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Michiana Outdoors News

What's New?

The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors announced this week the 2019 class to be inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.

The Class of 2019 includes three stars of professional bass fishing — Mark Davis of Mt. Ida, Ark., David Fritts of Lexington, N.C., and Davy Hite of Ninety Six, S.C. – along with the late Chris Armstrong a longtime outdoors illustrator, and Ed Chambers, the founder of Zoom Bait Company.

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A decade ago, anglers were especially wary of hi-vis braids, preferring camouflage lines to everything else. That's changed significantly with the success of finesse presentations like the ubiquitous wacky rig, Neko rig, drop shotting, the Ned rig, and countless other fish-catching finesse approaches. For many, hi-vis braid has become an indispensable part of the finesse rig, a way to monitor bites by sight and feel that simply increases hooked and boated bass.

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New Tackle for 2019

For 60 years, Berkley has continued to provide anglers with fishing lines they can trust.

This tradition now continues with the addition of a value-priced 100% Fluorocarbon line to the popular Berkley Solutions™ family. Whether its sinking to cover the strike zone longer, low -stretch for increased sensitivity or its near invisibility to fish, anglers continue to value all the benefits of fluorocarbon.

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Clear H2O

Featured Videos

Mark Zona: Longlining Jerkbaits Shaw Grigsby: Interior Lights
Mark Zona: Longlining Jerkbaits Shaw Grigsby: Interior Lights
John Crews: Micro Jigs John Crews: Micro Jigs
JVD: Seeing Fish on Your Graph John Crews: Micro Jigs

Side Notes

Check out these links to info from Hall of Fame Outdoor Journalist Louie Stout.

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Louie shares stories of interest to outdoorsmen in the Michiana area.
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Louie speaks his mind on outdoor issues and happenings in Southern Michigan and Northern Indiana.
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Monitor fishing and hunting news from the Michigan DNR, Indiana DNR and national sources. If it's happening in the outdoors, you can read it here.

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By Louie Stout

Ethanol Issues Keep Outboard Boat Mechanics Busy

If your outboard engine runs and stops or not at all, Andy Peterson probably knows why.

Too much Ethanol in the fuel. Your car may run fine on it, but outboards…not so much.

“We’re seeing numerous problems because of ethanol,” said the co-owner of Starboard Choice Marine in Edwardsburg, Mich. “It’s a huge marine issue throughout the country.”

And he’s not kidding.

A “Boating Industry” readership survey of dealers and marinas shows that 92 percent of those responding to the survey had seen engine failures caused by ethanol in today’s gasoline. That was up 87 percent over a similar survey the previous year.

As one Minnesota dealer put it, “Ethanol fuels are great for our service department but BAD for our customers.”

Not a boater? You could be affected, too. Those issues are creeping into small engines, too, such as chainsaws, snow blowers, and weed eaters that run on gas.

And if a current Federal proposal gets through Washington, it’s only going to get worse. The Feds are eager to expand the amount of ethanol gasoline suppliers can blend with the fuel.

Most gasoline around here is supposed to contain no more than 10 percent ethanol. However, the Feds have approved 15 percent in some states and want more next year. Station pumps offering 15 percent are marked, but with a small sticker that many people might overlook.

Another problem, says Peterson, is that some filling stations’ gas contain more than 10 percent even though the pump may say otherwise.

“We test the fuel of every boat that comes in here,” he explained. “We’ve seen as high as 18 percent ethanol and several at 15 percent. I’d say that 60 percent of our service issues are fuel related.”

Petersons surmised the added ethanol could occur mistakenly by fuel suppliers who accidentally get the wrong blend in a tanker headed to a gas station that sells only 10 percent ethanol fuels.

The problem is compounded when a fuel sits idle over time. The ethanol in boat tank absorbs moisture from the air, especially in the tanks of infrequently used boats tied to docks during the summer.

That causes fuel separation and your outboard won’t run on gas and water.

And there’s more. Peterson says he’s seen the ethanol eat through fuel lines and diaphragms.

Peterson couldn’t stress enough the importance of boaters and small engine operators to either use ethanol free fuels or to add a fuel stabilizer to the tank.

“The fuel stable certainly helps,” he added.

Ethanol-free pumps are scant, but you can google the topic and find web sites listing where they are located in each state.

“Two that I know about around here are some of the Martin Supermarkets and Bellmart BPs,” he said.

Don’t assume that filling up the boat tank with premium fuel is a solution, he added. Peterson says few people use premium, hence that fuel lays in the underground tanks longer than “regular,” where it can absorb moisture and other debris.

In addition, he suggests boaters store their boats this fall with as little fuel as possible. When you refill next spring, fill with fresh gas and reduce the likelihood of fuel separation if your full tank sits in storage.

“We’ve been told for years you should store boats with full tanks, but ethanol has changed that,” he said.

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