On the Water: Up the creek with a blown engine

May. 24, 2014 @ 04:29 PM

First of all, let me get this over with: I only weighed one small fish in last weekend’s Bass Fishing League tournament on Kerr Lake.

Shawn Hammack of Gasburg, Va. won the event with a 14-pound limit to take home over $5,100.

I was really lucky to weigh my fish after experiencing engine trouble on the way to Eastland Creek from the launch at the Nutbush ramp. And it was a little more than engine trouble; it was a catastrophic failure of my engine (blew up again), leaving my co-angler, Mitchell Staples, and I stranded in the back of Eastland Creek over 20 miles from the weigh-in site.

Another competitor came by around 10 that morning and we asked whether he’d be able to get Mitchell and our fish (if we caught any) back for the 2:30 p.m. weigh-in.

He promised to return for us around 1:30 p.m., which was great as the tournament rules state that you can return to the weigh-in by boat with any other competitor. Unfortunately, he failed to show up at the agreed upon time. I have to assume that he also had engine trouble because no fisherman would ever tell a lie.

As it turned out, if I’d only caught fish, all these obstacles would have been overcome. I did hang one big fish, but broke my line trying to get it out of the bushes.

At around five minutes until 2 p.m., when it looked like our chances of getting our fish back to Nutbush were gone, a boat came by and we flagged him down.

Luckily, it was another boat in the same tournament and they were glad to carry Mitchell back, so we loaded him and our fish (he had two) into their boat and off they went.

In a few minutes, another Good Samaritan came along and towed me to the ramp near the mouth of Eastland Creek where Susan picked me up with the truck and trailer.

This also means that it was a good thing that the James River tournament was rescheduled after the flood a few weeks back since by my estimate, my motor would have blown up about halfway back to the weigh-in on day two of that event and I might have missed out on a big payday. 

Hopefully everything will stay bolted together for the rest of the year.

Chuck Murray and Randy Groves brought in 20.68 pounds of bass last Saturday to take home $2,235 for first place in the CATT Trail tournament on Lake Gaston. Chuck and Randy are usually top finishers on Gaston and a threat to win at any lake.

Kerr Lake fishing report — Bass, crappie and catfish are all biting. Bobby Whitlow from Bobcat’s Tackle in Clarksville, Va. reported that Kevin Davis caught, photographed and released a 109-pound blue catfish last week.
Ritchie Bentley reported that he, Tonya Taylor and Brandi Bragg caught some really nice keeper stripers fishing at night in the Ivy Hill area. I also heard that some big crappies were being caught out in front of bushes. Sometimes you need to fish in a place that’s hard to get to versus sitting on the end of a boat dock. Crappies are about 7 feet deep.

Upcoming area tournaments — The Warren County Bass Club will be fishing Lake Gaston on May 31, launching out of Eaton Ferry Landing. Contact Joseph Sharpe at 919–725-2620 for more information. There’s also a BFL event scheduled on Kerr out of Nutbush on May 31 that I hope to compete in, pending getting my engine repaired.

Next week’s report — Memorial Day cookout report from Kerr Lake. Susan and I will be doing yard work and riding around on the Jet Ski.

Tip of the week — Don’t forget to carry some pork skins and popcorn from Carolina Country Snacks with you on your next fishing trip.

Contact the writer at waltbowen@yahoo.com and on Facebook under Walt Bowen.