You Can't sink a Ranger

Discussion in 'Boating Stories' started by Boogan1, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. Boogan1

    Boogan1 New Member

    Messages:
    122
    State:
    Carrollton, MO
    This "event" took place during the Battling Bass tournament on Santee Cooper in 1990. I was a hard core bass fisherman back then and just getting into tournaments. I did not yet own a bass boat but was fishing as a non boater with a bass club. The Battling Bass tournament rolled around and I didn't have a partner, so I put up an ad at the local tackle shop that I needed a partner. A couple of days later a guy called and said his partner had got called out of town and he needed a partner. We met a couple of weeks before the tournament and pre fished, made our plans etc. Morning of the tournament was cloudy with a slight drizzle. I believe the tourney was in april, so temp was around 65. I guess I should mention at this point that I had broken my lower left leg in four places and was in a plaster cast from the knee down. This becomes important later. We ran to the upper lake to our morning spots, fished all morning with a few bites, caught a couple of keepers. About ten am decided to run back to the lower lake to our afternoon spots. Well, two very important things were taking place that we didnt know about, one, they started pulling water out of the dam creating a current in the diversion canal, and two, a storm front had moved onto the lower lake and 20-30 mph winds were blowing straight up the canal. So anyway, we went screaming down the canal with our hair on fire. I had never driven a bass boat and come to find out later my "boater" had only had his about a month. He should have been more attuned to what was going on. The two events above create a really dangerous situation as the current coming down the canal meets the wind waves trying to blow up the canal, you get one big assed tidal wave at the mouth of the canal. We hit that tidal wave and launched that ranger into the air like we were trying for a lunar mission. I bet there was 15 feet of air under that boat. Unfortunately what goes up must come down and we did, like a rock. We hit the water and immediately dove straight through the next wave. Fortunately our momentum carried us past the next one and into a little calmer water. Here we sat waist deep in water, tackle boxes floating, rods laying everywhere, and me with a wet plaster cast on my leg that now weighed around 80 pounds. I got a little panicky!!! I will say at least the guy kept his head, hit the bilge pump and got us pumped out. I wore one of those orange life jackets strapped to that wet cast the rest of the day! That thing would have been like an anchor! After that event I was a firm believer that Forest Wood was right, "You can't sink a Ranger!" Boog
     
  2. Darrell

    Darrell New Member

    Messages:
    332
    State:
    Illinois
    What a ride brother! I bet that is a mistake you wont make twice. I am glad that you were alright though.

    Darrell
     

  3. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    I've been through that canal in very similar weather conditions; you guys were lucky, could have turned out much worse.
    BTW, how did you fare in the tourney? ;)
     
  4. Cattracker16

    Cattracker16 New Member

    Messages:
    356
    State:
    Wilton Iowa
    That sounds like one heck of a ride, good thing is you lived to tell about it.. (mental note) boog is not allowed to drive my boat..
     
  5. zappaf19

    zappaf19 New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Monticello,IN
    Wow you are a lucky man! Someone was looking out after you.
    I Had my Ranger tied to a friends pieer and some one took the pug out. I showed up the next morning and it was still floating! Full of water but still floating.:thumbsup:
    Bill
     
  6. craddock1

    craddock1 Active Member

    Messages:
    957
    State:
    TENNESSEE
    several years ago my nephew was driving a ranger down a narrow channel before daybreak. he was going about 30 he thought when he hit a big log in the channel. he went across the log and wound up on top of a dock. by the time he was through he was in the water but unhurt the boat was on the dock with the whole bottom ripped out. he got his motor and equipment off the boat and decided to sink it nearby as a fish attractor. the ranger refused to sink. he finally had to tow it to the launch and haul it away.
     
  7. Boogan1

    Boogan1 New Member

    Messages:
    122
    State:
    Carrollton, MO
    If I remember correctly we finished about 12th, made enough to even out expenses for the day. There are some tough fishermen to beat in that tourney. I wasn't driving the boat, had I been I think I would have seen the big wave. Boog