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FAQs
What if I have to go to the bathroom when ice fishing?

Unfortunately we do not have any porta-potties available.  For our Group Ice Fishing Adventure we will be positioned close to your cars so you could take a quick trip to the gas station. For our Private Guided Trips, please consult with the guide on options.

What should I bring to a Private Guided Ice Fishing Adventure?

The most important things to bring are warm clothes (hat, coat, gloves, pants), some good, warm, waterproof boots, and a Minnesota or Wisconsin fishing license. You should also bring some food and drinks. We do offer an ice lunch option if you want your guide to prepare a meal for you on the ice. We will provide everything else you need.  You can bring some of your own fishing gear if you prefer to use it, but it is not necessary.

What should I bring to the Group Ice Fishing Adventure?

The most important things to bring are warm clothes (hat, coat, gloves, pants), some good, warm, waterproof boots, and a Minnesota or Wisconsin fishing license. You may also want to bring some snacks and drinks. We will provide everything else you need.  We will generally be positioned quite near where you park, so if you need to run to your car to warm up or get something, that should not be a problem.

When is it safe to start Ice Fishing?

We will not take our customers out on ice that is less than 4″ thick, which is meets all recommendations for ice fishing. Please see Minnesota DNR  recommendations at https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/thickness.html.

Who can rent a boat from Pool 4 Adventures?
  • Renter must be at least 25 years of age.
  • Renter is responsible for the boat and is expected to be on board during the rental unless other arrangements are made with Pool 4 prior to departure. It is best to call us before making the reservation if you will not be on the boat for the adventure.
Who can be on the boat?
  • Participants must be at least 6 months of age and at least 16 pounds. Life jackets do not work well for small children, so safest to let them get a little bigger before boating.
  • Participants must be physically and mentally able to board and ride the boat safely. People with back issues, balance issues or prone to seasickness should not participate.
  • Participants that appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be allowed aboard.
  • The renter (the one that paid for the reservation) will decide who to invite and will provide Pool 4 with a list of participants and their email contact information. Only participants named by the renter and checked-in with Pool 4 Adventures are allowed to board the boat during the rental period.
  • Only participants that have e-signed the Pool 4 Waiver and Release of Liability will be allowed aboard. For minors, legal guardians must sign the waiver and the Minor Release.
  • The renter can change the participant list any time before the rental period, but it is best to have it nailed down at least a day before the rental so that waivers can be reviewed and signed without delaying your departure.
Who can operate the boat?
  • The Renter (the one that paid for the reservation) is responsible for the boat and its safe operation. As part of the rental agreement, the Renter may designate any participants he/she wants to allow to operate the boat. Only participants named by the Renter as operators, and meeting the Pool 4 Adventures operator requirements, will be allowed to operate the boat.
  • Operators must be at least 21 years of age with a valid driver’s license. Driver’s license must be in the operator’s possession on the boat. Operator must allow Pool 4 to inspect and photograph his/her driver’s license prior to departure.
  • Operator must have had no DWI/DUI (Driving While Intoxicated) convictions in past three years.
  • Operator must be willing and able, physically and mentally, to operate the boat.
  • Operator must be present when boat operating instructions are provided and must review and understand boating regulations for the area prior to boarding.
  • To ensure the safety off all on-board, all Operators must sign our Operators Agreement indicating that they understand the rules of safe boating.
How does the boating rental process work?

Pool 4 does most of the rental preparation before the day of the rental and will meet your party at the dock or boat launch at the time of your reservation.

Here is the usual process…

  • A renter makes a reservation online or by calling us. The renter may also add on some additional items for the trip, maybe a cooler or a special life preserver.
  • The Renter must e-sign the Pool 4 Rental Agreement and Liability Waiver.
  • Once the Renter has signed these, a link will then be provided that the Renter can send on to all participants. The Renter will also need to decide who will be allowed to operate the boat and inform them when the link is sent.
  • All participants must e-sign the waiver prior to boarding the boat.
  • All Operator’s must read and sign the Operator’s Agreement prior to boarding, or they will not be allowed to operate the boat.
  • On the day of the rental, we will text or email, with expected time of departure. This may vary a bit from the original reservation time. You should also inform us if you are running late. We will try to accommodate.
  • We ask that you arrive at least 15 mins early for check-in. At this time we will confirm that we have all the right people and all waivers signed. We will also confirm we have all the right equipment, add-ons, etc.
  • Next you will board the boat. Pontoon boats are generally in slips and supplies must be carried to the boats (we’ll help!). Fishing boats are generally on trailers and launched after your party is on site and boat is loaded. We will need at least one person to assist in launch.
  • Once aboard we will give you and the operators an orientation of the boat and the area where you will be boating.
  • We will take then a photo of the group and send you on your Mississippi adventure!
  • You will be able to reach us by phone during your time on the water – so don’t hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns. Contact info is in the boat.
  • About 30 mins before the end of your reservation we will send a text reminder. At that time you should start heading back to the marina if you have not already done so. Extending your time may also be possible – let us know if you would like to do that.
  • At the marina we will normally meet you at the gas dock. We will assist in refueling. Refueling costs are the responsibility of the Renter.
  • A Pool 4 employee will then drive the group and the boat back to the slip or launch and will assist in unloading the boat.
  • We hope your experience will be memorable and that you will provide us with positive reviews on Google, Facebook, or other social networking sites. Let us know if you had any concerns or problems.
How clean is the boat expected to be on return?
  • Pool 4 will vacuum and clean surfaces between rentals. We do not expect food or trash to be left on-board, or stains on floor or upholstery or bimini. If extra cleaning is required a fee will be charged to the renter per the rental agreement.
  • We provide some cleaning supplies on the boat in case you need to do a cleanup on the water. Trash bags and/or containers will be provided. Pool 4 will dispose of trash bags for you, but please put trash in the bag.
Can I get a discount for multi-day rentals?
  • Yes. Please call or email us with your request and we will get back to you with multi-day and multi-week availability and pricing.
Can you deliver a boat to my favorite launch?
  • Yes. For fishing boats with full-day rentals and pontoon boats with multi-day rentals. It is required that you have a secure place to moor the boat if keeping overnight. Delivery charges may apply if distance is more than 10 miles.
Are boats equipped for night operation?
  • We only allow our boats to be operated in daylight hours.
Do I need to bring my own life jacket?
  • Pool 4 Adventures will ensure that there are USCG approved life preservers on-board for all passengers. These are the basic orange vests you are probably familiar with. These emergency vests are not adequate for tubing and are generally not very comfortable for long-term wear.
  • If you will be tubing or just want a more comfortable life jacket you can bring your own (must be USCG approved) or consider renting a neoprene or inflatable vest from us. You can view options on our web site and call or email us with upgrade requests. We have limited availability, so the sooner you reserve it the better.
Who needs to wear a life jacket?
  • Minnesota state law requires that children under 10 must always wear a life jacket unless the boat is anchored and being used as a swim platform.
  • Participants that are elderly, or cannot swim, or that are at-risk for going overboard for any reason should always wear a life jacket while on the boat.
  • The basic life preservers provided with the rental are not designed for long-term wear. For those wearing a life preserver the entire trip, you might consider bringing a more comfortable vest with you or renting a neoprene or inflatable vest from us.
Can I purchase add-ons even though I am not the Renter?
  • Yes. Most add on gear and services can be reserved by email and paid for on-line or on your arrival.
  • Please try to complete payment for add-ons before arrival – we don’t want to delay your party’s departure to run credit cards.
What other things are needed for our adventure?
  • There must be at least one cell phone on the boat and the number provided to Pool 4 adventures staff prior to departure. Please charge your phone before coming to the boat. Most boats have a 12V outlet and some also have a USB charger port. If you will need to charge your phone please bring your own cable.
  • Be prepared for the weather – hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc. Pontoons have Bimini tops but fishing boats offer no protection from the sun or weather.
  • We recommend that you bring some non-DEET dry formula bug spray – especially on fishing trips when operating close to shorelines. When on the main river bugs are often not a problem. DEET can be very damaging to boat upholstery – it is not allowed on Pool 4 Adventures boats.
Can we beach our boat?
  • Yes. Beaching boats along the Mississippi is common, but it takes a good deal of knowledge of the area to do it safely. There are many wing dams in the area that can be hit when beaching and hitting a wing dam (a rock pile) can do serious damage to the hull and lower unit.
  • Please let us know if you plan to beach the boat and we will give you some additional pointers to make sure you can do it safely.
Can we raft our boat? (tie to other boats while adrift)
  • No. The River is generally quite wavy and it is nearly impossible to hold boats together without putting rub and scratch marks on the boats. The fenders we provide are not designed for rafting so we cannot allow it.
I’m not familiar with the area – how do I know where I can safely tow my kids on a tube?
  • In the pre-departure boating overview we will cover areas that are better choices for tubing and swimming – we recommend the Minnesota side of Lake Pepin.
  • Never tow in the main channel – this is a high-traffic area and a shipping lane.
  • Please ask our deckhands if you have any other questions related to towing.
Can I bring my own water skis, or tube or other toys?
  • We do not allow you to bring your own towables (tubes, boards, skis) or float pads. The towables and float pads we offer for rent will fit on the boat without obstructing the driver’s view or impacting seating for passengers. We can’t ensure that level of safety with other gear.
  • If a boat does not support towables, then no towables are allowed, whether yours or from Pool 4. Refer to the boat description to see if towables are allowed.
  • Aside from towables and float pads, bringing your own smaller water toys is okay (e.g. noodles, beach balls, inflatable toys) as long as they do not obstruct the operator during transport or impact seating for passengers.
Will towables be secure when we are cruising?
  • We provide towables uninflated and stowed. You will have to inflate them prior to use and deflate and stow them when complete. A 12V pump that makes this a quick process – 5 mins or less – will be provided with the towable.
  • In the pre-departure boating overview, we will cover this process.
What foods are good to bring on board?
  • Chips, sandwiches, veggie trays, fruits, cheese and meat trays, all work fine assuming you have a cooler. For beverages we recommend clear liquids and low sugar content beverages – they cause less mess and fewer bugs. No glass can be brought aboard.
  • It can be hot on the water so bring foods that work in that environment. Frozen treats, chocolate, and melty treats are not allowed. These generally do not hold up well in heat, and often cause messes and extra cleaning charges. We recommend ice cream after your boating adventure!
  • Red wine and other staining foods/beverages are not allowed. There are lots of spills on boats, and stains on upholstery, bimini tops, life preservers, etc., can be very hard to remove. These foods can easily drive cleanup charges and even damage replacement charges. Please stick to clear liquids as much as possible.
  • We also recommend you take care with snacks and candy and not allow them to be ground into upholstery and flooring.
  • No sunflower seeds or any other foods that involve spitting are allowed.
  • Nothing is to be discarded in the river. Please put any food waste in the garbage for disposal on your return.
Can we drink alcohol on the boat?
  • Yes. Minnesota law allows alcoholic beverages on boats. Open container is allowed, even for the operator, but the Operator cannot be under the influence or will be subject to the heavy penalties associated with DUI – so do not drive under the influence. If you find yourself without a sober driver, anchor in a safe place and call us for assistance.
  • No glass containers or drinkware is allowed on our boats. Please use plastic, cans, and boxes as appropriate.
  • Coolers are available for rent with our boats. We can stock with ice and water too.
Can we dock at a restaurant?
  • Yes, docking at restaurants is allowed as long as there is public dock space available and the Operator is capable of docking the boat.
  • Three fenders must be deployed on the docking side of the boat before reaching the dock and speed must be kept slow. All passengers must be seated unless they are helping to secure the boat to the dock.
  • We do not recommend docking on windy days as it can be difficult to avoid damaging the boat – both on approach and while the boat is secured to the dock.
  • To avoid theft, be sure to secure or take along anything that may be easily carried away (including fishing rods, electronics, and personal items), and try to have a seat where you can keep an eye on the boat.
  • Repairs for boat damage resulting from improper docking of the boat, and losses from theft while docked, are the responsibility of the Renter per the Rental Agreement.
  • If you have a particular destination in mind, let our shore staff know and they can provide some guidance on docking at that location.
Can we bring a grill?
  • No. We do not allow use of grills on-board of transport of grills.
Can I smoke or chew on board?
  • No smoking, vaping, or chew is allowed on any of our boats, at the launch, or on the docks.
What if I have to go to the bathroom?
  • Our rental boats are not equipped with heads or porta-potties, so you will have to dock the boat and go to a shore location with a bathroom.
  • Our boat cruises are all less than 2 hours and will not make bathroom stops, so please use bathroom before boarding.
Can I fish from the boat?
  •  Please see individual boat descriptions for details. Fishing is not allowed on our cruising pontoons.
  • Anyone fishing in Mississippi Pool 4 will need a Minnesota or Wisconsin fishing license and must abide by the rules of the issuing state.
  • As the Mississippi is a border water the fishing season is continuous. There are size limits and bag limits that must be adhered to. Violating limits could result in fines – DNR officers are very common at our landing!
Do the fishing boats have electronics on-board?
  • Fish finders are provided on all of our fishing boats. Please review fishing boat details to see which fish finders are on board. You may want to review operating instructions for the fish finders before arriving at the dock.
  • See our Information page for links to user manuals and help videos on our electronics. In the pre-departure boating overview, we will cover depth finder usage – to support safe boating – but will not do training on the fish finder usage. These devices are quite complicated and require some hands-on practice.
Will you teach us how to use the trolling motor?
  • In the pre-departure boating overview, we will show you the basics of how to deploy and operate and stow the trolling motor. Trolling motors must be out of the water and stowed when operating under engine power.
  • See our TBD page for links to user manuals and help videos on our trolling motors. The specific motor on each boat is listed in the boat description.
Can I rent fishing rods and reels?
  • Yes. Our goal is to give you a great fishing adventure on the River – even if you left your gear at home, or don’t own any gear. Pool 4 Adventures has a variety of rod/reel combos available. We offer spinning, spincast, bait casting and trolling setups.
  • We offer a premium option if you want to treat yourself or someone else to a high end combo, otherwise we have good quality standard combos. We also have youth and child combos. We will provide child and youth rods and reels free of charge with an adult rod and reel rental.
  • A damage/loss deposit will be required for most gear. Email us and we can send you a list of options.
Can I rent tackle?
  • We offer tackle packs for Walleye, Pike, Bass, and Live Bait. You can rent or purchase them individually or all together as a package.
  • Landing nets will be included with all fishing boat rentals, or you can bring your own if you prefer.
  • See our Information page for descriptions of tackle and live bait options.
  • Renter will be charged for any tackle lost or broken.
Is there a fish cleaning station I can use?
  • No. None of our usual launches have public fish cleaning stations. You will have to take your catch home and clean them there.
What interesting sights can we see by boat?
  • We love the natural wonders of the area and really recommend you cruise slowly along the many islands to enjoy of the beautiful scenery and wildlife.
  • There is an abundance of Bald Eagles in the area – keep an eye to the sky and you are sure to see some.
  • Wabasha Minnesota, see the National Eagle Center and Slippery’s Restaurant
  • Dock at area towns to browse stores or enjoy a meal – Pepin WI, Alma WI, Lake City MN, Wabasha MN
  • Enjoy some scenic spots – like Maiden Rock WI, Lock and Dam #4 in Alma WI, Lake Pepin