Grandkids are a pretty good excuse to buy a new boat; more room, more seats, more stability – at least that’s how I sold myself on upgrading from the old jon boat to a new fangled pontoon model with a big platform, seats for four, side rails — with drink and rod holders – wow.
So the new boat finally came in; the next step was a trip to the license bureau, then bolting the license plate on the trailer (only had to drill one extra hole) and affixing the ID numbers to the front of the pontoons – just exactly per the specification. All that was left was to tie on a lead rope, acquire an extra-long dip net and charge the battery. All in all, a lot of work – just for the grandkids.
Of course a man has to make sure that a new boat actually floats, the motor works, and there aren’t any issues getting it in and out of the water. The best way to check all of that out, of course, was to take it fishing.
My friend and co-worker Dick Leeper was my fishing partner this day. Although it was just late March in Missouri, the weather was great and we had all morning. Early in the fishing season I like to try lakes and ponds we’ve not fished before. So we headed north about a half hour to a small lake that looked promising. Unfortunately, the water was pretty chalky and we didn’t get a strike. After two trips around and multiple lure changes, we decided this wasn’t any fun and headed south to another new pond. This one was smaller, but was also dirty and we caught nothing. We had pretty much squandered away the morning, but the new boat did float, the motor worked and we had launched and retrieved it enough times to be satisfied.
There was just time to make one more try, a nice, clear three-acre lake, that I had fished last year. This one was quite kind to us; in an hour we caught and released thirty or so largemouth bass, with a couple pretty nice ones. In five and one half hours, we had enjoyed the weather, caught a few fish and proved out the new boat – all for the grandkids. What a great spring day in Missouri.