A Real Adventure w/ Lil Gene!!!

Snook SpankerSnook Spanker Inglis / YankeetownPosts: 1,824 Captain
WARNING> Long and maybe boring to some!!! At least I warned Ya!!!

Met Gene @ Ft. Island ramp around 8:00am. Right before dropping my Tub in Marrio came walking by and stopped to say hello and give us some advice on some snook action. Marrio unlike most guides is always willing to share tips and spots w/ his friends> Hats off to him> Thanks Marrio!!

Got out on the Gulf and the wind was crankin already out of the SW making it almost impossible to fish the South side of the Spoil Banks so we passed though the shallow Fisherman's Gap even though it was almost high tide! We dropped the trolling motor and fished east in the lee of the Spoil Banks. Cast after cast lure change after lure change top to bottomis and everywhere in between only produced one small jack and a maybe legal sized red which Gene returned unharmed. There was all kinds of bait moving along the bank from small surface dimmplers, 6" mullet to large jumper mullet w/ NOTHING at all bothering them!!! We didn't see any boils, splashes or crashes as we moved along fishing the bait pods w/ no sign of feeding fish Anywhere!!

My bad fishing luck or bad choice of days is continuing> GRRRRR!!! The wind continued to blow as the clouds gathered throughout the morning as we tries bars and shorelines w/out any luck. So we moved over to the outlet channel and I finally hooked up w/ something BIG on the bottom w/ a jig and swimbait combo. It never surfaces so I knew it was most likely what it turned out to be after giving me a great thumping fight for a good while! A Big Jack came to the boat-side and broke off as Gene tried to lift it w/ the 30lb leader. It was a legit 5~6lber which had destroyed the leader! We continued to fish the channel and surrounding cove w/ only a couple small hits.

It was getting on into the afternoon and the tide was going out but w/ the strong west wind I was hoping it would hold the tide back so there would still be enough water for us to get back though fisherman's Gap?????
I put the bow of my trusty Tub high and crashed back across the bay at 45degrees into the wind to try and keep us dry heading towards the Gap. As we approached the gap there was a pontoon boat beached on the north side w/ a couple of people swimming and fishing. It was really shallow but we tried only to hit bottom in the only water left coming through! A shot of adrenaline hit the back of my head as I knew what our next move had to be!!!! Fasten Yer seatbelts and put your seats in the upright positions Gene, here we go!!!

As we passed the last bit of protection the Spoils provided the waves grew out of the SW/W splashing us more no matter what I did! By the time we started nearing the end it was getting purdy hairy!!! The waves where just about to come over the bow so I turned left thinking I had enough water to clear the rocks> Big Mistake!!! Hit the rocks w/ both motor and bottom spinning her around and putting the stern into the wind and waves> YIKES!! With waves coming in over the transom I knew I had to do something quick or we would be in serious trouble!! Hell we already were!!! I tilted the engine up and gassed it catching water as the waves passed enough to get the heavily loaded tub off the rocks> (Lil Gene 280lbs~Snook Spanker 280+lbs + 3 coolers w/ ice and many drinks and at least 100lbs of tackle boxes, rod & gear and a near full 27gal fuel tank!)

Now we had to face the Big waves to get around the rocks!! From the many times me and my girl (my tub) had been caught in big water over the last 15 years in the Atlantic & Gulf I took one wave at a time throttling at just the right time to keep the waves from coming over the bow!! Now I could say these waves were 3'>4'>5' as some who might exaggerate the size, I will just say that we shouldn't have been out there w/ the tide going out and the wind blowing in against it which made these waves even bigger!!

When we finally made the turn and cleared the rocks my heart went back down into my chest from being up in my throat! It was a following wind and a very rocky ride back into C/R but doable in my Tub!! Now I was worried about any damage I might have done to my new lower unit on those nasty rocks as we rode the waves @ 3,000 RPMS & 17mph. After passing Shell Island and all the swimmers and boats on the beach we turned into the sheltered flat water and lifted the engine to look for and damage. One Good Samaritan came over to ask if we were OK? Thanks but it looks like we're alright> No major damage!! My wife would have been real proud of me if I smashed the $800. rebuilt lower unit I just put on her last month!!!

It was only around 2:30 and although part of me said just go home> My back and neck were killing me and my hands could hardly hold a fishing rod after white knuckling for the last hour!! One thing I failed to mention, my bilge pump was on the fritz and I was standing in water> Have a new one at home but just haven't installed it yet>DUMB!! So we went old school as Gene held the bow up and headed up river I laid down and reached over the transom to pull one of the 3 plugs which were put in from the outside! I almost slid off the live-well top but I got one and the water poured out!!!

After putting the plug back in from the inside of the finally dry hull I asked Gene to take us up river as I sat in front of him and watched all the boat traffic. I was tired (only 3hrs sleep) and beat up bad but my friend had yet to catch a fish and I'd be dammed if we were going to go in w/ him being skunked!!! Gene took us up to the Idle zone and passed the place where all the partiers park their boats on weekends (hadn't seen that in a while since I'm a weekday fisher!) We went back in to the sheltered area and dropped the trolling motor. Hoping to hook a snook, red, snapper or bass we hit the docks where I had luck before. It was time to p/u the old junky flyrod I had brought along> I was in my element!! Gene casted a number of different lures and it was the same story> The fish had lockjaw!! A couple of halfbaked hits and bumps but no hookups.

It was time to take Gene to a super secret place where fishing w/ Hammerhaid Ted and BiGGary I saw Ted hook and lose a Big Snook! Maybe it still lived there?? I went up wind of a point where the fish had been last time and just let us drift by w/ the wind. Right on key as we passed the point something grabbed Gene's topwater and takes off in a drag screaming run!! I went to fetch my unused brand new net from under the bow deck but as it turned out I should have picked up my camera instead to take a picture of Gene standing up on the back deck fighting the beast> The smile on his face said it all!! Yes, it turned out to be a big jack up in the fresh water but my friend didn't get skunked! I netted his jack and the fish had only one hook in it's lip!!!

It was approaching 4:00pm and now it was definitely time to head in, we were both beat as Gene told me he had about as much sleep as me and was also in pain. So here I sit in agony this morning writing to Y'all about a fishing trip I won't soon forget, I'm sorry for being so long winded but as anyone who knows me I can't help it!! Since I have had zero good fish stories to tell so far this year, Y'all get to hear about JACKz!!! If this gamefishless streak keeps up any longer I'm gonna have to change my name to Jack-off-Spanker!!!!!

Oh on further examination of my outboard, there is a small bend in the prop shaft again! Not near as bad as last time I bent one and replaced it. I'm gonna use it as is for now as I'm thinking about giving the old girl a overhaul and maybe re-power this Summer?? Might have to talk to Capt. Ed if he's not too busy fixing Capt. Louie's old Boat up?? After looking at new boats and what you get for the $$$$$$ anymore I think I'll keep the old girl> She's been really good to me since she was brand new in 2001!!!
I am'z what I am'z and that'z all that I am'z!! > Popeye!

Replies

  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 9,936 Moderator
    Sorry to hear about the rock incident but at least you got back in safe.

    Weather ? I think you got yours this time. That is a nasty area in those conditions.
    "You'll get your weather"
  • kingkong954kingkong954 Posts: 649 Officer
    Wow.. quite the story. Good read, though, and really glad everything landed butter-side up.
  • BackyardAnglerBackyardAngler Posts: 356 Deckhand
    'Spankers Wild Ride, had me on the edge of my seat. Pretty glad I left my wee boat on the trailer this weekend, sounds like I'd a got whupped up on pretty good.
  • Wishin i was fishinWishin i was fishin Dunnellon FlPosts: 930 Officer
    Funny thing is I suspect more of us than care to tell have our share of days like that. It's easy to set expectations a bit high when all you read about are the bragging trips.
  • Ruff OneRuff One HomosassaPosts: 1,957 Captain
    Wow! That was an Adventure.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Biggary16Biggary16 Posts: 469 Deckhand
    Holy cow Pete that was a heck of an adventure. That sucks about the rock.
    I have family in town and by the looks of the wind its a good couple of days to stay home and wait for better days.
  • HammerheadTedHammerheadTed Posts: 1,248 Officer
    Wow, quite an adventure! Used to hate any wind, but have grown to accept it and not mind. Not wind/conditions like that though, especially in my barge. It's alway the new stuff that gets messed up. Hopefully it won't leak your oil out with that wobbly shaft.
  • PONCEPONCE Posts: 5,943 Officer
    Only on the Big Bend Spank, those rocks can be a big prob!
  • Little_GeneLittle_Gene Posts: 371 Deckhand
    Hoy boy, I can say yesterday is a day I won't be forgetting soon. And so you all know he isn't exaggerating about the waves around those rocks... I would have put them closer to the 5-6' mark, it was a pretty serious washing machine going on in there. I wanted to stand and hang on to the console, but I didn't want to interfere with Pete's sight lines, so I tried to stay as low as possible sitting down.

    Parts Pete left out, his monster Jack... That legitimately is one of the biggest I've ever seen, it was HUGE. Had I brought my surf rod, he likely would have gone back out as bait had we landed him.

    2. When we made the turn to try and cross the rocks, he commented that he wasn't sure we were going to make it over them. I stood up and took a step forward, leaned one hand on the front deck, with the other on the pedestal seat out front looking over the bow. About the time I looked back at him and yelled to get the motor up we came to a dead stop, with a BANG. I about went right off the front, (my mindset when on a boat is to just go down when loosing your balance, it's usually better than going overboard. I've had enough martial arts training that I know not to stick my hands out to catch myself, and how to roll into a fall so most of the energy is dissipated.)

    So I go down, roll onto my back and start to slide myself back down to the deck realize I'm about to slide on top of a tackle box that's strapped into the corner that, it suddenly occurred to me Pete had recently switched out his mirrodine for another topwater plug and left the mirrodine on top of the box to dry. In our rush to try and get back to fishermans gap, we forgot it was sitting there. When I started to roll onto the top of his box, I had already rolled on top of a cooler, and tried to stop myself from going further, which conveniently was accompanied by a swell tilting the boat to starboard which about launched me backwards over the gunnel. Luckily I hooked a foot into the underside of the front casting deck and was able to just sit up, at which point Pete was looking like he was going to run over to me, as I was waving him off, and yelling for him to get us the hell out of there.

    it was a pretty tense minute or two, that seemed to last forever. I briefly considered jumping in and attempting to push us off by hand as every time he tried to reverse us we found another rock, but we finally found a gap in the rocks and got out of there. Once we were out all I could think of was GOD I hope we didn't smash his lower unit. Once we got back into the river and got a good look at the bottom end I was able to breathe a bit easier, there was no visible damage other than some obviously new scratches, and we could still move under our own power.

    Pete! You're the MAN! Anytime you need a wingman for an adventure just yell! It was hairy, it probably took a few hours off our lives, but hey, I had a blast! Thanks for sticking it out long enough for me to put that serious bend in the rod I've been looking for. Just so you know, by the time I got to Williston from CR I could barely move, I stopped to get gas and could barely make it into the store. Whew... I'm still sore! Next time we get together, the beer is on me!


    One more thing while I'm thinking about it.
    While yesterday will live on in my mind as one of those fishing stories that will be a blast to tell in the future. Next time I think I'll just suggest going in the barge canal and paying for a cab back to the ramp to get the truck. I almost suggested it, and now knowing about a bent prop shaft I'm wishing I would have voiced the idea. It was defiantly an adventure I'll never forget, but wow... What a day.
  • Snook SpankerSnook Spanker Inglis / YankeetownPosts: 1,824 Captain
    Gene. sorry I forgot to put in the part about yer falling, hell I'm really sorry you fell! Big guys like us don't fall down w/o suffering afterwards!! Speaking of which> it's about 2:45am and I'm lying here in agony after a purdy awful day of just barely being able to get myself around! When I was a young guy I would just have had way too many cocktails and been ready to do it all over again the next day!! Such is life! At least we made it through our little adventure w/o any broken bones or sever bleeding!! Kind of a successful trip considering!!!
    I am'z what I am'z and that'z all that I am'z!! > Popeye!
  • RedbonzRedbonz Posts: 4,538 Captain
    I think we all had days like that, makes me glad I stayed home...
    If it don't fit force it. If it breaks it needed replace anyways. :banghead
  • Fishin RodFishin Rod Posts: 2,620 Captain
    Triple "A" boats in Trenton advertises shaft straightening for $85.00............ Look on Craigslist.
    "Be what you is"....... Isaiah Minter
  • Little_GeneLittle_Gene Posts: 371 Deckhand
    Gene. sorry I forgot to put in the part about yer falling, hell I'm really sorry you fell! Big guys like us don't fall down w/o suffering afterwards!! Speaking of which> it's about 2:45am and I'm lying here in agony after a purdy awful day of just barely being able to get myself around! When I was a young guy I would just have had way too many cocktails and been ready to do it all over again the next day!! Such is life! At least we made it through our little adventure w/o any broken bones or sever bleeding!! Kind of a successful trip considering!!!

    No worries man! LOL I figured if we're telling the story, lets tell the whole thing! I'm not sure what I would of done had I ended up sitting on that mirrodine. Not sure how I would of felt about that ride back across the bay with it stuck in my leg or butt, then having to remove it... I would have never lived it down with the wife having to go to the emergency room/doc in a box. So it likely would have been me asking you to remove it after slamming back a beer or two to dull the pain. :willynilly Not sure how you feel about being that close to another guys rear. :grin

    Fishin Rod wrote: »
    Triple "A" boats in Trenton advertises shaft straightening for $85.00............ Look on Craigslist.

    Might be worth looking into, I'll gladly come down and help remove the shaft, and play courier (it's about 15-20min from my place to Trenton depending on how far I've got to go into town), then help put it back in. Heck I'll even help cover the cost, I was out with you! That is if you want to, I know you were talking about repowering this summer.
  • mburke001 aka TripleBmburke001 aka TripleB Posts: 1,333 Officer
    Main thing you guys got back ok, boats could always be repaired. Interesting writing though.
  • shuterkngshuterkng Posts: 862 Officer
    Glad i stayed home....... I hAVE BEEN THAT STORY TOO MANY TIMES..Glad all safe
  • Moon ShadowMoon Shadow Posts: 887 Officer
    You got a adventure to tell for years. Glad everything came out OK.
  • Snook SpankerSnook Spanker Inglis / YankeetownPosts: 1,824 Captain
    Fishin Rod wrote: »
    Triple "A" boats in Trenton advertises shaft straightening for $85.00............ Look on Craigslist.

    Thanks Rod> I'll check em out!!!
    I am'z what I am'z and that'z all that I am'z!! > Popeye!
  • leel33mlleel33ml Posts: 143 Deckhand
    What a story!!
  • Snook SpankerSnook Spanker Inglis / YankeetownPosts: 1,824 Captain
    No worries man! LOL I figured if we're telling the story, lets tell the whole thing! I'm not sure what I would of done had I ended up sitting on that mirrodine. Not sure how I would of felt about that ride back across the bay with it stuck in my leg or butt, then having to remove it... I would have never lived it down with the wife having to go to the emergency room/doc in a box. So it likely would have been me asking you to remove it after slamming back a beer or two to dull the pain. :willynilly Not sure how you feel about being that close to another guys rear. :grin




    Might be worth looking into, I'll gladly come down and help remove the shaft, and play courier (it's about 15-20min from my place to Trenton depending on how far I've got to go into town), then help put it back in. Heck I'll even help cover the cost, I was out with you! That is if you want to, I know you were talking about repowering this summer.


    Thanks for the offer Gene> I might take you up on the help w/ the shaft if it comes to that! It really isn't bent very bad though. Last time I bent one it was a whole lot worse and I rode it that way for a long time (maybe 6mo. and 10~15 trips?) and it never leaked any oil. Unfortunately I have another issue to deal w/ now w/ the trailer! Last year I put new hubs and springs on it after the bearings went on one side destroying the hub. I figured this would also fix the problem I had w/ it eating tires up prematurely> NOT!!! Both tires that were new last Spring are already shot> insides are worn down to the belting. Looked online and it looks like the problem is an under sized axle, probably rated at 2,000lbs. Guess I need to go up one size to a 3,500lb axle? One thing I know is I'm not going to do the job myself, redoing the hubs and springs nearly crippled me last year> Ain't going threw that again. just getting too Old for that kind of heavy work!! So I guess Snook Spanker is w/o a boat again>GRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!! It's always something w/ boats but all you owners out there already know about that hole in the water where we all throw our $$$$$$$!!!!!!!!! So does anyone know of a good trailer shop near Inverness~Brooksville or C/R~Homosassa??? I'll ask in the other section Louie, You don't need to move this!!
    I am'z what I am'z and that'z all that I am'z!! > Popeye!
  • Little_GeneLittle_Gene Posts: 371 Deckhand
    Pete, do you have brakes on the trailer? if not get the axle and let me know. I'll come down and put it on. I've got a jack, jack stands, and tools. Should be able to use the same tires, at least till you can replace them. I didn't catch the size, but I know HF sells complete wheels for fairly cheap. I work fairly cheap as well. :rotflmao

    Edit: oh and yeah, looking at the current weight on the 19' Carolina Skiffs, 2000 lbs is probably a little on the light side.
  • Snook SpankerSnook Spanker Inglis / YankeetownPosts: 1,824 Captain
    Pete, do you have brakes on the trailer? if not get the axle and let me know. I'll come down and put it on. I've got a jack, jack stands, and tools. Should be able to use the same tires, at least till you can replace them. I didn't catch the size, but I know HF sells complete wheels for fairly cheap. I work fairly cheap as well. :rotflmao

    Edit: oh and yeah, looking at the current weight on the 19' Carolina Skiffs, 2000 lbs is probably a little on the light side.

    Sounds like a plan! Thanks for offering to help me, I'm sure I can safe a bunch of $$$ by fixing it here. I'll start collecting some info on the axle size and look into getting one! I now even have a place out of the sun to work on it since having a steel garage built on my property a few weeks ago!! I'll be in touch> Yer a Good Man Gene!!
    I am'z what I am'z and that'z all that I am'z!! > Popeye!
  • Little_GeneLittle_Gene Posts: 371 Deckhand
    Anytime man, anytime! "Neighbors" has gotten to mean a pretty large area, but I still believe in helping friends and neighbors as much as possible. If you loose my number again, just yell at John. It's faster than relying on me to check in here. Some days life just gets in the way.
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,449 Captain
    If you guys need another hand, let me know. I've replaced several axles on boat trailers and I've got the jacks and jack stands to get the job done with the boat in place. But it is easier if you can float the boat in a lake for a while when we do the job.

    Pete, you definitely need a 3500 lb axle for your boat. As long your old one is hung on with U-bolts rather than welded, the job is pretty easy. You just have to be careful to get the alignment right. If you have 12" wheels, you need to lose those and get at 13" rims and the right hubs.

    As I recall, you live in Floral Park, which isn't too far from me. Right?
  • Snook SpankerSnook Spanker Inglis / YankeetownPosts: 1,824 Captain
    If you guys need another hand, let me know. I've replaced several axles on boat trailers and I've got the jacks and jack stands to get the job done with the boat in place. But it is easier if you can float the boat in a lake for a while when we do the job.

    Pete, you definitely need a 3500 lb axle for your boat. As long your old one is hung on with U-bolts rather than welded, the job is pretty easy. You just have to be careful to get the alignment right. If you have 12" wheels, you need to lose those and get at 13" rims and the right hubs.

    As I recall, you live in Floral Park, which isn't too far from me. Right?

    Wow> Thanks Doc!! Yes I live in Floral City! I have 13" wheels and replaced the hubs and springs w/ the right ones last Spring w/ U-bolts so they shouldn't be too hard to get off! I know I should have replaced the axle back then but being a dumb-**** I didn't trying to get it finished in a hurry before relatives came to town> GRRRRRRR!!
    I just measured the axle two ways the way a axle website said to> From 1/2 way between the springs it is 65" and from the inside of the hubs it's 76". Jon asked me for these as he has a used axle that may fit. If not, do you know of a place local that sells them???
    Again> Thanks to You and Gene for offering to help me!!! "I've fallen and I can't get up" to fix trailers by myself anymore!!!
    I am'z what I am'z and that'z all that I am'z!! > Popeye!
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,449 Captain
    There are several trailer places in Homosassa, but ever since Monroe closed down his place, your axle would likely have to be ordered. You can likely get a better deal on line yourself. I'd like to take a quick look at your trailer next week before suggesting an axle. I've sent you a PM.
  • BillyBilly ChassahowitzkaPosts: 2,705 Captain
    Doc is right...you can get a new axle cheap on line.

    And I'm not that far from you Pete so I'll be glad to lend a helping hand, along with Doc and Gene, if you need one.

    Bill
    "And the ocean is howling for the things that might have been..."
  • Snook SpankerSnook Spanker Inglis / YankeetownPosts: 1,824 Captain
    Holy Macaroni as we used to say up in Joizey!! This could turn out to be a regular Barn raisin!!! Thanks Bill, the more the merrier!! I don't have a garage bar yet but after wanting one for ever, I finally have a Garage Delux!! A steel job w/ a carport off the side for my tub! It's kinda a mess inside cause I only got it about a month ago and have been loading it w/ stuff from the houses, barn and two other sheds! Crazy how much stuff accumulates over the years!! we also have a liquor/beer store in Lil Old Floral City now which has a great beer selection!! It's south of F.C. on Rt44 but I'm also south of F.C.
    So before I even mentioned it here I had been looking at axles on line to see how much they cost and yes I should get one for under $150. I won't order it till after Doc comes over to look at the trailer so I can get any other parts at the same time if needed! I'm really thrilled that Y'all have offered to help me!!! Like Billy wrote in his post in the general forum> This is a Great area to live, the people here are really great> especially the Fishermen!!! To everyone else> Sorry this post keeps going, it should be finished real soon!!! I hope?
    I am'z what I am'z and that'z all that I am'z!! > Popeye!
  • Little_GeneLittle_Gene Posts: 371 Deckhand
    Brother where I live it's about 3/4 of a mile through the woods to my closest neighbors place. By road it's about 4-5 miles. Crap hits the fan we deal with it, we don't call the cops, or the fire department, it will be an hour till they get here. When your friend/neighbor needs something done or a hand, you buckle down and get it done. This whole thing will be a drop in the bucket and you'll be back on the water in no time. :cool:
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