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Dumb Boaters

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I went out Saturday morning to a pond that I have not been at for a few years. The land has changed hands and I can go to the pond again. It is a nice pond surrounded by pasture and has bluegills, crappie and bass in it. It is about 1.5 acres in size and has a maximum depth of 12 feet. This depth is true for just over half the pond.

I had been fishing for about an hour, when another truck showed up with a flat bottom boat, on a trailer, behind it. My thoughts were that the pond was large enough for both of us to be on and not get in each others way.

I had figured out that I needed to let the slight breeze move me along the shore and cast up into the shallow water and slowly retrieve the fly back to me. Usually some place along in the retrieve a fish would hit the fly. I tried several flies to see if one of them would work better, but they all seemed to do about the same. After I had drifted down the length of the shore I would paddle back to the other end of the pond and drift down the shore again.

I was back at the end of the pond to start another drift when the other guys got their boat launched. The first thing they did was to come up the pond and pull up right next to me and want to know what I had caught and what I was using. When I showed them the flies they told me that this was "sissy fishing" and they would show me how it was done.

I realized that they had been on an all night party and that it was probably best if I left the pond.

I decided to just drift down the shore and when I got to the end of the pond take my leave. I had caught another dozen or so fish when I heard the motor start again. I looked over and saw that they were headed in my direction. For some reason I tied off my anchor to one of the thwarts on the canoe.

When they came up to the canoe they slowed down just a hair and then started pushing the canoe toward the shore. My question as to why they were doing this got a dumb reply, "nobody out fishes us." I knew that this was not a good situation. When we were about 8 to 10 feet from shore the canoe hit a stump and flipped.

When I felt the canoe starting to go over I pushed myself away from the canoe. I did manage to grab the paddle as I went. I think that this sobered the guys up a little, as they slowed down and backed off from the canoe. I grabbed the canoe and flipped it back over, quick enough that most of the stuff was still in the canoe. The other boat got close enough that I took a swing at one of the guys with the paddle but just missed him.

I think my being wet, muddy and mad might have scared them a little because they took off down the pond. They loaded their boat quickly and took off. They got away before I could get around the pond to where they were at. I could not get boat numbers as they were too faded and the truck was too far away to see the licence plate numbers.

My only bit of luck in this whole thing was that they pushed me up near one of the flattest places around the pond. It took me the better part of thirty minutes to bail out the canoe after I moved all the stuff that was in the canoe onto the shore. There is a lot of water in a 17 foot canoe that is almost completely filled. This is one of the rare days that I did not have a bucket in the truck with me. When I could get the front end of the canoe up onto the shore I could then use the paddle to toss water out of the canoe. This made it go faster.

When the canoe was bailed out, I headed home to get cleaned up. Also I was not ready to fish anymore. I got home cleaned the fish I had and got cleaned up. Just as I was done my wife called me and asked me to go to the store and bring the things I got over to the house where she was at.

When I got to the store, the truck that had been at the pond was there with the boat still on behind it. I knew that I had no way to prove what they had done, but I wanted to teach an object lesson. I raised the hood of the truck and loosened three spark plug wires so they would not fire right. I also took the plug out of the boat.

I was standing beside the truck when the two guys came out. They had more beer with them. I told them that if they ever did anything like that to me again I would fix it so that they could not do anything for a few months. I was told that there was no way that I could prove that anything happened and that I could do nothing about it.

I told them that I was not sure about that, but to remember what I said. I hope that I never see them again near any water. I also hope that you never run into any folks that are as dumb and stupid as these two.

Hope you can get out on the water: and have a good time. ~ Rick ziegeria@grm.net

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