Maiden Voyage

Mud and I took Red out fishing again. It was fun, at least for us. I think she had her pole in the water for a total of five minutes. Mud has a new boat. New to him. Its right up my alley though. Old, not the prettiest bell at the ball, but works great.

This trip was her maiden voyage. I forgot the bottle of Bell’s Pale Ale so we hit ‘er a few times with some plastic 20 ounce bottles. Coke and Mountain Dew. Had to do ‘er right. Red even took a whack with her Aquafina water bottle. After the short ceremony we launched her into the channel to head out to the lake.

Mud took his seat at the stern and I thought she was gonna tip over backwards. Mud ain’t that big, but the combination was funny to see. I don’t think Mud could have seen over the bow if he tried! I put Red in the middle and took the seat at the bow, hoping to level her out just a little. It worked some.

As we motored down the channel, under the power of the electric trolling motor, Mud began to start the outboard. He pulled and pulled, rocked us back and forth, nothing. I began to wonder. Ya know, Mud is a real good wrench turner and he told me that motor ran great. I never doubt him when it comes to engines, but I began to now. The electric finished pushing us out to the lake, while still messing with the motor. It was Deja Vu of our previous trip, while I was at the motor, but that is another story I will tell later.

To cut to the chase, once we were out on the water, and getting blown where ever the wind wished us, Mud started looking deeper into the motor. It was a breezy day, and rather large open lake, we were fighting four to five inch waves, while Mud tried to work his magic. I began to ready some poles and I heard the beast fire up. I looked at Mud and asked what he did. He replied “I opened the gas line.” I asked again, thinking the wind somehow translated what he said over the 12 feet his voice traveled to me. He smiled, laughed and repeated that he had forgot to open the gas line from the tank.

The lake we were on is a real neat lake. It has nearly every species of game fish Michigan can offer. Pike, bass, pan fish of all sorts, walleye, trout, perch, cisco, etc. It is the only one like it I know of in the area. My second cast I had a nice solid 11 inch largemouth at the end of my line. Only about 3 inches too short, maybe I will go back in a year or two to see how it is growing. A few hours later I caught another small bass, maybe 7 inches and a 3 or 4 inch blue gill. That was my day.

We worked the shore and I had noticed Mud wasn’t using his normal hook, worm and bobber. I didn’t say anything. . . until he started catching fish. That is when I learned he had sought some tips from the family fishing guru, Grey Beard. I must say it worked! Guess one could say Grey Beard is a good teacher, or Mud is a good student. But I won’t.

Once we found the hole, Mud was pullin’ in crappie after crappie. Using the same style jig, I would work the area while he unhooked a fish and nothing, next time around he would do the same and land one. Oh well, can’t always date the cute girls. Right before we had to leave to make it back for Reds birthday party, Mud hooked into a fish. From my vast knowledge and experience it looked like he had a marlin on the line. A few seconds later he pulled in one of the nicest Crappie I have seen. It was about he size of a serving platter, one of the small ones.

That ended our trip. We returned to base ops where Red had her party. Yoop and I got her a tackle box. I am proud to say I think it was her favorite gift of the day! Afterwards Grey Beard sat with Mud and Red, going through a few of his countless tackle boxes. Sharing tips and lures with them. It was good to see him enjoying himself as passed on his vast knowledge to the young (er) ones. The maiden voyage of the new boat in the fleet was a success by most meanings of the word.

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