For the Love of Lake Fishing…
I started lake fishing from a boat three years ago. It was wonderful finally getting to all the good spots instead of giving into the only place accessible from the shore. I loved every aspect of it. I watched and learned all I could, but I began to notice the disadvantages of being the “non-boater.”
Don’t get me wrong I’ve pulled in huge fish from that back deck, and have even been known to out fish the captain. However, I felt dedicated to the place, the pace, and the style to which the boat owner preferred to fish.
I needed to get my own boat, and nine months ago that’s exactly what I did.
Buying a Boat? Do Your Homework.
Had I honestly known what I was getting into I would have done my homework! I’ve only had a few experiences on different boats and I was dead set on a Stratos fiberglass bass boat.
Unfortunately my budget laughed in my face. I knew I had to figure out what I was looking for even to get a start.
I’m a bass angler that jigs the majority of my time so that meant that I needed:
- A Deck
- Trolling motor
- At least one deep cycle 12 volt battery
- Some kind of battery charger
- A live well if possible
- Depth finder
- Enough room for my 120 pound mutt aka my “fishing partner”
It seemed my best option for the money I had allowed was an aluminum boat.
The Search: Look Everywhere!
I searched everywhere. I was Looking on Craigslist, online boat forums, and the classifieds. I had all my friends and family on the hunt as well. Most everything I came across was out of my price range. I decided I would have to give up some amenities just to get on the water.
At this point I only wanted something that floated.
Then, It Happened…
It wasn’t until a month later that a coworker of mine perked up her ears when a patient said he had a boat for sale. She immediately grabbed my attention. I spoke the the gentleman for an extensive time asking as many question as I could.
It all just seemed too good to be true, but what would it hurt to check it out? I set up a time right after work and headed there as soon as I got off. I don’t think you could have smacked the smile off my face when I finally saw the boat.
Here’s What it Had:
- A 14 foot aluminum v-bottom Sea-king painted camo black.
- Two wooden bench seats
- A 1959 6 horsepower Evinrude (and an ancient hand controlled shakespeare trolling motor)
- Hummingbird depth finder
I was in love once again. He was only asking $500 and swore to me everything was in working order. At a glance I didn’t see any holes so I figured all was right. He told me he was selling it for his son and hadn’t even put it on the market. I offered him $450 and called a buddy to tow it home for me!
Since it was winter and I had no truck to tow with yet, I decided to take the money I had saved and build a flipping deck. I also invested in a brand new Minn Kota 45 pound thrust trolling motor and large cooler with aerator for a make shift live well.
My First Launch – A Disaster!
Boats aren’t supposed to be filled with Water…
At the first sign of weather breaking I went to the closest lake to launch. Sounded easy enough. Boy was I wrong! It took me five times to get straight enough to hit the water.
I parked the truck and headed to the docks like I was on the B.A.S.S. tour. When I returned to my boat it was full of water and I freaked out.
Oh, you need Tags?
A water craft officer pulled in and I thought I was saved. Um, wrong again. Nice as he could be he gave me warnings on everything it seemed. Trailer plated, lights, and boat tags. Also I didn’t have the proper equipment in my boat due by law. I was an uneducated boat owner and he made me painfully aware.
Lucky for me (and maybe it was because I’m a lady) he gave me all the information I needed and told me not to put my boat back on the water until I was completely legal.
I felt like an idiot but at least I wasn’t gonna have to pay any fines. I called my welding buddy and towed the piece of crap straight to his house where is sat for two more months while he fixed it. I was scammed and I vowed never again.
Learn From My Mistakes.
I am now an officially legal floating boat owner, which I have named “backlash”. I had a ton of help thanks to great friends and family.
To date the largest bass caught on my little boat was 4 pounds 2 ounces which I’m proud to say I landed on my own. If you are looking to purchase a boat please do your research. Know what you need and what you want. Boat ownership is a huge responsibility but well worth the growing pains. Tight lines to all!