Video: 5 Tips for Saving Money on Fishing Trips

Fishing is more expensive than ever before, due in large part to increases in fuel and lodging costs. Here are five tips for saving money the next time you leave home on a fishing adventure.

Video: 5 Tips for Saving Money on Fishing Trips

With gas prices through the roof, it pays to think about how to save money on fishing trips. In the YouTube video below, the host of Anthony’s Outdoors provides five tips he’s learned through the years that will lower your overall spend. 

Two of his tips focus on fuel consumption, namely in your truck and boat. Simply lowering your speed on the road and on the water can result in serious savings. Most modern vehicles provide instantaneous miles per gallon data, so it’s easy to access this information. However, you likely need help in finding boat engine fuel consumption data. No worries, click here and you can look up your engine to determine how much fuel you’ll save by slowing down on the water. In general, you can save 50 percent of fuel by running at 75 percent throttle vs top speed.

As described in the video, the method to reduce fuel consumption with your outboard is easy. When traveling from point A to point B, increase your speed until your boat is on plane. Don’t accelerate beyond that speed. Next, trim your outboard slightly to reduce the amount of lower unit drag in the water. Your speed will probably increase a bit as you trim your motor, which means you can reduce the throttle just a touch and still remain comfortably on plane.

I’ll add a few more tips regarding fuel consumption that aren’t covered in the video. I own a 16.3-foot Skeeter multi-species fiberglass boat powered by a 60hp Mercury tiller outboard. The vast majority of the time I’m fishing with one other person. My 60hp is great on gas. In fact, I’ve learned through the years (I bought my boat and motor in 1994) that no matter how far I run and how much I fish from sunrise to sunset, I can burn only 9 gallons of gas. I learned this by starting with a full tank (22 gallons) on massive Lake of the Woods along the Ontario/Minnesota border on muskie fishing adventures. After a full day of fishing, I again topped off my fuel tank and not once I could I fit 10 gallons in my boat; 9 gallons was always the max.

I mention this fact because it would make little sense for me to begin any day of fishing with 22 gallons in the tank. If I begin my day with a half tank of gas, there’s no way I’ll run out. And by starting any day with 11 gallons instead of 22 gallons, I’ve reduced overall boat weight by 66 pounds (gas weighs 6 pounds per gallon). Truth be told, because I often fish on small local lakes, I usually begin the day with a tank that’s only about 25 percent full, which means about 5 or 6 gallons. Less weight in the boat means better fuel economy.

Another way to reduce fuel consumption in your boat is to make sure the weight is balanced properly (people and gear). The most common mistake is having too much weight in the back of the boat, which makes it more difficult to get the boat on plane, and keep it there.

The discussion above about boat fuel tank size also comes into play with my 2017 Ford F150. My pickup has a 36-gallon fuel tank. I’ll do the math for you — if I top off the tank, that’s 216 pounds of gas. For the vast majority of my trips, it makes no sense to travel with a full tank of gas. Less weight in the truck means better fuel economy.

Hopefully the five tips described in the video below will help you save a bit of money. And good luck fishing!


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