Many of you have likely seen or heard of the bloopers that pro angler Bill Dance has made in his many years of fishing. I never thought about writing about some of my bloopers until I had a big blooper (accident) a couple weeks ago. I decided to fess up and write about that blooper, and if space allows, a few others during my lifetime of fishing.
A couple weeks ago I took my 13-year-old granddaughter fishing. I had to promise her not to use her name if I wrote about our fishing trip. The day began great as we fished a couple of spots and caught a couple of fish and had a couple of bites before a front moved in and dropped the temperature several degrees.
We were fishing a ledge in the middle of Lake Sinclair and the wind began blowing and I decided we had to vacate that spot and find a place out of the wind. I headed for Nancy Branch to a spot that normally holds fish this time of year.
Unfortunately, the wind was blowing even harder in that spot, so after a couple of casts I told my granddaughter we had to look for a new spot out of the wind. I pulled the trolling motor cable (rope) to lift the trolling motor and it broke, sending me backward. I landed on the steps leading to the bottom of the boat and onto a cooler and my tackle box.
The first question from my granddaughter was “Papa did you hit your head?” I told her no but I was hurting bad, especially from my ribs, so I had to find a way to lift the trolling motor since we could not leave it down for the long run home.
I managed to crawl onto the front deck and laying on my stomach, I found the latch where the rope had broken. The space where the latch was located was limited, so I could only get a couple of fingers in that area to remove the broken rope. I managed to cut away the old rope with my line clipper while at the same time bumping the trolling motor with my elbow to keep us off the shoreline.
I finally was able to attach the remaining piece of rope with a knot to the latch and I painfully raised the trolling motor. I told my granddaughter to tighten her life jacket and her hat because we had to make the long run home and do it very quickly.
I slowed to idle speed to go under the Highway 441 bridge and I noticed goosebumps on my granddaughter’s legs. She assured me she was OK, and we finally made the trip back home safely.
A trip to the hospital for a CT scan and X-rays showed nothing broken, but the fall left me with severe bruises to my ribs, shoulder, hip and a bloody elbow. The doctor said it would take about five to six weeks for the bruised ribs to heal. It has been one of the most painful accidents (bloopers) I have ever had while fishing.
You would think that a boat manufacturer would install a stronger cable on a $30K bass boat. Before I use my boat again, I will install a stainless-steel cable. Having owned five different bass boats over the many years of fishing, I have never had a trolling motor cable break.
I have fired off a letter to the boat manufacture telling them they should put a stainless-steel cable on their boats instead of a $2 rope. It might add $20 to the cost of a new boat!
Now, the worst part about the injury. It takes me off the lake for five to six weeks. June and July are my favorite months to be on the lake. But if you have ever bruised your ribs, you know how painful it can be and how long it takes to heal. My wife keeps reminding me what the doctor said about the five to six weeks just in case I get any ideas.
My granddaughter was a real trooper through the whole accident but I told her I need to spend some time teaching her how to operate the boat in case we have another emergency. My final question to her was “did you get a video of the accident?” “No Papa,” she said.
Man, that would have made some good viewing on YouTube.
On a serious note, anglers need to be aware that unexpected things can happen on the water and you need to have a plan for accidents and/or bloopers. I have about run out of space for this article, so some of my funnier fishing bloopers will have to wait for a future article.
Good fishing and see you next week.