OUTDOOR TRUTHS: That Panic Moment of Fishing in Cold February
By Gary Miller
I can remember several years ago, going fishing on a sunny but cold day in February. It was the first nice Saturday we had had in a long time. The plan was to do a little bass fishing and enjoy our first trip of the year. I was with a friend and we were taking his boat. He had not had it in the water in several months. I had tried my best to make all the necessary preparations the night before. I had to gather up all my gear, dust it off, change line, and do all the other things that one has to do in order to begin another year of being on the water. We left early the next morning and it didn’t take long to find out that we were not the only ones who had this same idea. We waited in line at the public ramp to launch our boat and there were numerous other boats already fishing within sight of where we were unloading.
After launching the boat, parking the truck, and putting all of our gear away, we slowly began idling out. All of a sudden we noticed that we were taking on water. After a quick check, we realized that we had forgotten to put the plug in. Now we go into survival mode. My friend pushes the throttle forward and we take off down the small channel, as fast as that boat can go. In the meantime, I’ve reached my hand and most of my arm into the icy water that’s gathered in the back of the boat. I’m feeling around trying to locate the plug before my fingers go numb. This is all happening while the boats we pass are giving us the sign that we’re number one. After a few more minutes of panic and another hour of shock from hypothermia, everything finally gets back to normal.
From this ordeal, I discovered that whether you own a Ranger, Triton, Bass Tracker, or a Jon boat, you will sink if you leave a five dollar plug out of your boat! Your boat can go a hundred miles per hour but one bad plug will take you down! You can make sure your five hundred dollar rods and reels are ready to go but they will go down with your boat unless the plug is in the boat!
What goes for boats also goes for each one of us……If we pay no attention to the little sins in our lives; soon they will bring down even the best of folks, like you and me.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.