Paddleboat Versatility
Inside the Outdoors, September 13
, 2013

Many times have I fished on Lower Twin Lakes, particularly to the right of the handicapped dock looking over to the boathouse where the paddleboats were kept. But never have I ever given one iota of thought to renting one of those floatation devices and going across the lake maybe trolling or stopping to fish in certain areas. It was though I had always done well at one locale and wanted to stay where fishing was good, at least in the past. Oh yeah, I would gaze over to them occasionally looking all around, watching the great blue heron head to certain parts of the lake, enjoy the cloud structures or even watch a friend fly his hand-made airplane over the water or just above the trees of the lake’s perimeter.

Recently, I had the pleasure of fishing with a good friend, Karl Morrison. It was his suggestion that we rent a paddleboat. After all, we could fish more places, go where the average person couldn’t and even troll. Exercise was part of the package. Our weekend excursions for a few hours or so have now become a tradition.

Renting paddleboats can be fun regardless of intentions. It is an enjoyable way to cruise the lake, explore the nicks and crannies and delight in the great outdoors. And that is what we were there for – to do just that with a certain “sideline” or two to boot – fish and find the honey holes where schools of bluegills were in session. We located two or three which brought smiles to our faces.

Tell me, now. Where could one get a better deal? The price is only $14 for four hours? How could anyone go wrong? And so we decided to give it a try.

We had many little surprises that made the trip more fun than we ever imagined. Looking at the boats from the dock gave us plausibility. Renting them proved their worth in actuality in more ways than we ever imagined.

Originally, we thought we would be cramped for space and only take a minimum amount of stuff. We were wrong. What blessings awaited us. First, we felt very secure in as much as “tipability” didn’t exist. To me, it was like riding in a small version of a pontoon boat without the shade features. Sure, peddling was a necessity. Compare it to a bicycle, for example, and nothing happens unless one puts his best foot forward and follows with the other. I don’t know if this is true for all of us, but for me, I am left-handed, so I will do so with my right foot. I can only surmise that right-handed individuals do so with the left foot.

Anyway, back to the story, Karl and I found a honey hole for bluegills, the fish we were attempting to catch and eat. I have swallowed my words in the past and so have to confess, I have to do it here, again. There are also big bluegill in Lower Twin Lake as well. Previously, I reported that the species were bigger in the upper lake. I don’t mind eating my words – and the fish we caught. Never have I ever caught a “gill” exceeding ten and one-half inches weighing over eight-tenths of a pound. That “baby” was the largest I’ve ever seen or caught, as far as that goes.

We both caught keepers – enough for occasional dining for the week. And what were Karl’s sediments about renting a paddleboat? “I really like these boats. Let’s go fishing with these in the future.” I concurred and I think the general public will do so also. Don’t do what I did for so many years – just look at them. Try them out. It just may be others cup of tea as well!

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Keep in mind, Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited chapter’s meetings resume the third Wednesday of each month at the Winnie Palmer Nature Center beginning promptly at 7 p.m.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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