Save a dam: learn to tie knot

Jun. 28, 2014 @ 08:24 PM

On the way home from a tourney last week on the Potomac River, I received a panicked call from my wife, Susan, that our boat dock had disappeared from the shore at our Kerr Lake house.

When she called, I was driving a truck with a 2-ton camper in the back pulling a 21-foot boat and stuck in heavy traffic outside of Washington.

It was hard to believe that the dock could just take off and disappear, especially since five ropes were holding it in place, all with good knots that had never failed before.

We were afraid that it was floating free on the lake and might injure someone in a boat riding at night. I called everyone I could think of that might could help. We even considered calling 911. No one had seen anything, but all promised to look.

After riding around for an hour or so in the dark during a lightning storm looking for my boat dock, I finally gave up around 9:30 with a plan to get back out before daylight to resume my search.

About that time, I received a call from a neighbor that I’d left a message with in case they’d seen anything. As it turned out, they’d sold an old dock of theirs to someone, and that person had sent a dock mover to get it. They got confused and somehow decided that mine was the dock they needed to get.

What a relief it was not to have to sleep all night wondering whether our dock was headed for the dam. I had imagined it being sucked through the turbines and causing the dam to fail, which would then drain all the water from Kerr Lake — all because we didn't know how to tie a knot.

Fishing was great on the Potomac.

I was on the water for 10 straight days and man, was it hot. Every day was spent riding around in the boat and fishing, all the while drinking cold water continuously to keep from overheating.

There are a lot of fish in that river and I set my sights for a high finish in the FLW Rayovac tournament.

While my finish was much lower than hoped (106 out of 143), at least 37 people finished behind me.

Catching a limit wasn't very difficult, but catching the bigger fish was.

Local angler, Billie Shelton of La Crosse, Va., had a great finish, ending up in 11th after holding third following the first day of the three-day competition. He brought home $3,650 for his efforts.

The winning angler was William Kemp of Scotland Neck who averaged just over 15 pounds each day and earned almost $40,000 for three days of fishing.  He reported catching many of his fish on top-water lures around grass beds.

Kerr Lake fishing report – I continue to get reports of anglers catching limits of stripers on Kerr Lake. Get out there early up near the dam and use top-water lures or buck tail jigs. Fish can also be taken from the shore at night on shad.

Upcoming area tournaments – None I know of next week as it’s the Fourth of July.

Next week’s report – Fishing report from Kerr Lake and tournament results from Brandon Gray’s Kerr Lake team tournament.

Tip of the week – Use a round turn knot with two half hitches to secure a dock rope to a post.

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