Summer is upon us here in NJ and that means, hot & humid days ahead. A little preventative maintenance will help combat the negative effects of Ethanol in your Outboard Motor and fuel system.
What is Ethanol?
Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from corn and other plant materials. Ethanol is a renewable, domestically produced transportation fuel.
What is Ethanol blended fuel?
E10 fuel is a low-level blend composed of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline. It is classified as “substantially similar” to gasoline by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is legal for use in any gasoline-powered vehicle. Fun Fact! The use of E10 was spurred by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (and subsequent laws), which mandated the sale of oxygenated fuels in areas with unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide. This kicked off the modern U.S. ethanol industry growth. Today, E10 is sold in every state. Nearly 97% of U.S. gasoline contains up to 10% ethanol to boost octane, meet air quality requirements, or satisfy the Renewable Fuel Standard. E10 doesn’t qualify as an alternative fuel under the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct).
Negative Effects of Ethanol
Basically, if you have a full 3 gallon fuel tank on your boat, 2.7 gallons is actually gasoline and 0.3 gallons is Ethanol. This is isn’t an issue by itself, however Ethanol has a nasty characteristic of attracting and bonding to water. Most small-boat fuel systems are vented directly into the atmosphere and because of this, ethanol can easily pull in moisture from the atmosphere and bond to it in your fuel tank, fuel lines, and carburetor. As we all know, water doesn’t burn so good and it tends to make engines like a 9.9 hp outboard run rough, hard to start and even stall at idle.
Combating Negative Effects of Ethanol
Consider the following preventative maintenance tips to keep you outboard engine running smooth year-round at every outing:
Add a fuel stabilizer like Sea Foam Motor Treatment or Sta-Bil Marine Formula to your fuel tank at each fill up.
When buying gas, only get what you think you’ll need for the day’s trip. You can also ask the attendant if they have any gas without ethanol blended in…I think I found a Sunoco once that offered non blended gasoline.
If you have old gas (over a month old) in your boat’s fuel tank, consider running that in your lawnmower instead and buying fresh gas for your day’s trip.
Night fishing report from Dave Quaglia and friends who went fishing at Round Valley Reservoir after the hot September sun had gone down. They caught two nice rainbows and a bunch of bluegill anchored in roughly 50 feet of water off the East beacon near the campsites. Corn and shrimp were the baits of choice. Notice the jacket, it’s getting cooler out there at night now that we are almost in October.
Thanks for sharing the report Dave! Everyone can send in reports to firstname.lastname@example.org
Fishing for catfish at Round Valley is generally a lot slower than Spruce Run, however the few that you do get are almost always bigger than the fish you would get on average at Spruce run.
I’ve found that the best baits for catfish at Round Valley are live Shiners or live Herring, dead Herring, and pieces of shrimp.
Sitting around in cold weather isn’t fun…unless of course you’re ice fishing, so most of the catfishing we do in the warmer summer months. When targeting catfish at Round Valley, I don’t usually hit the water until around 10:00 p.m. or so since for the most part the catfish there seem to start hitting fairly late.
As for location, try to find a shallow feeding shelf with quick access to deeper water, and some sort of structure that will hold bait (weed beds, rocks, etc). Common areas are the coves around the boat launches, sandy point, both sides of the dike near the ends and more, depends on how much you want to walk!
On August 30th, myself, Zach, and my buddy Chris headed out to Round Valley to do some night fishing for rainbow trout. At our first drop, we caught a dinner-plate sized sunfish in 65 feet of water so we moved deeper in search of rainbows…chasing rainbows? Heh #dadjokes.
At our second drop, we doubled anchored in 85feet, surface water temp. measured 74.5F. After a few hours of soaking cut shrimp without success, I finally get a no-doubter of a hit on my line, set the hook, and start fighting a nice size fish on my light spinning outfit which has 6lb test mono all the way to the size 8 baitholder hook.
The fish wasn’t fighting like a rainbow trout, it was sounding like a damn tuna, what the heck is this thing? I call for Zack to get his fancy rubberized net ready just in case I’ve got a new state record sunfish on my line… Slowly I start gaining line on the fish and as it comes up we see that it’s a lake trout! Zach snapped a quick pic and back into the drink went the fish. I got another solid hit about 15 minutes later but it snapped my line. My fault. I should have checked it for damage after the first fish, what a stupid mistake on my part. You’d think after fishing for twenty something years I’d have some of this stuff memorized but nope, live and learn.
We bobbed around for a few more hours without a hit or a fish and I think we finally packed it in around 3:30am. It was a beautiful night even though the fish were few and far between. A more ambitious group of anglers would have pulled up anchors and kept trying locations, but that’s hard work with double anchors and honestly the part I love most about night fishing is how peaceful and relaxing it is. If you’ve never tried it, I strongly suggest going out with a friend or two, you’ll have a blast I guarantee it.