If your boat hasn't been affected by E-10 (ethanol) laced fuel, count yourself lucky. To stay on top of the problem arm yourself with an inexpensive fuel tester to measure just how much alcohol/water is in your tanks to see if you have an issue.
An-other way for shade tree mechanics to diagnose fuel system issues caused by E-10 is the use of a simple fuel gauge to see if system pressures are in spec. and passageways are not clogged with gunk. Install a water separating filter if you don't have one and monitor closely your filter change maintenance schedule.
Also consider fuel additives that are geared toward the E-10 marine consumer. Locally, E-10 related fuel problems are a full 50 percent of dealer service issues. Try not to let fuel sit for long periods, which is an invitation to problems.
Lots of anglers are downsizing and many just enjoy today's super high-tech small poling skiffs as well as small low-tech jonboats. Both use small to midsize motors. A 50 hp motor is a good choice for most of these skiffs.
A major boating magazine recently did a comprehensive "shoot-out" between eight different models of nifty 50s, 2- and 4-strokes, by Yamaha, Mercury, Honda, Suzuki, E-TEC, and Tohatsu. All were strapped to identical boats and some results are surprising.
Average top speed winner: Honda 4-stroke, Mercury 4-stroke, Mercury 2-stroke, in that order, with the Evinrude E-TECH finishing last.
Low end acceleration winner (start to 20 mph): The Mercury, Yamaha, and Tohatsu 2-strokes won hands down. Honda 4-stroke came in last.
Fuel economy winner: Merc 50 EFI 4-stroke, Honda 50 4-stroke, and the Suzuki 4-stroke. Yamaha fifth and sixth place.
Sound level test winner: Mercury 4-stroke, Yamaha EFI 4-stroke, Yamaha 2-stroke, followed in fourth by Honda 4-stroke.
Overall total points winner: The Mercury 2-stroke followed by the Mercury EFI 4-stroke. Third and fourth was taken by the Suzuki EFI 4-stroke and the Tohatsu DFI 2-stroke.
Lowest rated in these combined tests was the Evinrude E-TEC, and last place honors go to the Yamaha 50 EFI 4-stroke motor.
Capt. Dick May of Easy Rider Charters is enjoying calmer winds and catching trout to five pounds, Spanish macs, black tip sharks, and redfish to 26 inches. All fish caught on white bait under a Cajun Thunder Rattling Cork rig except for a lone red that begged for a shrimp. Lots of smaller snook reported on whitebaits, but no giants. Last week's snook tourney produced lots of snook from the river. May should be another great fishing month.
Capt. Roy Bennett of Hot One 11 Charters gave good reports of tarpon action in Pine Island Sound this week despite the wind. Earlier in the week they jumped five tarpon and landed two, and one nurse shark. Wednesday they landed two of six fish hooked. Most were jumped on ca fish tails with the exception of two that hit pinfish under floats. "Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come"
New tarpon anglers should know that catfish chunks fished on the bottom make great tarpon bait. Catch a small to medium size catfish, cut from behind the head and cut off the tail and you are left with a nice four- to seven-inch chunk of prime tarpon bait. Find a likely looking spot and cast three to five rods in a circle around the boat, all baited with fresh kitty chunks. Put all reels in clicker mode. Place your hook through one corner on the end rather than hooking in the middle of the chunk. Use a good circle hook and simply let the fish hook itself. Just start reeling and don't forget to reel in the other rods during the fight.
Capt. Roy will be giving a tarpon seminar at noon today at Cape Tool & Tackle on Pine Island Road.
Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Flying Fins Sportfishing.