My fishing status has recently changed to that of a boat owner. I was given a 1967 SeaSprite with a Mercury 500, on a 1964 trailer. This advancement has changed my fishing life in many ways.
Before the SeaSprite (A dark time I refer to as “BS”) was part of the family and I wanted to fish, I threw a rod or two, my tackle box, and a cooler in the back of the truck, drove 3 miles to the local pond, and was fishing 32 minutes after deciding to go.
The scenario has changed a bit…
First, un-bury the boat from all of the things I should have put back on the garage shelves, but ended up on the floor in front of the trailer. Back up the truck to the boat. Strain my back lifting the tongue to the ball (the tongue jack will not go high enough to reach the ball mounted on the bumper of my truck). Next I jump into the boat to organize everything inside. Stow the ropes, anchors (they should re-name those and call em draggers), bumpers (why bother), lifejackets, tools, tackle boxes, rods/reels, cooler, dog water bowl and leash, fish finder, electrical and duct tape, spool of red wire, portable bilge pump (don’t ask), camera, rain jacket, munchies, maps…you get the picture. Then I need to spend a few minutes fixing one of the many red wires that has shorted. Run upstairs to clean the blood off my face from running into the garage door opener. I keep forgetting how much taller I am in the boat!
OK, I am ready to go! One last check reminds me that I need to charge the trolling battery. I figure I can hook up the charger for a few minutes while I finish a cup of coffee and have a bowl of cereal. 2 cups, 3 bowls and 1 episode of Bill Dance later, I head back to the truck and start pulling out of the garage. After going about 10 feet, I realize the screeching noise I heard was coming from the battery charger, still attached to the boat, now equipped with a 2 piece cord. I’ll fix that when I get back (Owning this boat has brought my wire repair proficiency level to that of a master electrician!). I head out again. When I get to the gate of the complex I live in, I turn around, realizing I forgot to bring the dog.
Since I did not fill up last time out I need to stop at the gas station for fuel. Upon fueling up I see that I am out of 2-stroke oil. Wal-Mart is just down the street. Heading in with the intention of picking up a quart of oil (I know it is available in gallon containers, but that is way too easy) I spend twice the amount of time and 4 times the money I was going to. But I really needed that new spinner! One more trip back in for ice.
Finally headed for the lake! Driving past the pond I used to fish, I get pulled over for no trailer lights. I explain to the nice officer that I simply forgot to plug them in, and then sign on the dotted line. My state park pass lets me breeze right past all those chumps in the line at the ranger station, only to wait in a line twice as long at the boat ramp. I figure I can use this time to get everything ready for the big launch. Plug…check, squeeze fuel bulb…check, briefly start motor…check. OK, I am ready! After laughing at folks trying to back down the ramp, it is finally my turn. 9 tries, and 15 curses later the back wheels of my trusty pickup touch the water. I unclip the bow rope and push…nothing. Back the truck until the front hubs are submerged, and push again. Then I remember that the tie down straps are still attached. Pull the truck up, remove the straps, back up again and gently push the boat back. After tying the boat to the dock, I get back in the truck and park it in the nearest spot in the ramp lot (you know the spot…6 miles away, between the 64 Dodge truck and a 45 foot motor home, leaving a space exactly 13 inches wider than your vehicle). After a 15-minute walk in wet sneakers, I return to my boat, reach into my pocket for the boat keys, and start walking back to the truck.
3 hours and 27 minutes (and a fix-it ticket) after I decided to fish I am finally in the water!! When we got this boat I thought it would instantly make me a more productive fisherman…HA! It has just opened up many more places to loose tackle and increased the degree of sunburn I have at the end of the day! Isn’t owning a boat great!! Now…where is my electrical tape….
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