Monday, March 14, 2011


On the road; Hampton Inn Boston
Low 28, high 41

Last weekend I had to prepare for a big fishing trip with friends.  I had to get the trolling motor installed and repair a bait well motor.  The trolling motor I bought on Craigslist classified ended up needing a new motor that cost me an extra $460.  The good news is the seller agreed to give me back $200.  That's pretty decent of him, considering I paid him 700 for what costs new at 1600.

While installing it I had under hull access through the anchor locker but I just couldn't reach one of four bolts that needed a washer and nut.  I was literally a half inch from it.  My index and middle finger could touch it but my thumb, which I needed to hold the washer in place, just wouldn't reach.  I decided to try a little bit of freshly chewed gum as a tool.  I pulled out a trace of gum and wrapped the washer around the wing nut.  Then, using my two fingers, I found it's spot under the bolt.  With my left hand I turned a screwdriver from the top and by golly it worked!  Now that's what I call, Messing About.

I determined one of the bait well motors was bad and bought a replacement for 40 bucks.  It took all I had to unscrew the old one out of the seacock threads but I did it.  I used heat shrink wrapping to secure the 12v wires from the potential water in the bilge compartment and now it works too.  Later, I will likely replace the release well motor, as it's the same age and doesn't give quite the pressure it should.

Sunday, I took 3 of my daughter's friends fishing.  After leaving my canal home in Port Charlotte, FL, we trolled a few miles off shore, from Boca Grande Pass south to Captiva Pass, in search of King Mackerel but only found Spanish Mackerel.

We returned Boca Grande Pass and caught 2 Bonnethead Sharks; caught and released catfish, undersize grouper and perch.

My new friend Dave, also new to fishing, battled a nice shark on just 10 pound test. It took him about 15 minutes but he expertly worked the drag and got the big boy landed.

Jason outfished everyone, catching more fish than we could count. He landed a nice shark of his own, bled it out, gutted it and took it home to grill.

Catch of the day came minutes before we were ready to head for home as Ben's line went off like none before. We used the boat to pursue the beast as it continued taking hundreds of feet of 30lb mono line. After about 10 minutes of expertly working the drag, Ben suddenly felt his reel slipping from the rod. While distracted and trying to tighten up the tension screw, the line went slack enough for the big fish to bite the line and escape. We lost what would have likely been the best shark of the day.
Nonetheless, it was a great trip. We ran 80 miles on the day. The 196BR handles 2-3' seas brilliantly. ; Although the ride home was quite rough and we did catch some salt spray, I am continuously amazed how dry this hull runs

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