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Favorite Boat Ramp Story

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With the opener just around the corner,(i hope) lets here your favorite opening day boat ramp story. It can be yourself or someone you remember at the ramp. My favorite was the fella with his kids that just couldn't get the boat off the trailer. The kids were pushing and he had that motor opened up in reverse at max RPM's as it sounded. After swearing and almost throwing a piston, he pulled the boat out of the lake to find the straps on the boat were still hooked to the trailer....

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MILLE LACS AREA GUIDE SERVICE
651-271-5459 http://fishingminnesota.com/millelacsguide/

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I am fanatic about having everything ready for launch, and one morning before daybreak my wife, her father and I drove from my house to the Lake Michigan launch ramp in Kenosha, Wis where we lived. With everything ready to launch, I backed down the ramp into the water and stopped at the point I knew would be right for unhooking the winch. Then, for some reason, I drove to the parking area -- without having launched the boat. My face was red on the "second launch."

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Clayton, that sounds like the early signs of Alzheimer's.

Being a longtime participant in the weekend frenzy that is White Bear Lake I've seen some good ones and been the participant in one or two. Mine happened when I was all of 16 years old. At the time, my tow vehicle was a '79 Pontiac LeMans. I used to carry my tackle and other assorted junk in the trunk. I arrived at the boat launch at about 5:00am on a weekday and there was no one in front of me or behind me so I pulled up and backed about half way down the ramp. I threw my rods in the boat, unlocked my trunk, grabbed the rest of my stuff and slammed the trunk. Pulled the strap, unhooked the winch, jumped in the car to back her up the rest of the way, went to grab the keys out of my pocket...no keys. I locked them in the trunk. In the 45 minutes that it took for my Dad to get there, at least 5 other boats queued up waiting for me to clear the ramp. I was none to popular that day with my fellow anglers. Worst thing is I did the same thing on a different lake a week later.

The most teeth grinding display I've ever seen there happened one beautiful Saturday afternoon in late April. I was fishing a weedbed for crappies with a couple buddies just to the east of the boat ramp. A young couple with three well-sugared kids launched their speedboat relatively successfully, as in none of the kids were run over as Dad kamikazeed the boat into the water. There was huge trouble starting it. Finally, he hooked up the gas line and the swearing subsided substantially. I'm guessing this guy just bought the boat based on the fact that he full-throtlled it in 1.5 feet of water. A motor will really bounce when it's dragging bottom like that one was. And, I'm guessing he'd never been on White Bear Lake based on the next incident. If you've fished White Bear, you probably know about Ordway bar. It runs east-west for about 600 yards about an 1/4 of a mile due south of the access. By walleye opener, it's clearly marked. Prior to that, you best know where it is. This guy found it. Lucky for him (though he may not have agreed at that moment), only the motor hit and it hit hard. He got a tow back, and when he finally got the boat back onto the trailer the motor had no lower unit. I'm guessing that may have been his first and last outing. I felt terrible for the guy, but some people just aren't cut out for boating.

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My father in law once launched his trailer along with his boat! I'm not sure why the safety chains didn't do their job. He went out and got the wench cable from the trailer, hooked it up to the truck, and cranked the trailer out of the lake. I'm glad I wasn't there. (some how it would have been my fault grin.gif)

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A few years back we were out to the Missouri river up at fort thompson, one morning we pulled up to the boat ramp and were getting our boat ready waiting in line with a bunch of other eager fisherman, then a guy and his wife were next in line and he unhooks the boat from the trailer and jumps in the boat so his wife can back down the ramp with him in it, well if you know what that boat ramp looks like you can imagin what happens, first of all she backs down so the boat is in the water and he proceeds to try and start it, after 10 minutes of crankin the motor over and everyone standing there watching he yells for her to pull up the boat ramp out of the way, so she guns the truck and yep you guessed it half way up the ramp the boat decides to slide off the trailer. wow what a nasty sound a 18 foot lund makes when it slides on concrete with the moter down, so with the help of a bunch of anxious now snickering guys helping we did manage to get the boat back on his trailer, he packed up and every one there seem to do a lot of double checking before there turn to unload

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I have two pretty good ones. First a couple of years ago on opener some guy I dont know what he was thinking but he thought he was going to drive his boat ont his trailer with his bow mount trolling motor. Snapped it right off the front of the boat. The other one happened last weekend. We were putting in at redwing in the wisconsin back channel. The landing is fairly steep and whenever we would try to unhook the rope from the trailer the boat would slide into the water so I had my buddy hold the boat so we could unhook it . Some guys saw us struggle a little bit so they thought they would be smart and unhook the boat before they backed it down the ramp. As soon as I got back from parking the truck there was a brand new 25 thousand dollar boat laying on the concrete with the transducer snapped off. And the boat and motor a little scuffed up.

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Yes these are great stories, one time on buffalo lake in wright county we were waiting to put our boat back on the trailer. The clowns in front of us had a relatively heavy 14 ft boat with no trailer. So the preceeded to back the ford truck into the water, honest to God I have never seen a truck in that deep the tailgate was down and under water! I couldn't believe it, then the buddy drove the boat up into the back of the 8 foot bed, which had one of those slippery plastic bed liners. The made no atempt to tie the boat at all. The boat driver just yelled for his buddy to hit it and he did, they just managed to clear the water and hit the concrete when the boat fell out. Now that was funny!

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I guess that the combination of nervousness, alcohol, and plain old stupidity can add up to some stories that are pretty entertaining. When I was younger we used to go to the launch ramp in Hidden Falls Park, just below the Ford Dam on the Mississippi river. This is a steep ramp into deep water and has the added bonus of being in an eddy where the stiff current that can flow either way depending on the water level and a hard rocky bottom to up the ante. Being in the cities you get everybody there, from the pros to the people who have never launched a boat in their life.

One Sunday afternoon we watched a party with their new 20’ runabout with big Mercury outboard try to land their rig. It was obvious that they had been enjoying beverages while on the river and no longer had very good coordination. After an involved session of backing the trailer down the ramp the guy was ready to push the boat off from shore, turn around, and line up with the trailer. He got into the boat, started the motor, and pushed off from shore. He then proceeded to turn the motor, put it in gear and mash the throttle with the motor in about a foot of water. As the new stainless prop churned it’s way through fist sized rocks the front of the boat caught the current and swung around. He backed up and repeated the process several times before getting far enough out to line up with the trailer. They finally hooked up to the boat and winched it up and pulled it up the ramp. The destroyed prop looked like a wilted tulip and the skeg was battered and bent from the rocks

This is the most technical landing that I have ever used and always good for a story or two on a buy afternoon. The current will always swing the boat as you try to winch it up so the only way to really work it is to float by with the current and drive on as you pass the trailer. Not easy for the uninitiated.

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My first trailer that wasn't a bunk style!!! Pull up and back the boat down the ramp, get out and my buddy gets in the boat so I can back him in and then park the truck. I unhook the boat as I always did with the bunk trailer, get back in the truck and the motion of getting in the truck started the whole terrible situation. I turn around just in time to see the terrified look on my buddy's face as the boat rolls back and off the trailer in six inches of water, now the sick feeling sets in. Lucky for me I only bent the skeg, after trying to bend it back it mearly broke off and we went fishing. I'll never make that mistake again!!!

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Several years ago I made the mistake of filling my gas tank to the top, and not unhooking the fuel line to the motor. When the sun hit the tank it pushed raw fuel into the motor. It was during the opener on Clearwater lake and anyone that ever fishes it knows how busy it is. I launched the boat, my wife and dad jumped in and we pushed away from the dock to let the next guy in line get his boat in the water. As soon as I hit the key to start the motor we had a situation on our hands. The spark plugs blew out of the motor with enough force to blow the top cover off also and it sent the motor into flames, it sounded like a shotgun blast. I've never seen my wife move so fast and I never knew she could swim so well. We managed to get the fire out and never did fish that day. Its an opener I will never forget and I'm sure the numerous people that were watching us are still laughing.

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I have 2 stories, the first one happened at Crystal Lake in Burnsville sometime in the late 1980's it was early spring and everyone was getting their boats out for the first time. A guy and his wife showed up with a brand new Lund Nisswa Guide, (fiberglass) the guy backs the boat about half way down the ramp then puts it in park. He gets out of the truck and unhooks the winch, tells the wife to get into the truck and back down the ramp until he yells to stop. He climbs into the boat and tells her to back up, the problem was he had a brand new roller trailer under the boat, he had never owned a roller trailer before. So when she put the truck in reverse it was enough to get the boat moving off the trailer, he feels this and of course yells stop, she does, and the boat landed right in the middle of the concrete ramp, none of the boat was in the water.

The second was on the Mississippi River near Red Wing, 4 of my buddies and I had come off the river and were waiting for the guys in front of us to land their boat. If you haven't landed a boat in river current it can be challenging. Anyway these 3 guys were drunk as skunks and having a hell of a time with the current. To top it off they were all around 18-20 years old and had Daddy's boat and truck, a brand 4x4 Ford and the In-Fisherman Ranger. Finally the guy running the boat yells get out of the way I'll get this thing on the trailer, he backs up and gives it lots of gas, he launched the boat onto the trailer, through the winch and into the pick ups tailgate. When he picked himself up off the bottom of the boat he says, "there now it's on the trailer". I would love to have been around when he tried to explain that one to Daddy.

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two years ago on the pond we were waiting for our buddies to get on the lake. finally they got there an hour late, it turns out that an old guy forgot to put his parking brake on and his truck went in with the boat. poor guy had people launching their boat right on top of it!

[This message has been edited by perchpro (edited 04-03-2002).]

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My dad told me a good story about some Asian folks that didn't quite realize that the boat had to come off the trailer to work properly. They had a 14 foot fishing boat with a 25 HP tiller. They proceeded to unhook the trailer from the car and wheel it down into the lake until it started to float with the trailer underneath. He then started the motor and his wife jumped in and they proceeded to try to take off. By this time a sizable crowd of on lookers was taking in this sight. What it looked like was the boat was about 1/2 way sunk. They could hardly go a couple of miles per hour mile with the motor at full throttle. I guess this was quite a laugher to see in person.

Another one I witnessed was a guy that took over an hour to load his boat at Cove Bay on Mille Lacs. Lucky there was two ramps. He had a 50s or 60s style runabout that was tough to land. He was having a tough time getting it centered. He proceeded to turn 3 or 4 guys down that wanted to assisted him stating it always takes about an hour to get her landed.

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Wow I'm suprised this one didn't make it on the post yet so here goes. While at White Bear Lake one afternoon I saw a couple put in their large runabout speedboat. They left the access and everything looked fine. They came back and the wife was in shock! She was conviced she almost drown. It turned out her hubbie forgot to "put in the Plug". The boat drained water for at least an hour!

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[This message has been edited by Jitterbug (edited 04-04-2002).]

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Fishing on a little a lake about 150yds from the boat launch when this guy and his kid.start to unload there boat after about twenty minutes there still standing there then I notice boat in the water thought they had an awful long rope tied to the boat. around 40ft from shore then they start yelling and waving me over no rope tied to boat go over get there boat for them try to offer me five dollars told it was no problem.well I pull my boat out and this guy and kid are right behind me wanting to show me these big bull sunfish they caught so excited first the guy kept jackknifing his trailer finally gets his boat on the trailer starts to pull out truck dies starts it up again kills again/again/again/again finally dumps the clutch burns rubber he out.pulls ahead 20ft jumps out of his truck to show me these fish in the mean time his truck starts rolling back into the lake poor guy had start all over again/again/again.

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Last spring, not too long after ice out, my buddy, his 9 month old yellow lab and I went down to Prior Lake to find some crappies. We dropped the boat in the water and my buddy parks the truck and trailer, and comes back down to the landing with his dog. I'm waiting at the end of the dock for them, and the dog runs ahead of my buddy down the ramp, onto the dock, and proceeds to do a flip off the side of the dock. So the dog keeps trying to get back on the dock where he fell off, and he's not smart enough to swim to shore. This goes on for 3-4 minutes, with my friend standing on shore calling the dog, and the dog not responding, struggling to try to swim/get on the dock. I think it's pretty funny at first and then I start getting worried and I'm thinking "I've never heard of a lab drowning in 2 feet of water and 10 feet from shore".
So my buddy finally grabs the dog's collar and pulls him to shore. My friend then tells me the DOG HAD NEVER BEEN SWIMMING, because he got it in November. After some debate, decide to leave a leash on the dog while it is in the boat. So we go fish crappies and the dog is doing great till we float past a friend's place on the lake and his dog swims out from shore. Well the dogs know each other, so the pup on the boat dives off the bow, and gets hung up half-way to the water by the leash which got caught on something back by the steering wheel. So I dive down to try to help the dog, and he slips out of his collar and begins to freak out again because he still doesn't think he can swim. So I grab the dog by the scruff of the neck (because their is no collar), but can't get him into the boat cause he's so hysterical. So my buddy starts the engine, I hold on and we tow the dog over to shore and beach the boat. Needless to say, we stopped fishing, had a beer at our friends house, and tried to introduce the dog to water for the rest of the day.

6 months later the dog did great duck hunting.

Evenflow

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It's all just theory till you hit the water.

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i wasnt there at the time when happend i was waiting there for them to get there boat in from the water from my truck. i was in redwing waiting for 5 guys to get there boat in my buddy was in my boat on shore watching these dum people. they got the trailer in the water the boat on the trailer and one guy said the the boat was off by like 2 inches one guy got mad because it was off and back the boat out and tried it again. off by a few inches . one kid was screeming dad dad its off by a inch the dad was like son son fix it fix it son . back and forth dad dad son son this went on for like 10 min and one of the guys sat back of the boat with his face all red and roling his eyes. u just had to been there to see it.

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My all time favorite has got to be,
One morning on an opening weekend several years ago I pulled into a public access with a nice concrete ramp. There were some rigs ahead of me and so I prepared everything for launch and then waited.
One of the guys in line seemed to be quite excited and was rushing to get everything ready.
I thought one thing looked out of place and that was his fairly new glass boat on a roller trailer.
Well, When he pulled up to drop it in ( no pun intended), one jumped in and the other proceeded to back down the ramp.
I don't think I need to express my dismay or the look on his face when I saw his boat roll off the trailer.......about 8 feet short of the waters edge.
Needless to say, I moved to another ramp.
I wanted to hand him a "Stupid" sign to wear proudly before I left.

Terry Hagstrom
Terry's Guide Service

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One of my favorites took place on good
ole Minnetonka. Anyone whos been out
there can attest to some extremely crowded
ramp conditions. It was around 6pm on
a weekend,when we have had enough of the
pleasure craft traffic,that all we want to do is get off of that lake!! Well, we pull up
to get "in line" to pull out.We waited for
a long time,all the while,watching folks
come and go. It was going fairly smoothly
when we both notice this car pulling a
massive,tandem axle trailer down to the
ramp. The trailer alone,must have out
weighed the car.
What came next was amazing.
Up pulls this ocean-liner sized, cruiser
complete with an upper deck etc.Some of you
know the kind,throws an 8-10 foot wake!!
Loading goes relatively smoothly for the
guy in the car,which we can now see is
a Volvo wagon. Satisfied everything is set,
he hops in to pull er out.After the first
two minutes of a very good smoke show,
(all 4 tires=all wheel drive).He gets out to
inspect the situation,then jumps back in
and proceeds with another great burn-out
exhibition,lasting another couple of minutes.
Then he makes a critical mistake of backing
up a little.Now he has a set of wheels in the water,and no traction at all.The whole area is full of spectators hollering advice,and some other colorful comments. Finally, one bystander takes charge and climbs aboard
the cruiser.The motors roar out,followed
by a blast of water spraying out from behind.
HE literally pushes the car up the landing
and into the parking lot.The crowd erupts
into cheers,and we are finally able to
get back to loading and unloading.I wonder
if that guy ever tried that stunt agin??

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Late October, Lake Minnetonka, fishing in snowmobile suits, sorels, gloves and we are getting the boat on the trailer. I'm trying to winch the boat up, standing on the bumper of my buddies car. Boat's on and we're ready to pull the boat out of the water...I slip, back first, right in the the water, which is SOOO darn cold, I can't feel anything. With all that warm gear on, I can hardly get up. After throwing my arms around like a propeller and finally standing up, I see my buddy laughing so hard he almost ran over my legs pulling the trailer out. After a 45 minute ride home, I got a good case of "diaper rash"!

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I have a few...

First, this is the only one that involves me, I decide to bring my wife to Mille Lacs. She always hounds me to go but, she doesn't like to fish just sun bathe and read her magazines. Well, the lake is mirror calm, and the sun has been beating on us all day. I've caught five slot size fish and there is a slight breeze picking up. Before long the wife decides she doesn't like the lake when its rough, only when it's calm. I motor us to shore, near Isle, and pull the truck down in to the public access. As I am hopping out of the truck I accidently hit the power lock button and slam the door at the same time, with the truck running mind you! I very calmy asked my wife is she had her keys, "yeh there in my purse on the front seat of the truck!" Great, I proceed to load the boat onto the trailer. Having it completely on I go down on to the beach and grab a pretty big rock and attempt to throw it through the back window. After fifteen minutes with no success, another boat came to the landing. By sure luck he had a hammer in the front of his boat and I was able to get out his way. Needless to say I was more than a little embarassed.

Second, actually not a launch story but another White Bear Lake story, I was fishing crappies just west of the island brige when a couple of youngsters decided to come through the shallow water at about 30 mph sticking the motor and the boat in a sand bar!! When he finally was able to get the motor trimmed up, by brother-in-law and I just sat there and laughed he completely ripped his lower unit off. Why he was driving so fat in shallow water, I have no idea!!

Let's be courtious to one another on the lakes and lend a hand when we can!

-ifish

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Once upon a time, at the city ramp in Wabasha. My buddies and I were camping on the sand and went back to the truck to get the fishing rods. We had our 2 new 8 week old pups.
As we were pulling up to the dock my little lab decided to jump on. Pups must have depth perception because we were about 5 feet from it. The dog sunk like a rock. I immediatly try fishing her out as my buddy laughs histarically. Until his jumps in also. So I am trying to fish the dogs out of the drink when the driver realizes he is heading straight for the dock. He slammed it in reverse. (Your imagination tells you where I ended up.) People at the landing were rolling with laughter.

------------------
<;(((><

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A few years ago, a friend and I were fishing lake pepin at frontenac. We were heading in for the day and my buddy backs his trailer down the ramp not knowing there is a big drop-off at the end of the ramp about 18" deep. The traler went off the end of the ramp. We thought nothing of it at the time so we proceeded to load up the boat. He tried to pull it up the ramp and it wasnt moving anywhere, so he gave it a little more gas. The trailer was a littl crooked when he backed it down so when he gave it the gas it put all that pressure on one tire and the whole trailer including the axle twisted. Needless to say we spent the rest of the afternoon trying to straighten the trailer out enuogh so we could get it backhome.

Jim

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About 10 years back my wife and I had some time to kill so we went over to Hidden Falls
Launch. It was late April and rainy. The river was runnin high & swift.
There was only 1 trailer in the lot and we could see a big white fiberglass boat going up and down the river. Sometime later we noticed the boat coming down the river hugging the east bank. I noticed the guy was having trouble as he was using his anchor to control the boat. I asked him if he needed help and he said no. I asked what the problem was and he said he was out of gas.
He was doing a good job tossing out the anchor and retrieving it to navigate the boat.
Awhile later we noticed him backing his trailer down the ramp and again offered assistance. He declined. We pulled a little ways down and parked. Twenty minutes later, a group of kids came running over and told us that the guy in the boat was in trouble and told them to go get help. We drove over and found him in the boat. He had got the boat on the trailer and got into the boat to trim up the motor. That's when the boat, trailer and car started nudging into the river. He did not set the parking brake!
The car was a 70 something chevy nova with a standard 3 on the tree trany. He was freakin and yelling. Jump in and pull It out!
When I opened the door, water rushed into the car. I jumped in and and started it only to have my foot slip off the clutch pedal.
It killed. Restart, Kill, Restart, Kill, Slipping into river current, Restart, Rev the living S#*& out of it and get it to crawl out of the river. The guy and I were both shaking. The car needed to be bailed of water and a new clutch. I needed to dry off. He explained that he was out burning up his old fuel. My wife thought I was crazy for doing what I did. She might be right!
Anyhow, If ya need help and I'm around give a yell.
Good Luck...

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I have got a "once in a life-time" story from a few years ago:

When my partner & I pulled up to the landing at Bowens' Resort on Winnie, there was a truck pulling out that had just landed a fairly new run-about/fishing boat. The boat is idling by the dock. We get our boat on the ramp and proceed to get it ready to launch. From the truck comes this extremely pretty, well endowed, lady with a skimpy bikini on. As she was stepping into the boat off the dock, hubby pops the boat in reverse. She was not quite in the boat, only one leg in, as it started to ease away from the dock, she's hollering, "Wait! Wait! Wait"!!! Too late. Spalsh! She's in the lake! Now this landing is fairly deep about 5 feet, & just her head is out of the water, and she dosen't reach up to grab onto the point or side of the boat. She's screaming at a snickering hubby, "You #@!*#@% jerk!". Well, she comes running out of the water with a small scratch on her back, & it seems her bikini top got caught on the edge of the dock or boat, ripped off & sunk! shocked.gif After she got into the boat blush.gif & pulled on a shirt, she rapped her husband on the head 3-4 times and they were gone! Hilarious! It all happened so fast that we had stopped doing anything & were just staring / ogling!!! I do believe we had a big smile on our faces all day long! grin.gif

Later... cool.gif Dugan!!!

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