Thursday, August 6, 2015

An Hour Fishing

An Hour Fishing,
By Rob Watson

Back in June, I bought a fishing boat. Because of heavy Spring rains, most waters were closed to boats. This week, the week of my 69th birthday, I decided to take time off from my chores to try out the boat and update my fishing skills. My neighbor likes to fish, so I invited him to come along. After consulting the sun and moon fishing tables, we decided today, 5am, would be the optimal time to head out.

Yesterday, I began preparing and loading. I charged the boat battery, filled the gas tank and added an extra can of equal capacity. (prompted by experiences from an earlier time) I got out two fishing poles and updated the contents of my tackle box to cover most possibilities. Wife cleaned all the life jackets. I bought health food snack bars and loaded the refrigerator with bottles of water. I cranked the boat motor, ran it, and familiarized myself with the controls. I checked all the boat tie down straps and connected the trailer to the truck. Then I went to the store and got a new fishing license and a box of worms. Wife set the alarm for 4:30.

This morning, I woke up at 4:26, put the water, ice, and box of worms in a cooler and loaded all in the truck, with the life jackets. At precisely 5am I drove up to the neighbors house. We loaded his gear into the truck and were on the road by 5:15 and in the water by our scheduled time of 5:30.

Unknown to me, our troubles began when the boat hit the water. I had forgotten to put the drain plug in place. I also forgot to take the equipment from the truck and put it in the boat until I had parked the truck a good 50 yards away. While the boat was filling with water at one end, I was filling it with equipment at the other… all by the light of the half moon. The motor grounded on the bottom and prevented the boat from taking in more than the three inches of water it already had. After some troubles getting the boat ungrounded I discovered the open drain hole and plugged it.

When I tried to start the motor, it sputtered once then refused to start. With fishing time slipping by, we paddled about 50 yards out to some trees and began to prepare our lines. Neighbor went first and could not get his reel to work properly. One of his problems was his line had wrapped around his pole and tangled. I untangled that for him. He repeatedly tried casting while I got out my pole. On one of his casts his pole hit mine… I should have been watching… and created a tangle that took 10 minutes to undo.

I got my line in the water and was feeding worms to a small fish while Neighbor actually caught one. After several more minutes, we decided to move to another spot. The motor started on the first pull of the starter rope. However, no matter how fast I set the throttle, the boat would not move. I killed the motor and we paddled back to shore. By then, neighbor was feeling sick. I set him on a bucket, On shore, while I moved the truck and loaded the boat onto it’s trailer. It took several minutes for the water to drain from the boat. Neighbor put the one tiny fish back in the lake. We drove home by the light of the rising sun.

A related post may be read by clicking on "Boating with the Boss" in my list of posts... beside this near the top.

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