The first fishing trip of the year is always an adventure. This year proved no exception.
Having made several minor repairs to my 29-year-old boat, I was anxious to put it in the water. I headed out to Bourbon County State Lake (Elm Creek Lake for you old-timers), which had recently been restocked. As I backed down the boat ramp, it soon became apparent that the lake was down about four feet. The only way I could get the boat in was by tying the tow rope on the pickup and backing in until the boat slid off of the trailer.
It didn't take long for me to realize something must be wrong, as the back of the boat started looking like it was lower. by the time I got into the boat, I was thankful the lake was down because it had settled on the bottom due to the fact that the drain plug was still in a tray in front of the motor. This called for some onboard acrobatics, as I was leaning head first over the transom, trying to find the hole to place the plug. That achieved, the bilge pump proceeded to pump out numerous gallons of water, and the boat became seaworthy once more.
I motored around the lake but fished primarily along the dam. The fishing report was true; they were biting, and I only managed to get hung up on the newly piled brush in the lake about 10 times during the two-hour trip.
The real test came when it was time to put the boat back on the trailer. After beaching the craft, I backed the trailer and about half of the truck into the water in order to get enough depth to load the boat. The problem was I couldn't get over the high side of the pickup to pull the boat into the proper alignment. Fortunately, the old pickup has a sliding back window; you can imagine what it looked like with this fat boy trying to wiggle through to get into the bed of the pickup. I did manage to get the boat on the trailer. Then it was a repeat process of diving head first through the sliding back window and into the seat, all of which would have been easier in my younger days but now proved quite difficult.
I am still optimistic about the upcoming fishing season since I have figured out you need to have a drain plug in the boat, and we had a good rain last week. One can figure there is no way to go but up.