YAKETTE.....WHAT SHE WAS MADE FOR
After waiting over a year the Yakette
finally got to do what she was built to do, and that was to
get me to these "hard to get to" places. Places you
often see and wish you had a boat to drop in to do some exploring
and wet a line fer a spell. I'd
been to this place a few times when I had the energy to walk
around a bit just to check things out. No motorized vehicles
are allowed. It ain't a big lake...about 27 acres, but full
of nice big fat bass!
Here lately I ain't been too good at
picking the right time to go fishin! This damn weather has got
the fish and me so confused and it...as Burt Gummer says.."Boggles
the mind!" From the top of the dam on my first visit I
saw some big'uns rolling and just had to get down there somehow!
Lightbulbs went off in my feeble little brain and I went to
thinking.....dangerous thing for me sometimes.
I grabbed a saw, a sheet of luan and
proceeded to make some sawdust to see if I could come up with
anything suitable that would at least float for a while anyway.
It had to be light....very damn light! I kinda scaled down the
Stealth in a way, but when I was finished and did all the testing
on a very windy day with some fairly rough water conditions...another
time my sweet wife Kaye was yelling at me and pleading that
I have some qualified person look into my mental condition.
This was because of the condishuns I was in at the lake that
weren't exactly too damn good fer testing any boat for the first
time..specially one dat little!
Strong wind and waves with whitecaps.
I was even leery myself that the boat would do the job. In 20
mph winds and waves over a foot the tiny boat performed with
excellence! She weighed out as most of you who keep up with
the Yakoo series at just under 25 pounds...Perfect! Well one
thing came up after another, winter set in and the lake froze
over, and I didn't get to do what I had in mind, but this year
all that changed.
It's a mite steep
As you can see in the pics it's a mite
steep up the side of the mountain. Not many folks fish there
cause it shore as hell ain't the easiest damn place for an old
fart like me to get to. I mean..it's bad enough just walking
and climbing that hill fer heathy folks! That ain't to mention
hav'n to haul a boat up too! Had to stop and rest several times
on the way up.....even the much younger guys I went with the
first time had to stop and rest and they ain't even got no heart
problems! Hell, I was in better shape than they wuz or maybe
it was cause I'm nuts...according to my sweet wife Kaye!
So one day I got a wild hair up my ass,
loaded the Yakette and just took off. Told my sweet wife Kaye
I wuz going to check out this lake, told her where it was and
all that, and that I'd be gone for a few hours. I took her car
cause teenagers come out there to park, have beer parties or
just "hang out", and have been know to steal stuff
from cars or out the back of a pickup, and be gone in no time
cause you can see nothing from the lake. Ya'll know I got a
GEO Tracker that's a ragtop. Ain't no way to lock it! Don't
even know why they bothered to put locks on the doors! All anyone
has to do is peel back some velcro and undo a zipper! Hell I
can git inside my Tracker before I can get these new britches
off that Kaye got me! They got velcro and a zipper too!
I like plain ole cutoff jeans fer boat'n,
fishing, deal'n with mud and stuff. After you make it up the
hill then you got to go down the hill to get to the lake....worse
if you're hauling a boat on a dolly but easier than carrying
it by hand! Yeah, I know the boat don't weigh but 25 pounds,
but when I get all my shit in it, 2 fishin rods, paddle, life
jacket, seat, tackle boxes, lunch bag, miscellaneous stuff and
the dolly itself strapped on, that stuff mounts up a bunch of
pounds going uphill! I watt'n counting on that! More to deal
with going downhill! Gravity adds to that problem too you know!
The road beside the dam
Finally made it to the top then still
had to go another 75 yards or so across the road running beside
the dam, but it was fairly flat so I got my wind back. At the
end, it was down hill all the way! Hey....I got it made! I was
a mite off on the "hav'n it made" part! With about
a 40 plus degree angle downhill... me and the Yakette almost
went into the lake before I was ready! I got in front.....not
a good idea on slick grass! Damn thing was running over me!
So then I got behind and slid down while holding on to the boat
carrying handle. Worked fine long as I grabbed some long weeds
and grass now and when to slow my desent. Had to hunt around
for some band-aids when I got to the bottom since I got tangled
up in an uncountable number of briar bushes on the way down,
but otherwise made it without breaking anything.
Loaded and ready
That damn Plavix and other stuff makes
the slightest little scratch bleed like a stuck hog! At the
waters edge I took a break, launched the boat, and then tried
to figure out what I was going to do with the dolly. Never dawned
on me before! Didn't want to leave it there, so I just found
a place it would fit on the deck and took it with me! I explored
the lake and discovered that there weren't a damn place in the
whole lake to make a landfall 'cept one! High cliff, and steep
banks all the way around!
On the east side I found a little tiny
10 foot by 10 foot shale bed that I dubbed Goosepoop Landing!
Seemed like some geese had put claim to it a long time ago and
used it for nesting and pooping! Not the best place in the world
to have a samich, a coke, and a Hershey bar that melted and
run all over the place, but it'd have to do.
Goose poop landing
This really got to me, and I was very
alert for any feathered terrorist type foe that might interrupt
my lunch. I took the .32 automatic with a full clip of Hydroshocks
out my pocket and layed it by my can of coke just in case. I
hate damn geese!
I spent all day exploring the lake,
and even went up the feeder stream as far as I could. Then I
sounded various areas for depth with a lead line. The deepest
part was near the dam at 24 feet and depth varied from 8 to
14 feets as the main channel wound back and forth back up to
Bird Finger Point. The lake is shaped like a backwards S with
the feeder stream at the top with two coves, one on each side
of the stream kinda looking like when you give somebody the
finger. That's what the top of the lake resembles. I named it
Bird Finger Point. Why hell yeah I dubbed this unusual phenonenom
of nature....and in the name of the queen!
Later on that day 'round 5 o'clock I
ran into another fellow that's a hard core bass fisherman. He
had a little 10 foot jon boat and we shot the bull for a long
time and fished together for a few hours. He had a neat dolly
with big bicycle wheels but just let his boat slide down the
hill as he held on to a long rope. Why didn't I do that? I looked
at the 14 band-aids on me. We did catch some small bass but
nothing even close to the 7 pounder he was telling me about
he'd caught out of there. This is one of those guys that does
the bass tournements for money, and come to find out is a neighbor
that only lives about 10 miles from me.
That damn hill
Dark was settin' in and I headed on
back to get the boat loaded and dolly ready to go up that damn
hill. I could see this was not going to be fun. Dew was falling
and the grass was slicker than goose poop on glass. After several
attempts and recovering from falling on my butt at least 16
times I finally made it to the top of the road running beside
the dam and looked to see if I had anymore band-aids. It was
almost as much fun trying to get all this stuff, me, boat, dolly
and all down that long hill back to the car. Bad stuff can happen
going down hill! Nothing happened going up, cept it wore me
out! Yeah I know there was a road so to speak, but my legs don't
work like 4 wheel drive sport'n a granny gear.
Being real careful I made it to the
car, loaded up and got ready to leave. My back was kill'n me!
I'd been in the Yakette for over 6 hours! My legs went to sleep
and my ass was numb! Phil....the guy I met in the lake reached
his truck 'bout the time I wuz gettin ready to pull out, so
I stopped and we comminced to shoot the bull a little more while
I nursed the feeling back in my butt and legs...talking mostly
Well, I had plum forgot that I'd told
my sweet wife Kaye that I'd be back in a few hours. See......I'd
left about 10 that morning and it was already 9:30 at night
when I pulled in! She's took it for granted that I'd be home
around 5 or so for supper! Thought that wuz her on the road
that I passed 'bout a mile back! I was putting stuff up, boat
and all, and every bit of 3 full minutes had gone by when she
come slid'n sideways into the driveway madder'n-hell! Jumped
out, and raise'n more hell that a sack full of rabid wildcats!
Worried and all that something might have happened to me, since
I hadn't been feel'n too perky anyway for the past few days.
There are some things she said that
even I can't repeat! Whew! Took some kinda doing to cool her
off! I mean that little woman in more modern terms went totally
ballistic! She was about to call the State Police, National
Guard, and the damn Coast Guard! It was about that time Julie
Ann the 6 year old grand daugher stepped in at my defense! "Grandma
Kaye", she said firmly! "Everybody knows that if the
fish are biting and he's having a good time....HONEY always
said to give him at least 24 hours before you go nuts!"
I love them grandkids! They sure get
my ass out of a tight sometimes! Julie Ann has always called
me Honey for some reason..never Grandpaw! Maybe one day Kaye
will explain that. Folks think it's cool but I'd even like to
know myself! Point is.. the Yakette is a great boat fer packin
in, and did a swell job of hauling me around that lake I'd be
wanting to check out for a long time.
I do plan to go back over there in a
couple of months or so without so much junk in the boat, and
sometime it takes that long for my sweet wife Kaye to forget
about some things! As we walked in the house she somehow noticed
half a box of band-aids plastered all over me, shook her head
then gave me a real strange look and said, "I really don't
want to know!"