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I am toying with the idea of going to the southern coast this summer and doing some close shore fishing . My boat is a 1976 TARPON and is made for salt water . What is going to happen to my 90h.p. two cycle mercury engine ? Do I need to do anything special to protect it ? Can I even USE it down there ? Are there any special regs. , like lighting , GPS , ETC .
The last time I fished in florida ,( 1969) you diddn't need any license and there were no limits or seasons on anything .
Has any of that changed ?
 

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well this is purly my thoughts as i really don't have any true hard core knowledge about it but is your motor also a salt water motor?

i know some makers have a salt water model and i would guess a normal motor wouldn't take a beating in the salt i think i would eat up a normal motor pretty quick. i would think the salt water models would have stainless parts or someting in the lower end to keep from getting ate up. i would also guess the water pump would be different.

and as far as regs i am sure they have changed since 69 i am not sure how far the distance from shore you have to get to get out of the boundary of fl regs but i would guess its 20 or 30 miles. check the fl fish and game site.
and i would diffantly look in to your motor before i went.
if your just going once it may not be a bad idea to hire a guide they can take you to the fish and use there boat and stuff. then you wouldn't have to worry or even pull yours there.
 

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Your motor will be fine--so long as you flush it with fresh water (boot and garden hose) after you run it each day.
I've got a 75hp Yamaha (freshwater version) that I used to run in the brakish water of the Potomac and the Salt water of the Chesepeak Bay often. Flush and clean it with fresh water and you'll be fine.

As far as additional eqipment for your boat. You should be "legal" with the same equpment required here in Missouri. Being "safe" is another story. The eqipment you mentioned would be nice as well as a good VHF marine band radio. However, don't let the GPS give you a false sence of security. Stay close to land.

WRT the fishing game regulation--I've no idea check the web.

Advice comes from a former Merchant Mariner (DWB) who has had to rescue more than his fair share of fishermen that trusted their GPS a little to much and ventured a little to far from shore. Its a different world offshore, watch the sky and be careful.

If your planning to go well offshore I this the guide advice is a great idea--nearshore for reds you will be fine.
 

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Saltwater is hard on all exposed equipment. There will be plenty of splash and sprey to go round. You will be able to feel it on your skin. It will be the same on all your equipment and the effects will not be immediatly noticeable.
 

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Your motor will be fine. As mentioned, you just have to make sure you flush it good with fresh water every day. You have to get the earmuffs and garden hose out and flush it for at least five minutes, motor running of course. Spray everything else off real good too. If you don't have a pressure washer, I suggest going to one of the coin-op carwash places and use their fresh water pressure washer to get all the salt off. Unless you are a FL resident, you will need to get the right licenses. FL residents can fish in salt water without a license only when standing on land (or a pier, etc.). In the water everyone needs them.

http://www.myfwc.com/

Where in FL you going?
 

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I always slap some ears on my motor just to flush it out after every trip in salt water. You won't have any trouble if you do this. The reds and specks are biting down here in LA, but boy is it hot!!
 
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