I am one of those guys, fortunate enough to hit the lakes pretty much once a week. About a year ago, I inherited my grandfather’s boat.
UPDATE: I have added a few pictures of me and grandpa at the end of the article.
Growing up in this boat, it was my grandfather who taught me how to fish and how to be a man. The many fish and life stories he would tell. The adventures of growing up during a different time.
My grandfather had two mystical powers:
Most days we would’t catch many bass, and I was okay with that. But what would almost always happen is just before we would leave he would call it, “okay, last cast.”
And like magic, a bass would bite. And it wasn’t just any bass, it was always the biggest one we caught all day. Man, how I miss that man.
Fast forward a bit, I inherited my grandfather’s boat which was passed around to all us grandkids for use. About a year ago, I decided to take possession of the boat and bring it back to its former glory.
The 1987 160SV Bassmaster Bass Pro with a 115HP Mariner. It wasn’t in the best condition when I received it so I went to work.
I replaced the carpet, hinges, pumps, gauges, electrical and other things. Additionally, I reconditioned the clear coat which took about 62 hours of labor. Finally, I added The two Humminbird HELIX 9 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G2N’s with a couple of lake map chips, and the Minn Kota Ultrex 80lbs with MEGA down imaging and i-Pilot Link GPS.
Disclosure: In a different life I worked at Family Boating Centers where I would rig boats like these.
Here is a picture of my boat now.
After finishing the remodel, I knew it was time to start getting serious again about fishing for bass. Years ago, I would enter small local tournaments around Tallahassee and would do pretty good.
Sitting in the back of the boat with seasoned pros taught me a lot about fishing. Do not get me wrong, the guy in the front wasn’t exactly trying to teach me how to catch fish. I would just pay attention to what we were doing and would go home and practice the techniques.
Now that I had my own boat, I wanted to relive those memories with my grandfather and educate myself on how to catch bass in any situation.
Maybe even join a local bass club and hit up a few small tournaments as a back of the boat participant.
I hit up a few local lakes with a big bass on my mind. Lake Rousseau, Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes, & Lake Tarpon. I have never fished any of these lakes before. Additionally, I have seen some pictures of some big bass coming from these lakes.
My first few fishing trips proved daunting as the summer bass bite was timid.
Daily temperatures would reach 105110 degrees. Fronts would move in almost daily. The morning would be no wind and clear skies. Then by noon, 18+ MPH and torrential rain at times.
Fishing was tough but the bass wer biting. I would catch anywhere from 5 to 35 bass a day. Every day was a different challenge.
A few of the bass I caught.
When I would head back to the dock and talk to the other guys fishing, I seemed to have more success than the others. However, I still wasn’t satisfied with my catches.
I felt like I was missing something. Maybe I lost my touch. Do not get me wrong, I was loving the experience. Bass fishing is a passion of mine, however in the tournament world catching fish is one thing.
Catching a big bag is another.
My thoughts brought me to research different fishing methods. My research brought me to this video on How To Fish A Fluke by Chuck Pippen. I have never fished a fluke before, however, I love jerk bait fishing.
After watching the video, I found out Chuck is a professional guide out of Orlando Florida. Which is almost two hours from my house. I decided I wanted to learn some new methods and see what the pros were doing right now.
I called him up and we met at 6:30 am at The Butler Chain of Lakes.
This was truly a great experience. What I loved most about Chuck is he actually taught me how to be a better fisherman. When I would ask him about what we were doing based on the conditions, and why he was making his decisions he actually shared the information.
This wasn’t like most guide experiences I have ever had. Nor was it like any experience I have had fishing a tournament with a seasoned pro.
Chuck actually wanted to help me to understand how to catch more bass. I can’t remember exactly how many bass we caught. I think I lost count around 17.
The thing about it, even though the conditions were tough (20mph winds and a hot Florida summer day) and we caught a bunch of bass, the catching wasn’t the best part of the trip.
I enjoyed the conversation, the laughs, the fish stories, and the fact that he would share his knowledge with me.
Here is Chucks YouTube page with a bunch of how-to and other guide videos he has done. https://www.youtube.com/user/FloridaBoatClub/
This whole experience reminded me of why I was fishing in the first place. It wasn’t because I wanted to win some big tournament, or become a pro.
I fished because while I am out on the water, I do not have a worry in the world. I love the anticipation of the fish hitting the lure. I loved the fishing stories and how the memories of fish before seem to get bigger in time.
For me fishing is about being completely present and in the moment.
I miss those days sitting in the boat with my grandpa. Listening to the same stories again and again. I miss the anticipation the night before trying to go to sleep early just so I could wake up.
I just miss fishing! Which is why, again on another morning I will load the boat up one more time. And spend the day in the memories of my grandpa fishing out on the lake.
Pap’s and I April 1990- Stone Mountain Park, GA
Paul ‘Pappap’ Moyer
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