Video: Boat Batteries Need Some Love During Summer, Too.


We all know that freezing temps can wreak havoc on our gear, but we often forget that blazing hot temps can do just as much, if not more, damage. As the video below explains, a few simple steps will ensure that your fishing trip, tournament or even evening cruise doesn’t end in a disaster.

Starting with a top-notch deep-cycle battery such as an Optima D31 is key for me as their “six pack” design better handles the heat. When the thermometer starts to really rise, however, we need to take a few extra steps to keep our gear working at tip-top shape.

I have run onboard Minn Kota Precision chargers for many years, and they have a smart charge style that enables them to charge faster because they apply enough charge without getting so hot that the charger will actually shut down or drastically reduce the amps being put out. While this really helps the charging process, we can do more.

Simply opening boat compartments to create air flow will make a big difference, but adding a fan on or near the battery/charging compartment will take it to the next level. The cooler we keep the batteries and charger, the quicker they will charge, and longer they will last.

In cases where you’ve discharged a battery so deeply that the Minn Kota onboard charger won’t pick up and charge, having an external automotive charger such as the Optima Digital 1200 charger is a great way to get enough “juice” onto the boat battery so you can again safely charge it via your onboard charger.

Smart summertime battery care will keep you fishing longer, and it simply makes sense financially to maintain your batteries instead of replacing them due to negligence.

Editor’s note: Capt. Ross Robertson of Bigwater Guide Service and his crew provide educational guide trips for monster walleyes and smallmouth bass. The Bigwater team fishes ice-out to ice-up on the Great Lakes, spending the majority of the year on Lake Erie’s western and central basins.

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