Monday, August 4, 2014

Family Fun and Fishing on Wheeler Lake

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I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since I have posted! Wow. 

But, it's been an extremely busy week. Right after my Tournament on Wilson, I had to pack my bags and head out west for work. 

After getting back from that, I had a family trip to the beach, which I haven't posted about yet....but I will. 

We got back home last Thursday just in time for a softball game. It's a good thing, too. Cause I finally hit one out! 

I guess watching those softball hitting tutorials paid off. 

Anyway, Saturday we had no plans. While the grass DID need to be cut, it was wet and I wasn't about to fight that battle. The weather looked like it would be decent, with a chance of storms later. So, I thought it would be a good chance to take the whole family on the boat. After loading every drink we had, a case of Uncrustables, and a ton of other equipment, we finally had the boat in the water. We ran down to the Triana beach area. In retrospect, I should have used the Triana ramp. It would have saved me 5 gallons of gas, all told. And some ulcers. More on that, later. 

Anyway, we pulled up at the beach and ate a hearty lunch. Then, the kids were off to play! Aubree wanted to swing off the rope swing, and at first, we weren't so willing to let her. But after 15 minutes of her spouting off about it, we told her to knock herself out. And we meant that literally, as we didn't think she had the upper body strength to make it happen. But she did. 

In the meantime, we were just happy that little scaredy cat Griffin even got in the water. But he did and he he even tried the rope swing, but only after watching a dozen other kids! 

Gavin, on the other hand, has zero fear. More than once we had to keep him from jumping off the side of the boat. 
After awhile, the clouds began to roll in and we decided to get a little fishing in. I wanted to break in my 2 BRAND NEW Spro Little Jon DDs that I bought with my giftcard that the Killa Kupcakes softball team gave me. Alyse decided to use her shakey head. On her first cast, she put it on top of a fishes head. Before she could engage the bail, the fish had snapped up the PTL Sick Stick and was running. She tried to catch up to the fish, but she never got a hook set. In the meantime, the fish decided to show herself, coming right alongside the boat. It was the biggest bass I have seen on Wheeler, personally. And, as I scrambled to get the net, nearly knocking Aubree in the water, the fish winked at us, opened her mouth, and spit the worm out. 

I thought it was HILARIOUS. Alyse didn't. And, after spending 5 minutes telling me how it was all my fault, she sulked for the entire day. She is still sulking now. It was the biggest fish she has had tug on her line. 

But. she managed to catch a few fish on a Strike King 3XD, including one not-so-smart guy who followed it all the way to the boat before trying to eat it. But, we were thankful, because it afforded us a chance to let the kids play with a fish. 

The funniest thing was, while we were fishing, Gavin wanted in the water SSSSOOOO bad. So, we let he and Aubree jump off the boat and lay on the float as we fished! 

Me, on the other hand, struggled. I had several pull off in deep water on the Spro. I had on to the boat, but I didn't want to flip him since all 3 kids were staring at it over the side of the boat. But, I think it hit the boat, so it counts. 
The wind started blowing and the clouds started rolling in. But it looked like we had plenty of time. On one cast, I threw the bait into the wind, spooling up a nasty backlash. The Spro went flying off and landed 50 yards away. No big deal, I will just go retrieve it. And then a fish slammed it. Adios, Spro.
I tied on the other BRAND NEW spro. During a retrieve, the bait hung up. Again, no big deal. I got the plug knocker out. It takes several minutes to make that happen, and in those several minutes, the weather went from 0-100superbad. Lightening bolts, no matter how far they are, are not something you want to see.  Rather than take a chance, I broke it off, threw everyone in their seats and yanked the trolling motor. The closest place to shelter was the lower army rec area. So, we bee-lined it. I tied the boat up and had the wife and kiddos run to the nearby pavilion. With the wind and the rain, it got awfully cold. So, the kids did what they could to stay warm. 

Eventually the lightening got serious enough that I decided we needed to do something else. There was a cinderblock bathroom less than 50 yards away, but it was across from the ramp, which meant traversing two hills, one on each side of the ramp. I made it about 2 steps down the hill before eating it. But, nothing in my oft-battered body broke. The bathroom was warm. 
But, after an hour, the weatherman said the storm was there to stay. The kids were miserable. Like any good father, I decided to risk my life and my boat for their comfort. As I walked towards the boat, I noticed how low she was in the water. With both bilges running, it took 5 minutes to pump out all the water. It was ALMOST as much water as my last near-death experience. 
So, I put on the shades. Strapped the jacket up tight, and hugged the bank. 

Aside from a slight stinging sensation, I made it to the truck, loaded the boat, and picked up the fam.

Freezing and starving, we stopped at Lawler's for loaded stuffed potatoes. YYYYESSSS.