With my new white Ranger boat hooked to the back of the truck, I awoke in the early hours of the morning and headed down the hill. As I approached my normal turn to the lake, I didn’t make my usual turn and instead, continued driving. I passed two more lakes before finally making a turn along the edge of some Delta slough. I desperately wanted to cast a line into the water, but again, I had to fight the urge. Unfortunately, that morning I wasn’t headed out for a day of fishing; I was taking my boat into the shop for repairs.
Normally in this situation, you would think I’d be out of commission and unable to continue working. Leaving my boat at the shop could keep me from the water and leave me counting the hours for the call letting me know it’s been fixed. However, I’m the proud owner of not only one boat, but two. And not for recreation purposes, but out of necessity to operate my business. Meaning, I guess, I’m just going to have to keep fishing.
So, it’s back to my little red Tracker for a while, and I’m OK with that. It’s not the fastest boat on the lake, it’s not the sparkliest or shiniest, and it doesn’t have the fancy gadgets and do-hickies. But it does have fish-catching charm.
As I launched it for the first time in a while, I smiled as I remembered all of its magical moments. I turned the key and the trusty little engine fired immediately. I proceeded to go for a cruise around the lake just to get reacquainted. Together, we drove past so many familiar spots. These are areas of the lake that I still frequently fish, however, it was in this little boat when I first found them and learned their subtle nuances. I glance down at the tiny little fish finder that holds over 300 GPS waypoints and know that there’s a lot of valuable information in that small black box.
When it comes down to it, this boat has seen and assisted in so many catches and so many fond memories that I couldn’t even begin to count. One good thing when it comes to fishing: the fish don’t care much about your vessel. The glitter doesn’t attract them and I’ve never seen anyone catch a fish while going 70 mph across the water.
This red Tracker had been my primary boat for my business for many years and is, and will always be, a strong addition to the fleet. I do miss some of the features of my other newer boat, and it will be back up and running soon. In the meantime, I’m going to keep the greatness going and see if “Little Red” can’t produce another magical moment of fish-catching excellence.
John Liechty is the owner of Xperience Fishing Guide Service in Angels Camp. Contact John at 743-9932