Whatever Floats Your Boat

My father-in-law, Buddy Fletcher, was an avid fisherman. Anyone who knew him and liked fishing had run into him on Douglas Lake during the Sauger/Walleye/Crappie season will affirm this to be true. Buddy was a retired truck driver from Wal-Mart, a loving father and husband, and a good man. He owned a G3X fishing boat that was outfitted well and I personally have been with him, mostly watching while he was catching, if you know what I mean.
My father-in-law passed away in 2017 sadly, and Fletcher Porter his grandson acquired his boat. Fletcher has Buddy’s fishing prowess and loves to go anytime he gets the chance to. Usually with his children, but on this first time out, Fletcher, my famous brother Clint, and I were going to put the boat in and try to catch some fish in ol’ Bud’s memory.
The launching site was the steep boat ramp at Dandridge. Clint was along with us because he has considerable experience in our endeavor of putting the boat in, which one would think to be straightforward or backward (no pun intended). We eased the truck and boat trailer around and before we started our descent on the boat ramp, we cleverly unhooked the front of the boat from the strap that secured it to the trailer through the little eyelet on the boat. I got up in the boat feeling like Buddy would be so proud, Fletcher was backing the boat in, and Clint was watching from the side.
Did I mention the boat ramp was steep? Imagine our surprise as halfway down the ramp, the G3X reared up and slid off the trailer right in the middle of the ramp! There I sat in the middle of the ramp at Dandridge, 50 feet from anything that looked like water. Wouldn’t you know some locals were coming into the ramp at the very same time, perfect! One of them fine gentlemen yelled out to us from their boat in the water; the same water we were hoping to be floating in instead of on the ramp several feet away, “Y’all catching anything?”. Ha! Ha! O well. These comedians at least helped us load the boat back onto the trailer and eventually down into the water, but I’d say they still talk about the 3 men with a nice boat sitting on that ramp in Dandridge. I think Buddy would have been laughing at our launch attempt and proud all at the same time!

Roger Porter


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