But at least they still bite! Finished up the majority of the project boat stuff today so thought I'd head out for a few hours before dark to run everything and get in some fishing if I could find areas out of the 13 mph east winds. On the fishing part, I had murky water with about 6-8" of visibility and water temps of 44-46 degrees. Managed to get 8 bites in 3 hours, including one piggie. Unfortunately, I got the piggie up to the top of the water near the boat to see him, but he ended up pulling off. Think it was a screwed up hookset on my part. Looked to be every bit of 4+ and certainly my largest this year.
I knew it wasn't going to be my night when the first fish got off. Pitched up next to a dock and a fish grabbed my jig and headed off toward open water...until I set the hook. He then immediately did a 180 and ran me straight under the dock. I had him on for a bit while we see-sawed my line around the dock pole. Eventually thought I had him wedged up against the pole while I tried to change boat position and rod angle on him, but he had actually pulled off. Was exciting though. Hey, you guys still get a bass picture to look at though :)
Also got word from the Early Bird tourney out on Geist that it took 16.5 pounds to win. That's a pretty decent sack of fish given the conditions, which I was told included muddy water and 40-45 degree water. Jerkbaits and Rat-L-Traps were the supposed winning baits. My friends finished 7th, 1 spot out of the money with 4 fish at 9.2 pounds, mostly on cranks. It took just under 9.5 pounds to cash today.
On the project boat, I have a few more pics from out on the water today. I replaced the MK40 Endura with the MK50 Endura which had the 42" shaft. I definitely needed the extra 6" and the additonal 10# of thrust is always welcome. Worked like a charm today. I decided to hardwire straight to the battery, so I removed the plug setup I had, which I didn't really like, and used a good butt connector on each wire topped with a water-proof, heat-shrink cover.
Ended up moving both Lowrance/Eagle units over to the jon boat from off the Triton, so I now have the Eagle 320 up front with the X-15 w/GPS on back. Did the wiring on the X-15 today and only need to add the transducer to the back of the boat, which I plan to do tomorrow. Both units are direct wired to the main battery to avoid any interference from accessories. I also added a recirc pump setup to the livewell today. It sits back in one of the corners. I ran the wire out the top corner near the lid and siliconed the hole well. I then hooked it up to the last lighted rocker switch on my Cabela's dash panel.
I drilled 1/4" holes and mounted the 3-bank onboard charger to the back wall using stainless steel bolts. The unit now sits on a 4x4 block to relieve all the weight off the bolts, so they just really keep the unit attached tight to the boat. The original mounting by the first owner was using thin screws to hold it on and the weight, combined with some jarring, snapped one of the screws and the unit fell off. Shouldn't have that problem any more. Also added the 3rd battery to the boat for some additional front weight and balance. It will also serve as a great backup to either the TM battery or the main starting battery that also powers all the electronics should either ever die.
As mentioned a few posts back, I replaced the '96 10hp Yamaha rope start with an '07 Merc 10hp electric start. You can see it in the following picture. It really is sweet and makes running the boat fun again. I had to play with trim settings to get the right engine angle. I was getting a lot of spray that was just catching and slightly coming over the back deck when running wide open on the original setting. Now I just get a smooth stream of water out the back when running, which should also make position of the X-15's transducer much less critical. Top speed with GPS today was right around 16.5 mph. Easily ran 15+ all day whether into or against the wind, so I can live with that. Now I just need to see what it does with a partner and extra gear onboard.
Lastly, I ended up moving the winch stand on the trailer. Had to both lower the stand and then move the whole unit forward several inches. It now snugs up nice and tight like a bass baot does, and loads onto the trailer much better. I'm still going to purchase a set of guide rails at some point though to help keep the boat lined up right when loading. A good cross-wind does a number on this thing when trying to load. Also need to add a spare tire carrier.