Although the weather was looking rough two Saturdays back I was more determined than ever to get out on the water. The weekend prior I took a trip to southwest Michigan to check out a fishing craft that caught my eye on Craiglist. Sure enough I ended up towing said craft home to my fiance’s chagrin. My “new to me” boat is a 14′ Scott Duck Boat. The dude I purchased it from also happens to be a huge fly fishing enthusiast. He had outfitted the boat with some oar extenders so he could fish it more like a drift boat on the St. Joe and nearby creeks. If I had to compare it to any other boat out there I would call it a poor man’s Towee and with my current finances I am ecstatic to call this thing my own. The previous owner was sad to see the boat go but had an opportunity to get a steal on a drift boat from a friend and the Scott had to go to make some room. After visiting the DMV (more than once) I was able to get my trailer registered and got the boat registered online.
The weather for the 14th was looking cold and windy. My plan was to fish Saturday and Sunday. I decided to explore a southern wiscosnin creek to chase some smallies. This stretch of water I had never been able to explore as you are fairly limited for wading opportunities the entry points. I could not wait to cover more water out of boat. Day 1 I was on my own. Luckily the boat came with a nice trolling motor and I was able to ride upstream about a half mile and get a feel for the fishing, and the boat. The cold weather and wind definitely had the fishing shut down. Carp were also in spawning mode and had zero interest in the small crayfish patterns I presented as I grew desperate and gave up on my smallie rod. I did pull up a massive creek chub, on a crayfish pattern, which I decided was unworthy of a picture. I worked my way back to the car with little to show, but to be honest, I couldn’t have been happier knowing that I would be sharing the boat the next day with my younger brother. Temps were looking up and this boat was perfect for skinny water with one rower and one caster.
Day 2 I mapped out a route for us to drift. As we did our car shuffle, the sun came out and I felt we would have a better shot at some fish. Unfortunately, the water temps were still very low and fishing was tough. We through some clousers at a few pike that were cruising around with limited success. We also went after a some carp as they schooled/spawned in the slack water. My brother and I were able to test our rowing skills as we ran a few shallow “rapids” and maneuvered our way through several brush piles. The boat fished incredibly well and was surprisingly stable. We were able to draft through water about 4″ deep which I thought was also impressive. I cant wait to see what other water this boat can handle. The day was long and the float took about double what we had anticipated. As we worked our way to the car I could tell we were both feeling defeated but I think with increasing summer temperatures and some better insight we will find fish on this hidden gem.Toward the end of the float I witnessed two monster smallies cruise by before I could even get a cast at them which left me itching to get back out to our “secret” spot.
All in all it was a fun weekend of fishing but the skunk prevailed. The coming weeks will be filled with a few holiday and family weekends so we will see if I can get out and sneak a few hours on the river or potentially chase some fish on Lake Delavan as well. Below are a few pictures of the boat in action.