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Fishheads Boat Launch Story

Fishheads dangerous_fish story!

Fishheads Boat Launch Story

When I first moved to Kentucky, a friend of mine whom I had recently met and introduced to fishing purchased his first boat.  It was an old style bass boat, early seventies model about 14-15 feet long, approximately 5-6 ft wide and shallow draft similar to a john boat with a 35hp.  Now we were having an unusually warm February that year and my friend was anxious to take the boat out and fish. So he, another buddy (lets call him the First Mate) and myself decided to take the boat to this small local river for some cat fishing.  Did I say that this was my friends’ first boat?   Well we load the boat with the usual weapons of mass destruction; rods, tackle, chicken livers, Pringles, little hot dogs in a can and a cooler full of thirst quenching drinks. As we head to the ramp I ask my friend if he knows how to launch a boat and he assures me that he does but since he has little experience with boats he asks that I take the boat off the trailer and bring it to dock and he will park the trailer.  Sure, sounds like a plan.    We get to the ramp; take off all the straps, wait our turn and the First Mate and myself get into the boat.    “Go ahead and back down the ramp,” I holler to my friend.    He gets the boat, trailer and truck lined up in the middle of the ramp and starts backing down.  Now as I am sitting there in front of the motor I start to notice that we are really starting to pick up speed, probably about 5 - 10mph, I start to grip the gunwales.  Suddenly I realize what my friend is about to attempt and start shouting out “Slow down!”  But it was too late. The trailer just gets the wheels in the water and my friend locks up the brakes!  The boat lunges off the trailer beds with the back of the boat submerging briefly and it pops back up partially filled with water, in that moment, the First Mate, as fast as I have ever seen him move grabs the Pringles and in one motion rips off the tin foil seal, flings the chips and shouts “Were going to drown, were sinking, were sinking!” and start flailing away at the water in the boat. Damn there goes the Pringles.  Meanwhile my buddy has taken off to park the truck, when he starts to walk down to the ramp he sees us floundering in the boat half full of water with the First Mate flailing away at the water with the Pringles can like his life depended on it and I have the paddle and am pushing us toward the ramp.  “What did you do to my boat?” he shouts.  I tell him to get the trailer so we can pull out the boat and drain the water.  At that point I give up on paddling and get out of the boat, water is about two ft deep. When I finally ask him what he thought he was doing he said “I didn’t want to get the trucks wheels in the water in case it got stuck, so I thought I could just power launch the boat off the trailer and it would glide on the top of the water.” 

Well we empty the boat, I go home and get dry clothes and we get back out, this time I backed it in with a rope tied to bow and pull it over to the dock.  We load up and had a very successful day cat fishing with a good time had by all, but I sure did miss those Pringles and I have never let the First Mate live down his near death experience.