Oar Ordeal

This entry is another fishing trip for Mud and I. It was planned a long time in advance, ya know two days before Mud said “Hey Nimrod want to go out to Grumpy Lake on Saturday?”

My response was sure, a nice day on the lake would be relaxing. We were pressed for time as I had gotten off from work early that morning and we had to be at a family fish fry by 1pm. No sweat, the lake was close to base ops and it was not big. A sure thing that was certain to have us on the good side of Yoop and Book.

We drove the ole Rusty Chevrolet to base ops, loaded up the boat, our rods/tackle, the troller motor and the battery. A quick good by to the youngin’s and off we went. We had to take the Rusty Chevrolet today cause Grumpy lake doesn’t have much for a launch, and the Mud machine didn’t stand a chance to make it to the lake. No sweat I have a small tank for a reason, goes places a big tank can’t!

On the way to the lake, Mud and I caught up on old times. It had been about two weeks since we had seen each other. Its amazing what can change in two weeks. Arriving at the lake, we shoehorned the Rusty Chevrolet down the launch and put the boat in the lake. While I parked the Rusty Chevrolet, Mud did what it is he does while I park the Rusty Chevrolet… best left for him to know and the rest of the world not to know.

We positioned the boat in the water, had Mud hopped in and I pushed off to the lake. I looked at Mud, thinking he was going to row us thru the shore weeds. He looked at me like why are you not rowing out past these weeds so we can put the troller motor in the water and do some fishin’.

All the while Murph was in the middle of the boat with a grin ear to ear. At about the same time Mud and I realized what had happened. Murph must have tossed the oars out of the boat going down the road. Cause I would never, never, ever would forget the oars. And since I taught Mud nothing he knows about fishing I know he wouldn’t forget them either.

I dropped the troller motor into the water and hooked up the battery. I checked the cables again and noticed the wires were hooked up backwards, again. That Murph is a sneaky one. Quick too. I turned on the motor and the boat started going no where. Ok it didn’t start not going no where, it stayed going no where.

Without saying anything, Mud and I looked around looking for something that would get us past the weeds and into some fishable water. Then Mud had the second most brilliant idea ever. The idea of the decade. Only falling short of the all time ideas like gunpowder, internal combustion engines and kegerators (just to name very few). He grabbed Gray Beards old fish net and began to use it as an oar. BRILLIANT!!!!

After about 30 minutes of rowing with an aluminum hoop surrounded by nylon mesh with rather large holes we were out of the lily pads and reeds and into the water. It worked well, especially once the net was filled with all the loose weeds floating on the surface. I did what I could to help Mud. I crawled on top of Murph in the center of the boat, and grabbed reeds just below the water and pulled us along. Not sure I really helped, but it sure seemed to be helping, at least to me.

Mud had never been to Grumpy Lake. Its kind of an odd lake, very clear with a quite a few weeds. It holds a variety of fish. We began working the shoreline, and the break. I landed a few decent sized blue gills. Nice ones that were big enough to be used as bait if needed. Mud fished his can off but didn’t land much of anything. As we rounded the far side of the lake, I worked to reposition the boat to make the most of the wind that was blowing. I finally gave up resorting to a mix of drifting and then using the motor to move the boat where I wanted it to be.

The battery Gray Beard has for the troller motor is one out of an ole Rusty Chevrolet. The energy cell is about six years old. It is not a deep cycle marine battery. Its just a normal car battery converted for use as a troller motor battery. The tip of this diary entry is how to convert a normal car battery into a marine battery. Please pay close attention, if you miss a step it will not work. First remove the battery from the car. Then put the car battery into a plastic marine box (or what ever you store our current marine battery in.) Viola! You have converted a car battery to a marine battery. Depending on whose car you take the battery out of you may need to practice ahead of time. It may seem simple but running from someone while carrying your soon to be marine battery is not as easy as it sounds.

Where was I? Oh yea, Mud and I had just began to work the east side of Grumpy Lake. Again working the shore weeds and the break. The bite got better, but we still weren’t catching anything. After working the east side for about ten feet I noticed the troller wasn’t as loud as it had been a few minutes earlier. Then I realized were we not moving at the same rate we had before. I checked the connections to the battery and found them to be secure. I checked the prop for weeds and it was not clogged.

I then realized that the the battery was about dead. Nothing to sweat about. I will just row … ummm wait a second. Murph tossed the oars out on the way to the lake.. We had a pretty stiff head wind we had to fight also. I acted quickly to minimize our drag in the water. I pulled the fish basket out of the water. Now that I had that done, I started to contemplate what I may need to do to ensure Mud and I make it to the family fish fry on time. I checked the time and we had 30 minutes to get off the lake,b ack to base ops, drop the fishin’ suff and get to the family fish fry which is about 15 minutes from base ops.

Ole Nimrod is no matheigician. But I knew we had lots of time going about ½ mile per hour on the lake. I just hoped the battery would hold out and we gained enough momentum to glide past the shore weeds. I was givin’ her all we got and once we got to the shore weed edge, I pulled up the motor and we slid into the weeds. Muds end of the boat made it to the weeds. Yet the rest of the boat was still in the lake. Mud picked up the fish net and got to rowing again. Worked better off the bat this time… all the weeds were still in the net.

After some more work the boat was in the Rusty Chevrolet, and Mud and I were on the way back to base ops. It was now about 1:30. T plus 30 minutes. We got to base ops, dropped the fishing stuff, put the fish in some fresh water and headed out to the family fish fry. My Rusty Chevrolet doesn’t move quick. Well it prolly could, but it sucks gas like a skeeter sucking blood as it is. I don’t think it would be entertaining to watch the gas gauge move any faster than it does now, at least if your the one filling the tank.

We made it to the family fish fry about 2pm. T plus 60 minutes. Not bad considering the predicament Murph put us in with the oar ordeal. We got there before anyone had gone for seconds so really we were there from the beginning. Most the family got a kick out of the story but no one was willing to take Murph. If your wondering I left Murph at the launch at Grumpy Lake. I told him we would be back for him, but may be in a different car. My hopes are he will find his way home with someone else. Small game season starts today and a variety of deer season open real soon. I sure as biscuits don’t need Murph around for another hunting season.


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