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About bigcreekdad

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  1. I've always disliked the whole idea of tournaments. From the start of BASS many years ago, it just degrades the sport IMO.
  2. My son and I are toying with sharing the cost of a new tiller boat. We're pretty much down to three aluminum manufacturers, and would take any of them. It seems as all the boat packages you can order come only with Mercs. Having had two superb trouble free Yamaha 4 strokes in the last 21 seasons, I am reluctant to change to a Merc. In my childhood on Lake Erie, we had two mercs and they were troublesome. That's a while ago obviously, but, more recently (12 years), a pretty well known guide in the Sanibel Island Florida we were fishing with said the guides referred to Mercs as "black anchors". On the other hand, I have a few friends that bought mercs in the last few years and they are pleased with them. We could order a boat and trailer only, and have a Yamaha installed, but that is a bit more costly than ordering a package with a merc. As I said, this is an old discussion, but I'd be curious to hear from any recent (5 years or less) Mercury buyers if they have any thoughts. Especially if they previously had a Yamaha.
  3. Oh Bill....be careful of asking couples to go with you, unless they are true fisherpeople. The year after we were married (early 70's), my wife wanted to go with me on my annual trip to Canada. She had gone before when our family took our annual trip to Viamede on Stoney Lake. After we married, we became good friends with another couple and when we mentioned we were heading to Canada in late summer they said .. "that sounds like fun". They were not fisherfolk. Like an idiot, I consented to asking them along. The first bad sign was when they all suggested a different lodge, and thought it would be fun to select one. At that point, I should have put my foot down...big mistake. We ended up at a really mediocre lodge on Lake Cecebe near Huntsville. On day one we woke to rain...heavy all day rain. I went out fruitlessly by myself for a few hours, but my wife didn't like me leaving her alone. Next day...ditto weather. We ended up playing cards until mid afternoon when the rain let up and the sun peeked out. The guy and I went out and had a couple hours of decent pike fishing. I started to get pumped. The next day dawned beutifully.... sunny, light winds etc. We went to breakfast at the lodge, and all three of the others decided we should drive to North Bay for the day to see the sights and get a good lunch. I pointed at the weather, and they still insisted we go. This was only a year into our marriage, and I had not tested defying my wife yet with regards to MY fishing trips. So, la dee dah, we went to town for the day. Next morning...you guessed it...downpour, with no decent forecast. It made me sick to think of the wasted day before. We went to breakfast, and the other couple suggested we all pack up and head to Toronto to "take in a few shows". That was it!! I went ballistic. We ended up staying the week out, and had one more decent day of weather and fishing. It was a very long and quiet ride back to Ann Arbor. We used to do everything with this couple....that not only became more infrequent, it actually ended completely within a year. HUGE lessen....do not ask Friends to go on a fishing trip, unless they are tested fisher people. Gee....I think I could write a book on this stuff, which is really kinda sad. Live and learn. I'll repeat though, I have taken some spectacular trips, which usually included some strangers. Interestingly, looking back, all these trips were put together by one guy. He was a world famously fly tier, and he would put together trips asking guys he knew pretty well through his fly tying. He took his wife along occasionally, and everyone of these trips was fantastic...fishing, lodging (or fly in cabin), and camaraderie.
  4. My biggest regret was putting up with jerks coming on our trips. Examples: 1) I always drove as I towed my boat. There were two guys who sometimes ended up in my car. Neither ever offered to chip on gas enroute. 2) A lodge we used to go to provided gas in the package if you were using camp boats. But if you brought your own boat you had to pay for gas (You got a reduced package rate if you brought your own boat). Camp boats were 15hp 2 strokes. I had a 60 hp 4 stroke...obviously easier to decide to travel further, not to mention my boat was very comfortable to fish from. Everyone liked to go in my boat, but not everyone offered to chip in for boat gas. 3) We generally cast shoreline and structure. As such, I was on the bow running the trolling motor. There was one guy who would always cast ahead of me saying I had an advantage being up from. When I offered to let him run the trolling motor he would decline. 4) Occasionally, someone could not leave business at home for a week, and would often say he had to make one quick phone call in the morning. Sometimes these quick calls lasted an hour...so whoever was riding with him that day had to sit in the boat waiting. On at least two occasions, this same guy left camp early for seemingly weak "emergencies" at home. 5) Occasional riders in my boat would want to go back to camp for IMO dumb reasons...fish aren't biting, it's raining, time for cocktails etc. If camp wasn't far, I could just run them back, but often this was when we 30 minutes away. You are probably saying why didn't you just leave the jerks at home. Unfortunately, this was usually a group of 8, there were best friends and relatives involved. I thought whining would break up the group, and there were some fine people in it. Finally, one year I could not go for work reasons. For whatever reasons, a few other guys couldn't go either, and no trip was scheduled. Suddenly, in mid Sept, I got a window to go (court case I was working on got postponed). I was just starting to decide to see who in the group might be available on short notice. Instead, I said screw it...and just went by myself. It was the most relaxing and wonderful trip I'd had in years. That cured me...now, I have only gone with two very close friends, my two sons, and my nephew. I wish I had limited my trips to these people many years earlier. Long winded post, but once I started thinking about it, the words just flowed. And, honestly, I have other examples, but I think you will get the drift. I must add that my woes were in this specific group of guys. I've taken several other trips, mostly fly in, with groups of 4-6, including some complete strangers, that were a complete blast.
  5. I was in the Sanibel Island area one July several years ago. This is not close to Orlando, but I just wanted to share that we caught the biggest snook and redfish I've ever experienced.....a few over 20lb. Bass are OK, but if you can get to some shallow salt water you might have a ball.
  6. Can you send a few more pics...LOL. Very nice fish!
  7. Similar to others, I've had both over 35 years of owning boats. I prefer a tiller, and have gotten 21 seasons so far out of my Alumacraft Magnum 165, with a 60hp Yamaha. As others have said, it depends on the type of fishing and the water you fish. If you troll a lot, and if on any bigger water, a side console is probably the way to go. However, I seldom troll, and do a lot of bait and drop shotting...usually drifting. As such, I have so much better boat control while fishing with a tiller, and am able to react quickly to changes I see on my graph. If I am casting from my raised front deck, I cannot imagine not having my bow mounted 24v trolling motor. As for size we have fished 3 from my 16.5' boat pretty easily when doing mostly drifting and drop shotting. For casting, we have done 3, but I much prefer 2. In fact, I won't cast with 3 unless it's with my two sons. I envy you shopping for a new boat. Good luck, and be sure and report back.
  8. How coincidental! I have a 1999 Magnum 165 tiller, and Ive considered the same thing vs buying new. Last year I got a quote from my marina that to replace the carpet would cost $3-$4k. I stopped at that point. Please share how this goes with your boat. Also, do you have any transom worries at all?
  9. I've done this... slapping too hard and too often. I finally changed when I found I was slapping so hard that I was opening up my swivels. Now, if weeds don't come off after a couple mild slaps, I remove them manually. Really stupid on my part...if weeds didn't come off after a slap, I'd just repeat, with each slap getting harder. Talk about lazy.
  10. I've fished the French river for over 50 years, often several times a season. I had my son ( who is DD) with me a few years ago. He has always liked looking at stars, but where we live on Ohio there is always too much ambient lighting to get any really good views. So, one night at the lodge it was a clear night and I pointed out the Big Dipper, Milky Way, etc. to him. He was fascinated. When we went back into the cabin, he asked when he could see the northern lights. I explained to him they were fairly rare, and that in somewhere between 50 and 100 trips to Ontario, I had only seen them once. The next night, after he went to bed I read for awhile. When I decided it was time to hit the pillow, I went out on the deck and grabbed a bottle of water. As I looked up from getting the bottle, I was astounded to see the northern lights in all their weaving glory. Of course, I woke my son, and, in fact, the camp bell was ringing to wake others for this rare event. It went on for awhile. My son was fascinated. I'm not crazy religious, but I am certain there was something going on here.
  11. Based upon the tail, definitely Springfish.
  12. lochaven lodge or chaudiere lodge ....both on the French. Both first class.
  13. Hack....I'm guessing 1988. Regardless of tuning, filter changes, etc. it would commonly stall after slowing down from near wide open. When this happened, about 50% of the time, it would flood trying to restart it. This then required unhooking gas line from engine, and trying to restart with choke wide open. Mechanics always concluded there was nothing wrong with it.
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