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Bass Fishing Hokey Pokey

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Bud Kennedy

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I have been wanted to convey this story for a while.  I just never got around to it so here goes.  For the better part of 40 years, I have been a proud owner of a bass boat.  I have owned two boats in my life and both of them have been 300 series Rangers. 

The boats have always been at home until the past few years.  When we sold our place at Santee, I brought the boat back to Myrtle Beach with plans to use it on the Waccamaw river.  That was before I knew the river was not a very productive bass fishery.  Due to HOA regulations a boat must either be inside your garage or stored off site.  They cannot be kept on the lot or in the driveway.  OK fine I understand that and realize this is not an all that uncommon regulation within most HOA organizations in our area.  So ,I keep the boat at a storage lot about a mile or so from the house.  While this gets the job done it is not an ideal situation.

Now that I am an older angler my trips to the water are certainly not what they used to be.  One of the reasons is that getting ready to go fishing is like doing the hokey pokey.  There are a lot of steps to the process.

The storage lot does not have an electrical connection for the boat.  This now requires me to bring the boat home and put it on the charger the day before we go fishing.  I can keep the boat in the driveway for up to 14 days by current HOA regulations and have had no or limited problems having it here.  While the batteries are charging, the usual process is a little boat clean up and maybe some tackle organization.  When that is all completed then I put the cover on the boat for the night.  The following day is our fishing day and this now presents a few more steps to this hokey pokey dance.  I cannot hook up the boat until the morning we are going fishing.  The driveway is just not long enough and I certainly don’t want the front end of the Expedition hanging out onto the roadway.  So as soon as it is starting to get light, I go out and remove the cover from the boat and put it into the garage.  The next step is to load up the rods we plan on using and also put the electronics in place.  The next action is to hook up the truck to the trailer and get ready to head out.  The launch area is just over a mile away and is seldom busy on the week days.  Once at the launch are the usual make ready steps are taken and now it is time to go fishing.  Our usual time on the water is only about 4 hours.  I know that is not very long but at our age is seems to feel about right.  This gives me time to go gas up the boat if needed, charge the batteries and also have time to remove the rods and electronics from the boat, do a little cleaning and then put the cover back on for the night or sometimes will just take the boat back to storage if we are only fishing the one day. 

Ok so all of this stuff is straight forward.  I just wanted to convey that may 4 hours on the river consists of a total of 2-3 days that surround the actual fishing time.  My how I wish the boat would fit into the garage and be ready so all I had to do is hook up a go.  Unfortunately, this is not to be so I will just have to put up with it for now.  Wouldn’t be so bad if the fishing on the river was decent but alas it usually sucks.  As the Hokey Pokey song finishes the phrase of that’s what it’s all about.


Donald Garner

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Bud,
That sux's about the storage lot issue.  While I was gone I kept both of my boats at a storage place also.  The first place was more mud than gravel and the storage unit was a rickety covered  structure.  On my next trip home I found another place to store them.  It was a 30 minute drive one way but the place was great. 
The owner had the grounds well maintained etc.  Private gate that had a combo lock on it.  This place offered me a 40ft fully enclosed with electricity and it was graveled inside of the structure.  It was really nice I could keep both boats in the same structure.

Now both of them are parked in a storage area my wife had built while our garage was being constructed.  One of these days I'm going to add a car port cover to protect them from this Texas Summer Heat and Hail storms we have every now and then.

Just a question here?  What would it take for ya'll to move back down to the lake where you used to live?
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FlatsNBay

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Bud, that sure is a process to go through to go fishing. I know that you've been toying with the idea of retiring your Ranger to get a multi species boat. Have you given it much thought to find a really small boat that will fit in your garage even if you go with aluminum? I had to search long and hard to finally fit my boat in our garage. I'm so happy with my decision. All rods and equipment stay in the boat and hook up just takes a few minutes.

One of the best parts is when you can't go fishing. You can sit in the boat and rig tackle in the comfort of your garage!

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Princeton_Man

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Bud,
That sux's about the storage lot issue.  While I was gone I kept both of my boats at a storage place also.  The first place was more mud than gravel and the storage unit was a rickety covered  structure.  On my next trip home I found another place to store them.  It was a 30 minute drive one way but the place was great. 
The owner had the grounds well maintained etc.  Private gate that had a combo lock on it.  This place offered me a 40ft fully enclosed with electricity and it was graveled inside of the structure.  It was really nice I could keep both boats in the same structure.

Now both of them are parked in a storage area my wife had built while our garage was being constructed.  One of these days I'm going to add a car port cover to protect them from this Texas Summer Heat and Hail storms we have every now and then.

Just a question here?  What would it take for ya'll to move back down to the lake where you used to live?
Anytime I read or hear about HOA's, it makes me cringe. While not as far back in the sticks as I would prefer, we're so blessed to live in a rural area. We can park anything we like anywhere we like, have a gun range, and can dig or build anything we desire. There seems to be a growing number of enclosed RV and boat storage units with power in many areas. I don't know know what the going rate is, but in the areas with a warmer Winter climate, that would be a nice alternative. The boat would stay charged and a guy could spend some time alone with his boat, sorting tackle, cleaning and waxing, or just taking a nap in it.
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Oldfart9999

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Bud, we're the same age group, I find it a pain to have go out and load the boat and hookup the electronics before I head out for the same 4 or 5 hours on the water. With the aches and pains I probably wouldn't be making the trip back and forth to a storage lot. I feel your pain.
Rodney
Old Fishermen never die, their rods just go limp.

D.W. Verts

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Man, do I feel grateful to live in the woods. I live poor, but my boat is in the pasture- right over there. Along the log splitter (and cords and cords of wood, both split and blocks), my tractor and my old '77 GMC flatbed. Yep, looks like Hillbilly Hell. Actually, it's Hickbilly Heaven.

Dale
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Fun4me

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The "joys" of living in an HOA...

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