on the water!