Recently I had the opportunity to go fishing in the new boat all by myself. When I had my bass boat, I went fishing solo most of the time, but that was about 17 years ago and my bass boat was nowhere near as deluxe as this boat. I figured I would be a bit rusty and really didn’t want anyone to see me goof up with the boat.
It all started at about 7:30am, I gathered up all my gear and placed it in the boat. I ate breakfast and made myself up a couple of Deano-McMuffins, some hot water for coffee and grabbed some fruit, no bananas, and headed out the door. The first adventure came when I had to back the truck with the camper up and hitch the boat up. I have a secret way of making sure I don’t run into stuff when I back up. I walk to the back, measure the distance using my feet, and then I get into the truck and spit on the ground right where I can see it. Then I step off the distance back from the spit mark and spit again. I get back into the truck and slowly back up until the back spit mark is directly down from where I am sitting. I stopped and put the break on, jumped out and sure enough I was right over the ball of the hitch. It works almost every time. Oh yes, you can use rocks or sticks if you don’t want to spit.
I drove out to Higgins’s Point and backed the boat down the ramp to the water. There was a real nice fellow there and we talked about fishing, his retirement, his boat and the fact that this was my solo fishing trip. Everything went very well with my launch and I didn’t have any problems getting the boat in and tied to the dock. I took my time getting everything ready to fish, the sun was out and there was not a bit of wind.
Once I was ready I motored out to the middle of the lake and set the rods up with lures. I used the kicker motor and pulled the gear about 10’ off the bank as I scooted along at about 1.7 mph to 2.3 mph. Not super fast and that was good because I had to get used to the troll-eze steering system. I cruised into Blue Creek Bay and caught my first Smallmouth Bass. I thought there would be a lot more panic when I hit a fish, but I just put the boat in neutral and reeled the monster in. I caught another fish a bit later and of course I lost the biggest one of the day because I didn’t set the hook enough. I stayed in the bay for an hour or so and then tooled out and along the bank into Wolf Lodge Bay. I didn’t catch anything there, but it was real good practice because the wind had come up and I had to learn how it affected the boat.
The wind brought darker clouds and it started to rain so I took the gear down and zoomed on back to the dock. My first solo docking went was smoother then I thought it would. I figured the wind would push me all over the place but it didn’t. Once I docked a real nice sheriff walked down and inspected my boat. She was fun to talk to and I let her know that it was my first time pulling the boat out and that it was ok for her to laugh when I fell into the lake. She offered to help, but I said I had to learn to do it myself so she walked up and sat in her car waiting to come save me. Everything went smooth as silk. The only problem was that when the trailer is in the water deep enough for the boat to be pulled up easy, the camper hangs out enough that it forces you into the water to get onto the trailer to hook the boat on. I got my feet wet but there was no way to avoid it. I’ll pick up a pair of hip waders and that will solve that problem.
I drove on home, cleaned out the boat and put everything away. Kobi and I cleaned the fish which gave me four nice fillets. After I buried the fish guts in my garden, I took the fish and made a late lunch of fish tacos and a cream soda. It really doesn’t get much better than that, wouldn’t you say!