I have cautioned people in lots of my columns and at the seminars I have done and still do, to check their boat and trolling motor often for line wrapped around the prop shaft.


I know I mentioned it about a gazillion times since I’ve been writing. I check mine regularly. Sometimes I find mono wrapped around the shaft and some times not.


Well, Wednesday when I came off the lake, I backed my boat in the garage. I went in the house to eat leftovers, went back out to my boat and noticed a oily spot under my lower unit. I pulled the prop and I knew I had a problem but didn’t see any mono.


I knew I had a bad seal but couldn’t see the cause. When we got everything off there was about six inches of mono that got behind my thrust washer and wrapped on my shaft and no bigger than it was it ate a hole in my seal.


I always thought it would take more line than that to hurt. It had been there for a while but as I only pulled the prop I never saw it. Lazy or dumb pretty well covers it on my part.


I am so lucky to have an excellent boat mechanic two blocks from my house. I took it to Gary’s Boat Repair on 289. He is a good friend and was working on another boat when I pulled in. Explaining what I did and found, he had me back my boat into the shop. Pulling the thrust washer still on the prop shaft found that little bit of mono.


In about 30 minutes he had me fixed and ready to go. Good friend, fair price. I recommend you see him if you have a boat problem. Check your lower unit often for line on it. Do a better job than I and maybe you might not need any boat service. I’ll do better after my wake up call today. Pass the BBQ sauce please.


Wednesday I realized how lucky I am to still be as agile as I am and my ability to keep my balance. After 70, many begin to get slower reflexes and balance isn’t what it once was. I’m 74 and agile as a goosed moose and still have fast reflexes and excellent balance.


It was needed Wednesday. I fish standing up, no butt seat, use a hand-controlled trolling motor — I don’t want nothing to trip over like I did in an article on angels a while back. When in wind like I was Wednesday with a bucking boat, balance and fast reflexes are needed if you don‘t want to go swimming. Anyone who has fished with me has seen some of my swim-saving dance moves.


After spending some wasted time in the back of a cove, mostly out of the wind without a fish I moved out to a flat point with the wind blowing in on it. Three casts with a modified Booyah Spinner Bait had me put three bass in the boat. I had taken one of the Booyah Counter Strike baits with offset tandem blades, removed the smaller blade and put it back together.


The one offset blade gives off more vibration and has a wider swing. The fish were right up on the shore. Cast right up on shore, let it go to the bottom, then snap your rod. Start a slow roll back to the boat and be alert. In that water sometimes the bite is almost a guess. I moved to another flat with the wind coming in on it and caught two more. I was rocking and rolling but catching fish.


Satisfied but getting tired of fighting my friend, the wind, I went back into our cove. Pulling in on my crappie hole I broke out my crappie rods and bait. The crappie were still there but they were all small. I only caught one big one.


This was the spot that had me catching those big ones Monday I posted on Facebook. The crappie are still full of eggs, and a friend suggested it might be a second wave moving up to spawn.


Whatever the reason, they are still around to be caught. I’m going fishing again Friday but it looks like rain and wind might be a greeter.


Do as I suggest, not as I did, about keeping your boat out of the shop. Good fishing.