Unless you’re one of those lucky boaters who enjoy year-round sunshine in states like Florida or Hawaii, for the rest of us it’s time to face the music as summer ends and cooler weather rolls in.
The passing of Labor Day weekend marks the end of warm weather and prime-time boating for boaters all across the country who are forced to concede to drawbacks of four-season living. But wait! Don’t start wintering your vessel just yet.
Here are five tips and tricks for enjoying your last few days of boating as we head into fall.
Goodbye tourists, hello open waterways
The first and most obvious reason to continue boating into fall is simple: your favorite pond is a lot less crowded. Both fresh and saltwater boaters will notice a dramatic shift in the amount of on-the-water traffic following Labor Day weekend.
Tourists pack up and head home, leaving the waterways open and free for locals to take back what’s rightfully theirs. No more dealing with back-ups at the boat ramp, long lines at the pumps, or the chaos of choppy water from the numerous boats zooming by across lake. As the leaves begin to change colors and fall takes over, boaters will be pleasantly surprised by random warm weather days throughout the end of the season to give them one final taste of summer.
Bundle up for fun
If you can handle a little cold weather, then you can take advantage of the benefits of fall boating. Grab your favorite hoodie sweatshirt and maybe even a pair of gloves or a winter hat, and hop onboard. Yes it’s true, the wind might feel a bit nippier than it had during the summer months but that’s to be expected—nothing a fleece blanket and some hot chocolate can’t fix.
For all you watersports enthusiasts out there, it’s time to invest in a wet suit. With a wet suit, you’ll still be able to hit the water for skiing, wakeboarding, wakesurfing and much more all the way up until the start of November.
Picnics and tailgates
While we’re forced to say farewell to summer days, we’re greeted by the vibrant colors of fall and the kickoff of football season. There’s no better way to spend a beautiful autumn day on your boat then to pack a picnic basket and coast out to enjoy the scenery as the leaves change to different shades of maroon, orange and yellow. Then, when game day rolls around, forget all about your ideas for tailgating—it’s time for boat-gating. Load up your boat and sail down to the stadium’s harbor, or pile in a group of friends and cruise over to your favorite seaside sports bar to tie-off and watch the game.
Trick-or-treating by boat
Everyone knows that things begin to get a little spooky towards the end of October. What better way to celebrate Halloween than on your boat?
Dress up your crew as pirates or sailors, and be sure to stock up on plenty of candy. And since we’re talking about costumes, don’t forget to dress up your boat! Who knows, it could just win a costume contest. Ride around from dock to dock, or restaurant to restaurant, to trick-or-treat and enjoy the festivities.
The fish will still be biting
Anglers, you’re in luck. Autumn happens to be one of the best seasons for fishing due to the fact that fish are beginning to put on weight for the winter.
Typically the best time to fish during the fall is during the afternoon to early evening—so no need to dread those early morning fishing trips you had to put up with all summer. During the afternoon, the sun tends to sit directly overhead for hours at the time, and the water gets warmer near the surface. Bring along a thermos filled with something warm and tasty, and keep the rest of your body warm by layering your clothing.
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