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Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1585
What was your worst day on the water?

Worst day for me....

First boat I ever owned, other than jon boat, was a Old Bomber Style bass boat with a 50 horse Evinrude with the electronic push button shift. Man that thing rode good across the lake or up and down the River.

Early one spring I had planned a Bass fishing trip down at Deerpoint Lake in Panama City. I had heard they were catching them on live shiners in the middle of the lake.
I loaded the boat up and hooked it to the truck and went to bed.

Never needed an alarm clock and I always woke up 4:15-4:30 AM every morning.
Woke up the next morning to the bright sunlight beaming thru the window and the birds chirping away. It was 7:30, I had over slept. No worries mate, they will bite all day in the middle of the lake. So I get on out of there and head to the lake.
I had lost the tilt pin from the motor and used a big bolt until I could get a replacement and it was a hastle to move the bolt up enough to keep the motor from dragging on a bumpy road so I used an old sawed off piece of broom handle to hold the motor up. I apparently waited too long to replace the pin because as I went across the railroad tracks about a mile from the house the broom handle broke and the motor fell down. I pulled over and saw what had happened so I just picked the motor back up and put in a tire tool to hold it up and used a piece of wire to hold it there.

Get to the landing, a public boat ramp, and they are having a stinking Iron Man event and the Ramp is where they were having the swim portion and the bike transition at. There were 4 other boats waiting ahead of me to launch but thankfully, the FWC was there and they had one ramp open for us to launch and he directed traffic to allow us to launch and park on the property. Still took another hour for me to launch.

After the launch I was delighted to have that old Evinrude fire right up. I put it in gear and off I went....except I noticed a heavy vibration but man the RPMs were high and that thing would haul butt. So thinking that I had some grass wrapped around the prop I stopped and pulled the motor up. Bam!! I didn't have anything to hold the motor up, I had thrown the tire tool into the back of the truck. After fighting for a few minutes to get the motor up and hold it there I could see no grass but I could see that I had broken one of the blades off of the prop when the motor fell at the railroad tracks and I never noticed. The heck with it, I was already here and on the water I was going fishing, just not as fast as I normally would.

I headed up to Cedar Creek and into Kleins Cut to find s school of shiners. As I idled along I would chum the water with bread and when I see shiners coming for the bread I would stop and catch them on a Bream Buster using Pillsbury dough balls. It didn't take long to find the shiners so I cut the engine and went to lower the trolling motor.
I pulled the handle and nothing happened. Tugged a little harder and nothing. Now what I thought. So I crawl up to the bow and am trying to see what was the matter. I could see the pin pulling in when I pulled the handle so I grabbed the trolling motor shaft and gave it a good yank while pulling the handle. Good news is it worked bad news is the rope that the handle was attached to was rotten too and broke and in keeping my self from falling backwards I grab the first thing my hand hit...the trolling motor mount just as the 42 lb thrust Minn Kota is getting there, Cut my right index finger almost to the bone which I make worse by yanking my hand out while cussing like a drunk sailor in port. Now I am bleeding like a stuck pig and my hand is hurting like heck and I finally throw in the towel, literally, I threw in the towel and had to net it out of the water to wrap my hand up in it.

After I got thru the almost passing out at the sight of my own blood part, I struggle to get the trolling motor back up and locked down one handed with only a piece of rotten rope to pull with.

I crank the Motor push FWD Button and....nothing. Push REV button in and viola I go backwards. Again I push the FWD button ....nothing. These old Evinrudes with push button controls would do this if you get water in the foot where the solenoids are that shift the thing, and I am not too sure why they chose Reverse as the go to gear. Easy to fix but not on the water and certainly not one handed. so I putter along in reverse out to the main lake where the wind has picked up and there is a pretty good chop that is about to sink me if I keep going in reverse.
So I attempt to lower the trolling again, one handed and with only a rotten piece of rope. Of course it is stuck and before I get it down the wind has pushed me into the stumps. It takes me a little bit but I get off the stumps and start the five mile trip back to the boat ramp against the wind and in the choppy lake, hand throbbing with every heartbeat.

Finally after about an hour of trolling, which I only covered mabe a mile, a friend of mine comes by and stops and gives me a pull back the the landing and helps load the boat up and of course laughing his butt off at me as he shows me 3 Bass over 5 lbs that he had caught earlier that morning and was running back for more shiners when he came across me floundering in the rough seas limping along at about a mile an hour.

Ended up with 3 stitches in my finger and a for sale sign on the boat after I got everything fixed.

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