Last year I purchased a Garmin 1204 xHD radar for my boat. It was a great addition and really looks good on my boat. I should have purchased a 24 HD dome. My major problem is the Trailer.  I had to have a custom plate that folds 180 degrees so I do not take every low hanging powerline or tree.  Second Problem is on the water bridge clearance. If I have any doubts I will fold the unit to avoid  problems. I have brackets so It will not bounce once it is folded ready for transport.. Ed Miller of High Tech Marine in Middle river did the install. I am very happy with the install no problems or issues. The main reason I wanted an open array is to locate birds feeding on bait fish. It works really well out of the box. Garmin has several settings and we can pick up crab buoys on flat days without any adjustments. It is a great addition for night navigation or fog.

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Here is my Boat docked in Ocean City Maryland.

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Fishing on my Friends boat “Prime Time”  We got extremely lucky to find a pod of hungry Rockfish and every rod had a fish. My friend just installed autopilot on the boat just in time. He engaged the autopilot and grabbed a rod himself.  We had 5 people on the boat and everybody had a job for the next 5 minutes.

 

I managed to  land a trip with my friend and my brother on a charter out of Solomons Island  called Miss Suzsie captianed by Gregory Buckner. He has a reputation knowing where and how to catch Rockfish. The boat left the dock at 5:30 am and we finished around 12:30 pm with a limit of rockfish.  Thanks Greg for a good time on the water on Easter Sunday !!!

Here is the Catch !!

Another Picture of the Big Fish 47 and 1/2 inches 40 Lbs !!!!

Rockfishing Season opened on April 16, 2011 to a very windy rainy day. I decided to keep my boat down in Solomons Island until May 15.  My trip from my home port of Joppa to South of the Bay Bridge will take a little over 1 hour of time. At Solomons I can have lines in the water in as little as 20 minutes. Also the gas we would burn running 40 miles south is helps on the wallet also. unfortunately the following week was plagued by windy days and small craft advisories. I am not a fair weather fisherman but I do like to enjoy myself and not feel like I have just fought a 10 round fight.

Our first lines were in the water Saturday around 4 pm. I spoke to some of the locals in Solomons and most are fishing a little north near the Gas Docks. It was actually very calm for a “Small Craft Advisory” rolling 2 foot waves not too much of a problem. We finally boated a 32 rockfish around 7pm. Since this was the first fish of the year we released it. Hopefully luck will be on our side.

I have run my Proline about 4 times since installing the Floscan Gauge. Here is some data I have received.

My home port is North of the Fishing Grounds so every time I leave to fish I must head south.  Heading south into the waves and sometimes wind I can adjust the boat for a 30 Knot cruise speed with a fuel consumption of 13 gallons per hour each motor. Time to the fishing grounds is around 40 minute boat cruise.

While trolling for fish I have only one motor running with a fuel consumption rate of 2 gallons per hour.

The ride to port is north with the waves and sometimes with the wind. I can cruise 27 – 29 knots with a fuel consumption rate of 10 -12 gallons per hour per engine.  

Total Trip fuel consumed 48 gallons not too bad.

Solomon trip was a little rocky at first. The forecast was high winds with a small craft until midday. We left the dock around 6 am to meet building bay chop. The waves built till around the forecasted 3 foot mark and our boat was pounded. Tim the captain wanted to run south but quickly changed his mind once the boat was launched a couple of times off the 3 foot crest.

We started fishing a 27 rod pattern with 150 foot planer boards on each side of the boat. I personally think this is overkill but Tim’s pattern catches fish and he is not changing it. We trolled around for a couple of hours with no bites till the wind started to subside and the bay began to lay down. I was 3 inline out of 6 person charter. I caught a 33 inch fish.

Here is the prize!! I was the last person to catch a fish on this day, so the total fish we caught was 3.

Still not fished out from Sunday. My friend Brian called Tuesday AM he has a spot open on his boat for an 11 AM fishing trip. I checked the weather and wind reports everything was perfect. So I jumped into my car and motored over. The boat ride out to the fishing grounds was perfect, flat as glass, I was a little cold because I elected to were shorts without my trusty sweat pants backup.

We started trolling around Love point. Surprisingly, I counted at least 10 boats out with a few commercial charters on the water too. I thought this must be the spot.  My friend’s boat can troll 6 rods all on planers boards.  We trolled for about 2 hours without a bite not even a knockdown.  Everybody wanted to try a new spot.  We picked up the gear and headed south to Manapeake. Conditions south of the bridge were a little different. We had a 1 to 2 foot chop steady 15 knot wind. I set the trolling gear back in the water and waited for some action. Forty minutes pass and I hear the sound of the plainer clip releasing and drag peeling off the reel, We have one “Tight”.

This was the only fish for the day no skunk on this boat.

Once again the rock fishing opens. Unfortunately the high winds kept my boat off the bay on Saturday.  The reports I received on Saturday had wave heights between 4 to 6 feet. 

Sunday’s wind report was better but I knew I was going to get beat up.  I did fish Sunday with luck. My boat returned to port with two keepers.

I started fishing just south of the Bay Bridge around Manapeake . We trolled a 9 rod pattern with my outriggers set up instead of planer board because of the waves.  Our farthest lure was a spoon directly behind the boat around 200 feet. Next were the long riggers around 150 feet both with tandem parachutes white  or chartreuse.  Next two  were the closest  rigger lines  about 120 feet  with  umbrella rigs  white and chartreuse.  The next two were boat rods about 80 to 100 feet tandem  lures  white with a purple  shad and a chartreuse.  The two last boat rods were heavy mojo lures about 60 feet.

Our first fish hit the short rigger white umbrella  rig around 10:30 am. Our position was between the moored  freighters. The fish was about 33 inches.

The last fish hit a chartreuse tandem rig around Manapeake. It was also around the 33 inch mark.

Overall a great day on the bay  if you take the wind and the waves away. The boat traffic was not a real problem too. Although the ride to port was another story very rough  and almost unbearable at times.

Keep fishing!!!

Jim G

Installed gauge in my panel

I stepped my game up last year and bought a used bigger boat with twin engines. It was a great price and I could not pass it up. The boat was a foreclosure sale on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I found it on the website www.labmarineinc.com. I purchased my Trophy 5 years ago from this company and it was great experience too. I recommend taking a look.

With a new boat you need to figure out how it operates and how much fuel it will burn. On normal rock fishing trips I would motor 30 miles to fish, troll all day and return to my port on around 50 gallons of fuel. The fuel tank holds 200 gallons so I am not too concerned with running out. I like to keep my tanks 1/2 to full of fuel. I quickly found out offshore is very different, you are fighting waves ever 5 – 10 seconds and sometimes very windy conditions. This can throw a curve ball at your fuel calculation. So I purchased a gauge called “Twinscan” from a company called Floscan Instrument. Co. Inc The gauge is very simple with two indicators needles that displays how many gallons per hour each engine is consuming. The gauge will also display total of fuel consumed so you should have a very accurate measurement of fuel in your tank.

Installed flow sensors

The Twinscan unit ships with a gauge and two sensors. Each sensor is installed on the fuel line to each engine. My engine is 2 stroke so I do not have a return fuel line. You need to supply the 3 wires per sensor to connect the sensor to the gauge. I purchased triplex from the boat store so each sensor has one bundle of wires. The colors match up except the red wire is connected to the green inside the triplex.

Installed flow sensors side view

Installation is very simple install the cables and connect the sensor s with some position requirements. The install kit has all the connectors and heat shrink tubing you need to connect the gauge. Last connect the power wires, ignition wires (2) and a reset switch for your total gallons display.
Fuel line
I did experience a problem not with the installation but inspecting the fuel line I found the inside part of the line was separated and cracking. This looks like a huge fuel delivery problem so I replaced the entire fuel line.

Fuel line split

We tested the install and everything worked fine. I want to launch the boat soon so I will post my fuel data.

Rockfishing is comming soon !! Hope everyone has started to prepare, I have.