Have you ever backed a boat down a ramp and into the lake, only to discover the boat plug was missing and then try nonchalantly to pull it back up to drain? According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, in 2011 “there were 12.4 million registered boats in the U.S.” That is a lot of boat plugs to remember.

With all of the life jackets, fishing tackle, and gear for a boat outing, this small piece of equipment can be taken for granted. The modern boat plug is an ingenious design. If the plug is leaking or too loose, just twist the handle a turn or two. By smashing the rubber bushing to make it wider, any gap is filled tighter. And although they can last for years, eventually the rubber bushing may develop cracks and need to be replaced.

Boat plugs are crucial for keeping water out of a boat; they also are very good at keeping water in a boat. With our tiny swimming pool down for the year, my son claimed he still needed a lure testing facility.

“Hey, I can use the jon boat!” he grinned, reminding me of the recent boat-filling rain.

Mosquito season in Oklahoma can run most of October so it is important to take precautions and keep all stagnant water; even “lure testing facilities,” drained.

Boat plugs are inexpensive so I have extras stashed in the truck and another in a tackle box. I even know of a fisheries research crew member who was awarded a boat plug as a necklace at the end of the year. Carrying an extra boat plug is a bold fashion statement of jewelry, but it can prove to be a real ‘stopper’.

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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.