your shallow water anchors won’t stay up – it’s a lot better than dragging them down 100 miles of highway.
SIDENOTE: As a side note on that one, don’t carry your anchoring remotes in your pants pocket as you drive. I know at least two people who’ve admitted to grinding down their Power-Pole spikes when they didn’t know they’d deployed them at 70 miles per hour.
Fuses and extra trailer lights can also prove to be exceptionally valuable.
One way to prevent unexpected problems is to address them before they become problems. Take care of the simple preventative measures when you’re not under the gun. That means checking your tire pressure regularly, including in your spare (you have a spare, right?), and assuring that your lug nuts are tightened sufficiently – but not so securely that you can’t get them off when necessary. Modern hubs and bearing systems aren’t as finicky as those from the past, but they do require maintenance every few years. Some anglers I know carry an extra hub for extra-long drives.
Beyond the weekly, monthly, or yearly checks, you can again sniff out problems before they occur simply by eyeballing your gear and using your five senses. Obviously, if it gets to the point that something is smoking or damaged, it may be too late, but make a habit of circling your trailer before you get on the road and then each time you stop for gas or a pit stop. Are the hubcaps hot? Does it smell different? In most of those places, you’ll have ample lighting and perhaps some help if something’s on the verge of going awry. It’s cliché, but an ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure.
I strongly prefer a dual-axle trailer for trailering safety, even on boats where you could get away with a single axle. They may be harder to move in a garage and may cost more, but if a tire blows out, they track truer to keep you safe and in one piece.
Some anglers prefer to trailer with a tight-fitting cover on the boat. I do not, feeling that it hurts my gas mileage and visibility. I will, on occasion, use it if I know I’ll be trailering through major storms or construction zones.
Even if I’m not towing with the cover on, I’ll still bring it with me. That way, if I have to leave the boat somewhere, I can cover it to minimize exposure.
If you do have to leave the boat unattended, make sure to remove and lock up everything that you can – this includes, of course, graphs, rods, etc. On top of that, get a lock that will prevent someone from hooking up the boat to their vehicle and taking off with it, never to be seen again.
Getting there may never be “half the fun” when it comes to great fishing trips, but it shouldn’t be a pain center, either – and it doesn’t have to be. •