Jaycob Gough of Lewis, a third grader at Willsboro, show off his first smallmouth, a 4-pound 2-ounce monster caught on a tube in the Windmill Point area of Champlain.
There was a time years ago when fishing was simple. I’d grab a rod and reel and jump in the wooden homemade jonboat with my granddad, crank the 3 hp Johnson outboard and putter to our favorite fishing hole. We would drown a couple dozen minnows catching white bass, crappie or largemouth bass until dark and then putter back home. Life was good.
Not today. Now it’s hook up the 21-foot Ranger bass boat and trailer with the gas guzzling 250 horsepower Evinrude ETech motor, drop half a house payment at the gas pump filling it all up, pull it to some far away lake, buzz around at a casual 50-plus mph, all the time watching the screen of a state of the art Lowrance GPS with depth locator, 3-D imaging, contoured Navionics maps showing rock piles, ledges and points, looking for that magic fishing spot, hoping it holds the next 20-pound stringer of bass to load into a 25-gallon live well with fill pumps, automatic recirculating pumps, oxygen tank, and special aeration systems to keep the oxygen content at as high as possible. If it’s going to be a long day we can add ice and Rejuvenade that by the manufacture’s claim revitalizes our catch. I have a trolling motor with intuitive programing that will follow a contoured depth break with the simple push of a button on the remote on my right wrist, so not a single one of those little green fish will get away.
You won’t find the old paper bag with a baloney sandwich and coke on this boat. What you will find is 20 gallon built-in insulted cooler large enough to hold three days of electrolyte drinks, energy bars and various flavored waters along with enough baloney, mustard and gluten-free bread to feed myself and half of Wadhams.
Howard Hammonds is a guide and experienced bass fisherman living in Westport. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.