Better luck on lake than in yard

Apr. 27, 2013 @ 06:38 PM

Things are looking up. Not only did I finally catch a few good fish last weekend and earn a little money, but a couple of mechanical problems that I thought were major turned out to be almost trivial.

First, my zero-turn lawn mower that I got such a good deal on two years ago suddenly turned into a dud. It wasn’t pulling well up hills and the mechanic said that it looked like a problem with two expensive parts ($800 total plus labor). 

I decided to try changing the hydraulic fluid and filter first. When I got it home and started mowing it was doing worse than before. I wasn’t even able to get up a small incline, and had to pay someone to mow the yard. 

After worrying about it all week and figuring on buying a new mower, I decided to give one last shot at fixing it myself. It turned out that one of the relief valves was loose, and one quick turn of a wrench had it back mowing better than ever.

Second, my boat engine wasn’t running well and seemed to be eating more gas than ever. That turned out to be a combination of improperly gapped spark plugs and loose throttle linkage.

Now I can blister down the lake and not empty the tank so fast which is great with the price of gas now. Ten years ago I could go roundtrip from Satterwhite’s Point to Clarksville and use around 20 gallons, and today I use about the same amount.

When you do the math what cost $20 then is almost $80 now. Thank goodness our leaders in Washington have this inflation thing under control or I don’t know if I could afford it. 

Things also went much better for me fishing this past weekend. Saturday was a little slow in the ABA tournament where I caught three bass weighing 6 pounds even, all on a 6-inch green pumpkin lizard in the bushes. 

Mark Robertson from Henderson, the winner, had a huge catch of 20.45 pounds including one caught on his third cast that went 7.35 pounds. 

Sunday I fished with Mark in Brandon Gray’s tournament and we almost won, coming in fifth place with 14.02.

All we needed was one good cull to make the leap to first place. The tournament was won by Hot Shot Lures Company owners Doug Washburn and Allen Haigh with 14.95 pounds. All their fish reportedly came on Hot Shot spinnerbaits.

Kerr Lake fishing report - Largemouth bass are in the bushes where they continue to spawn. Expect to find fish shallow for the next month or so. Also there is at least one huge striper spawning in the Roanoke River as a 55-pounder was tagged, weighed and released this week near Weldon. This is the biggest on record since 1991 when they started their surveys.

Upcoming area tournaments - Next weekend there are two one-day ABA couples tournaments on Gaston Saturday and Sunday out of Salmons Landing and the CATT Old North division tourney on Kerr Lake Sunday out of Flemington.

Next week’s report - Looking forward to a great weekend competing with Tyler Purcell in two tournaments on Kerr Lake, likely fishing in the Piedmont Bass Classics on Kerr Saturday and the Anglers Choice there on Sunday, or we may fish the Anglers Choice both days.  It should be a good weekend.

Tip of the week - When the wind is blowing hard, use a spinnerbait against the bank the wind is blowing into.

Contact the writer by email at waltbowen@yahoo.com, on Facebook under Walt Bowen, and on Twitter at @WaltBowen.