Post by startingover on Apr 20, 2020 10:00:10 GMT -5
Figured with folks locked in I'd give a report and story to keep you entertained for a few minutes...
Put in at the public ramp near the bridge about 2:30pm.
Water there was ~62-63 stained viz probably 2-3' VERY windy.
Went up to Stoney. Main channel had less viz. Creek color got better as I went further back, but still only about 3' viz. Water temp was less than bridge-~60-61 in Stoney
Caught a SM and decent LM. Both on Rapala, SM off rip rap bank, LM off front of dock.
Tried C-rig watermelon lizard, natural jig, Firetiger fat free shad (dingy water), several others on the points near creek channel but no luck. Was there a couple hours fighting the wind.
Moved up to Indian. Viz on main channel got worse as I went up. Started on that 1st point on the right going in with Rapala, C-rig, and jig, fished most of the point.
Then the (near) disaster. I'd fished that point about 10 minutes and turned around to grab a different rod and when I looked toward the back, I was taking on water. There was already 2-3 inches in the floor at the drivers seat!!! I was sinking and seemed to be sinking fast in 40' of water. I knew I hadn't hit anything but was in a lot of brush backing up to retrieve errant lures fishing in the wind before I left Stoney, maybe the plug pulled out. The only thing I could think of was hit the bilge pump and try to get it on plane. Lifted the t-motor, fired up big motor, trimmed all the way down and hammered down. There was SO much water in the boat the nose just stood straight up. Even with a 300hp Johnson, it was struggling and couldn't get the nose down. I was just praying it didn't stall. After about a quarter mile running like that with the bilge on and at least moving (plowing), it slowly started to rev up and the nose was barely coming down, but at least it WAS coming down. Little by little it was gaining speed and trying to level off. About that time I saw I hadn't pulled the trolling motor all the way up and it wasn't locked. I was afraid it would come down on plane so I slowed the boat to run up and bring it all the way up and lock it, still nearly on plane. Too late, that slow down was just enough to let it drop in the water, and fold under the nose . Managed to bend it up enough to get it out of the water and back to getting planed out, which it finally did...After running a while on plane and with the bilge running, the water was finally out enough for water to stop coming out of the bilge. So I'm headed back toward the bridge, trying to figure out what to do next, can't stay on plane forever, will run out of fuel eventually, if I set it down, it will sink...I decided to head back to the ramp, try to get it on the ramp backwards where I could get to the plug without swimming, and if I failed at least it would be in shallow water. Took off my coveralls, sweatshirt, and shirt on the way back figuring at some point I'm going to HAVE to get wet. Came in to the ramp hot (sorry about the no wake zone), drove up the ramp and turned as much as I could with the big motor, and was going to spin it with the trolling motor *^&%IT, no trolling motor!! Was sideways on the ramp and decided it was time to get wet before it filled back up. . Jumped in (that 60 degree water was quite a shock, glad I could touch bottom) and got it turned around, raised the big motor, and pulled the boat as far as I could up the ramp and sat the back of the boat on the ramp. At least it wasn't going to sink past there. Found the spare plug in the boat and jumped back in, got down in the water but too dirty to see so I felt my way around and put it in. Got the truck and backed the trailer as close to the back of the boat as I could get it and then pushed the boat back out, spun it around and tied it off. Backed the trailer in, jumped back in the boat and ran it up on the trailer, it was still taking on water fast as I trailered it, and I couldn't figure out why with the spare plug in, but I was home free! It wasn't going to sink far sitting on the trailer:) When I pulled it out with water spewing out the bilge I looked and realized my dumb &$$ had put the spare plug in the livewell drain hole under water.
I was SOOO lucky I didn't sink her. In 40+ years I've never had anything like this happen before. Most intense 40 minutes I've had in MANY years. All the possible ways it was going to end up on the bottom...If I hadn't noticed for 10 more minutes, if I didn't have a 300hp engine to push it up on plane, if it had stalled while getting on plane, if I'd run out of fuel getting back to the ramp...Needless to say I didn't sleep much Sat night thinking of all those options and how I will make sure that NEVER happens again!!
Time to go play the lottery, or maybe I used up all my luck Saturday!!
Good luck and BE CAREFUL OUT THERE! Amazing how fast things can happen.