By LOREN BROOKS
Last Monday I met an avid angler by the name of Rick Welter, at the Echo Bay boat ramp. I was launching an old 1969 Hydro Swift boat at the Overton boat ramp when Rick offered assistance and took some pictures for us.
I asked Rick if he frequently fished the Echo Bay in his kayak which he had named “Jackson.” He said this is his favorite spot. He comes there from his home of Las Vegas to fish.
Rick said fishing is very good, using his personal water craft to catch large mouth bass, small mouth bass, and crappie. He said he seldom ventures out in to open water, east of the bay, because of his small craft .
We exchanged phone numbers and I asked him to give me a call about his fishing on this occasion. Rick was just launching his “Big Rig” Kayak for a day on the lake.
Another group of fishermen came into the ramp, having been out on the lake all morning without a strike. Anita and Ross from Echo Bay arrived at the dock, having spent the night way south of Echo Bay, and had caught 20 stripers.
Bryce Bell and his buddies were fishing in a pontoon boat and gave me a telephone report that fishing was very slow up on the north end. They had only caught 4.
It was a beautiful day. The anglers we talked to Monday said they were glad that “there is more to fishing than catching fish”.
As for me and Roy, we launched the Hydro Swift 19 foot boat for a flotation test to see if the boat had any leaks. My friend Sam, at F&S, suggested leaving the boat on the trailer during the test. He said in view of the fact that the boat had not been in the water for 23 years, it might be smart to leave it in the water for an hour to see if it takes on water. That was quite an experience. I put on hip boots so I could get out of the truck in knee deep water. As I backed the boat and trailer down into the water, guess what happened? With the boat still tied down to the trailer, both the boat and trailer became afloat. Alongside the dock is the boat and trailer floating. The rig was still connected to the ball hitch on the truck.
I stepped into the boat, started the engine, with no signs of any leaks. Roy suggested putting the motor in gear. The boat began to swing out away from the dock but, of course, still connected to the truck.
I won’t do that again. Roy pulled the boat and trailer back to the dock, both of us laughing about what just happened. I turned off the engine and we let the boat set in the water for another 20 minutes. I pulled the trailer out of the water with the boat still attached, to the top of the ramp and pulled the plugs at the stern of the boat to see if it took on water. We figure the boat took on about 4 gallons of water, as we watched water pouring out the drain plugs. More work is needed before we venture out for the maiden voyage.
Later that night, Rick Welter sent me a photo attached of a nice Large Mouth Bass he caught in the harbor Monday afternoon. After taking the photo, he released the fish as it appeared to be full of eggs and about to spawn.
This past week was a full moon, so in my opinion the time of day for fishing on a full moon may have a bearing on the days catch. I promised a recipe last week. Maybe next week.