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I was reading the fishing report in last week’s Roane County News, and it brought back memories of a my last fishing trip, other than walking to a nearby creek with my grandkids.
There may be a lesson or two to be learned for wanna-be fishermen.
I was at work when a friend told me he had recently purchased a bass boat and asked would I like to go fishing with him on our first off day.
“Sure” I said, quickly daydreaming of relaxing on a nice sunny day on the lake, pulling in one giant lunker after another.
I arrived at his house on the morning in question at about 8:30. Late for real fishermen, I know, but not bad for old sleepy-headed shift workers.
It was a nice sunny day, and he already had the boat and trailer hooked to his truck, ready to go.
A fine looking boat it was. It had all the bells and whistles. Excitedly, I loaded my tackle into the boat, we hopped in the truck and off we went.
About a quarter mile from his house, the left side tire on the boat trailer blew. That should have been our first clue as to what our day was going to be like.
Not to let a little thing like a flat ruin our day, we quickly put on the trailer spare and again off we went. About 20 minutes later, we pulled into the boat launch parking lot and prepared the boat for launch.
My pal hopped into the boat, and I backed the boat trailer down the ramp and into the water.
A few seconds later he loudly announced, “The battery is dead.”
Still not to be deterred, we came up with a brilliant plan. We took the battery out of the truck and put it in the boat. He cranked the boat, backed it off the trailer and pulled up to the bank.
We then took the battery out of the boat and reinstalled it in the truck, to pull off the ramp and park.
The we again took the battery out of the truck and put it back in the boat and went happily on our way.
On our way out, we passed a boat going back to the ramp, on which a smart-aleck passenger proudly holds up a nice bass for us to view.
I’m thinking, “Thats going to look like a minnow compared to what I catch.”
Several minutes later we anchor at a likely looking spot, eagerly grabbed our rods and reels and got to business.
After about an hour of fishing and catching nothing but logs, brush piles, stumps, rocks and losing several lures, I’m thinking those guys we passed on the way in must have known something we didn’t.
Meanwhile, the wind was picking up and ominous clouds filled with continuous flashes of lightning were fast approaching. In our scurry to put our equipment away and get the boat started, my buddy stepped on his rod and broke it.
About halfway back to the launch ramp, we got hit by a deluge — the worst downpour I’ve ever seen.
Neither of us has rain gear, just our blue jeans, T- shirts and tennis shoes, which were quickly drenched.
At the launch ramp, we took the battery out of the boat, put it in the truck, backed the trailer into the water, took the battery out of truck, put it back into the boat, pulled the boat onto the trailer, took the battery out of the boat, put it back into the truck and pulled the boat and trailer into the parking lot.
After securing the boat to the trailer, we jumped back into truck and were more than glad to be going home.
We didn’t even make it out of the parking lot and “boom,” another blowout on the left side of the boat trailer. And no spare.
My buddy asked me if I would stay and guard the boat while he went to get another tire. OK, I reluctantly agreed.
We unhooked the trailer and off he went.
I stood there like a dummy in the pouring rain. Not another vehicle in the parking lot — don’t know why.
An hour later he returned with a spare.
We mounted it on the trailer and this time made it home. About a week later, he told me he found the reason for the flat tires.
Apparently someone had taken the left side trailer fender off, lost one of the original mounting bolts and replaced it with a much-too-long bolt.
When we hit a rough spot in the road and the springs gave down, the long bolt punctured the tire.
This story is 99.99 percent true.