By Allen Hamrick
… that’s when a six foot wave headed straight for us. It looked like it would swaller us whole. I grabbed hold of the steerin’ wheel, and Zeb and Big Foot strapped theirselves on the front of the boat to hold us down so we wouldn’t over turn in the wild water. We figured sure we would head over the top like a fair ride, but what we figured and what happened wuz two different things. As the wave approached, it looked as though it gained speed and when it hit us, the combined weight of Zeb and Big Foot, nearly 450 pounds, held the boat down. We went like a submarine through the wave. When we came through the other side, our gear and our buckets of chicken were now a part of the lake as water filled the boat. It started sinking fast. Zeb tried to save the chicken, but we lost him as another wave swept him towards the middle of the lake. We noticed he was eating a chicken leg as he rode out the wave. Big Foot took off his boots and those big feet made great paddles as we pushed the boat to shore. Although, taking off his boots wuz’nt a good day for the fish as they bellied up to the surface. There was one good thing – in that wave there was a three pound bass hangin’ ten, and he ended up in our boat. We bailed and bailed ‘til the boat was almost empty. We put the fish in our cooler live well and went on the hunt for Zeb.
We found him up in a cove wrapped up in our fishing poles and tackle boxes and eating the last of the chicken. We all got back in the boat, but the storm wuz still raging with lightning bolts taking pot shots at the Ark II. We got back out on the main lake and once again turned the Ark II into the wind. This time, we all set in the middle when the wave hit and held onto all our tackle. We finally made it to the fishing spot we claimed as our own, but the wind whipped us around and around and around. We had to cast our line east to get it to drop in the west, our boat was fillin’ back up and we was balin’ water again. At one point, we all cast at the same time, and the wind blew those lines to where we was so tangled up that Big Foot got tripped up and did a header over the side of the boat, dragging me and Zeb with him. There we was bobbin’ in the water like buoys, tied up like we were criminals with fishin’ line. The vultures circled overhead, and we knew we had to do something before they decided we were dead. I started to twisting to the right, Zeb twisted to the left and Big Foot rolled over and under ‘til we were untied. We got to the boat and headed back to camp. On the way back, we got stuck on top of one of those waves and made a hasty ride back to the cove where the camp was.
The rain came to an end, and we got our tent out of the water and started a fire to dry off. We were wetter than a whale and hungrier than a bear in the spring. We rustled up some food that we had picked up at the local fishin’ dive store. It was either Beanie Weenies or Swiss Rolls, and Zeb got a can of something called tamales. We had no idea what it was, but after eating it, Zeb declared, “Them things are as stale as a boot sole.” We decided to take a closer look at the second can, and that was when we asked Zeb what he did with the papers the tamales were wrapped in. Yep, you guessed it – he ate the tamales and the paper. It’s a wonder he didn’t eat the can. We did have one fish for the day but had to turn it back ‘cause we caught it with the boat.
We spent the next day fishin’ close to the weigh in site in case we got a bite, but them fish’s lips were shut. We headed home a whole lot poorer than when we started and wasn’t sure the wives would allow us back. But, we had to try or starve. If we learned anything it wuz to prepare, make sure we packed tornado proof tent and make sure the boat is waterproofed. Until next time, Happy New Years, and we wish you and your families the best.