A Bad Day on the Water

It was a cold and rainy April day when my cousin Lee and I decided to take my boat out for some crappie fishing. We waited for the heavy rains to stop so it was safe to hit the water; the lightning was what worried us most. We loaded up the 10ft Pelican Ram and headed to the lake, as we arrived we backed up to the waters edge and unloaded the boat. We threw on our life jackets and loaded the boat with our rods and tackle, the water looked great a little choppy; but otherwise great.

As we got into the water we pushed the boat out and noticed we had left the paddles in the truck, we both shrugged it off and said oh well we have a trolling motor with us. The winds began to pick up and we were pushed into some heavy weed-line, the trolling motor was bogging down. I pulled the motor several times to get us going, but it was no use the weeds were too thick. The winds blew us further and further into the thick weeds and we were not going anywhere fast.

Our first mistake was to launch with no paddles, which we sorely regretted at this moment. We could not put the trolling motor down because the water was too shallow and the weeds were too thick. I tried unhooking the trolling motor and just holding it barely under the surface to fan us towards open water, all this yielded was a face full of mud and moss. My cousin rolled with laughter as I caked my face with mud and yelled a few not so nice comments in the trolling motors direction. We only had hard plastic tackle boxes so we each grabbed one and tried to paddle with them, this was a disaster and moved us about a foot before the winds sent us backwards. There was a man sitting in his back yard enjoying a beer laughing so hard I thought he would fall out of his chair. He even went so far as to call his wife out and point in our direction; she laughed and pulled up a chair next to him to watch the disaster in the making. This was not working and I was getting frustrated, Lee just laughed and said one of us was going to have to push the boat out. Lee won the award due to the fact I was in a knee brace from damaging some knee ligaments earlier that week, so I was exempt this time.

Lee jumped into the water and started pushing the boat towards open water; this was a struggle to say the least. Lee had us just about to open water when a large snake decided to swim in his direction; you would have thought the trolling motor had gone into super speed the way the boat moved. Lee tried to pull himself into the boat quickly, but all he did was fall back and get completely soaked, the large splash sent the snake in another direction. At the same time it sent me into a hysterical laughing fit which nearly resulted in me falling in the water, I was laughing so hard I started crying. Meanwhile Lee was cussing left and right fighting to pull himself back into the boat, I finally felt sorry for him and helped pull his water logged but back into the boat.

Well I dropped the trolling motor back down and we headed for open water, just as we hit the open water and prepared for our first cast the thunder clapped nearby. The rain had decided to move back in on us, we were getting soaked by the heavy rains and headed to shore for cover. Lighting snapped nearby and struck a tree across the lake; we kicked it into high gear and headed for cover. The rains were so heavy we jumped in the truck and waited it out before loading up the boat and gear. By the time the rain letup the boat was filled with water and we had to pull the plug and drain it before loading it back into the truck and heading home. With everything that happened that day we never dropped a line in the water, but boy did we ever have a story to tell. A lesson learned is to remember the paddles and watch the weather closely. We were lucky to get out of that weather quickly enough that we did not get toasted by the lighting.