Yesterday evening I loaded up the canoe and the dog for a quick trip to the lake. I knew it was going to be a test of my patience as my 11 year old dog (Lucy) is afraid of water and has the attention span of a 3 year old. This was also going to be my second time having my canoe on the water. After unloading the canoe and getting everything dog proofed inside I grabbed her and set her in.
At first she was paranoid and was determined to jump back on shore. I quickly pushed off and found her piled up at my feet shaking. In the process of keeping a dog in the boat, pushing off, and not trying to fall in I managed to hook myself in the pants (of course it’s the one fly that I didn’t smash the barb on).
I kept the trolling motor off and paddled around for a little. She finally relaxed after I gave her my cushion to sit on.
It was a really calm evening and I found a cove with white bass hitting bait on the top. I can never pass up an opportunity like that! I made a few casts and to my surprise the first fish caught in my canoe was a Smallmouth bass. It was a little under a pound but officially the first fish in the new (to me) boat. In all the excitement I forgot to take a picture of it. The best part of catching that fish was that it took Lucy’s attention away from being in a boat to seeing what I had. After quickly returning it to the water I went back to fishing and caught a few small white bass.
The real change of the night was when I hooked into a good size wiper. She just had to check it out and was excited by all the splashing going on beside the boat as I landed it.
After I got into the rhythm of catching fish, and her checking each catch for smell, things were way better in the boat. By the fifth or sixth fish she was standing on the edge watching for the next school to break the surface.
Overall, it turned out to be a good evening. We fished until dark and motored back to the ramp. Loading a 16ft fiberglass canoe, at steep boat ramp, on top of a 4×4 SUV, in the dark is another story in itself. I have to get a trailer soon!