|I have a fishing buddy, also named Dave, who I like to brag about. Not because he's got a butter smooth cast, or has caught more 20" trout on his 4wt than anyone I know, but for his tournament Bass fishing.|
He runs a 21' Ranger Z, and is two time champ of a local tournament. He's also finished in the money several times at other various local tournaments. If you're a local bass angler, you probably know who he is. Now there is one more thing to brag about.
Because we have fished together since Cub Scouts, he often invites me on his boat and let's me fly cast while he uses conventional tackle. By the way, if you have a gunnel hitting cast like me, fishing out of a Bass boat is quite spectacular. Anyway, we had a great day on the Forebay yesterday. Found them at Medeiros and check 12. By the evening, the wind started blowing with some rolling waves, so we decided to call it a day. The Ranger really moves well in these conditions, so we were flying on our way to the ramp when he spotted something off in the distance to the side of us. To me, it looked like a styrofoam ice chest or white cardboard box; just some junk you often see in the Forebay. Dave thought we should have a quick look since the rollers and wind were making it difficult to see from a distance. When we were about 300ft away, we could start to tell it was a capsized jet ski. We then noticed a man floating in the water near to us. He was wearing a vest, but it looked too small for him, so his head was barely above the rollers. He was so exhausted, he couldn't raise his arms to wave for help. We came up to him, but he was too tired to swim the 2 to 3 feet to the boat. Dave is an expert at using the trolling motor, so he dropped it and maneuvered the back of the boat, where the swim ladder is, to the man. I helped him on board where he collapsed once on deck. Dave asked if he was OK, and the only thing he could say was "my son and daughter". We instantly looked over at the floating hull, and could barely see two kids clinging to the back. Dave got on the motor, and we were there immediately. The kids were young and terrified. The son, maybe 6, was visibly shivering and would not respond to commands, or let go if the hull. Dave expertly maneuvered the boat again, and I was able to grab and hoist him aboard. The daughter was older by a few years, but she also would not let go of the hull. I had to grab her hand and guide her to the ladder. Dave tied up the ski, gave the boy a towel and idled across most of the lake to the ramp. There were tears, kisses and hugs while the dad recovered and thanked us.
We were met at the dock by the rangers, a lifeguard and the man's family members. Thanks were passed along by all, and I redirected any gratitude towards me to Dave.
We only saw one boat left on the lake over at Medieros, so I am really thankful for Dave's keen eyesight and intuition because it could have gone really bad. Fortunately, the right guy was there to help. Of all the great things I can say about Dave, this is the one that truly deserves mention.