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August 26, 2014

Retired? No, I’m not retired.  Not sure that I ever really want to retire. The thought of having nothing to do and just removing myself from the productivity of making the world a better place – what is the point of being.  Slowing down, okay.   My trailer, that is what is retired.

I had no idea how old the tires on the trailer I inherited from my dad were and it didn’t come with a spare, so for several weeks I’d been searching for a spare in case of the inevitable blowout or flat.  Problem was, the size tires on the trailer were no longer made given the age of the trailer.  When informed of this by the fine fellow behind the parts counter at the local marine store I asked him my options.  Well you could get bigger tires he said as a matter of fact.  Hmmm…I thought to myself.  I knew my dad had moved up a tire size when he replaced the originals and they barely cleared the fenders so I told him I’d have to measure and get back to him.  I was back a day later and told him they wouldn’t fit unless I removed the fenders.  Did he have any other options?  Sure, buy a new trailer.  You’ve got to be kidding me I thought and told him I’d look around on the internet, which wasn’t really all that helpful either.

Not ready for a new trailer and not ready to remove the fenders I decided to do nothing.  Bad choice.  Sunday, August 10, found the van loaded and the boat hitched up for a few days at Cragun’s in the Baxter/Brainerd area of Minnesota.  No more than 10 minutes down the road there was faint pop and shudder.  That felt a little odd I thought and looked in my rear view mirror…tire looks fine.  Passenger side mirror…are you kidding me….actually are you *&%(#&!)%#! kidding me (all in my head of course because the kids were in the car..tire pieces flapping).  Pulling into a hotel parking lot I surveyed the damage.  Not good.













Cancel the trip?  Find new tires?  Buy a new trailer?  Find new tires.

At my urging I asked my wife to let the front desk know that there would be a boat trailer in the parking lot for an undetermined time as we tried to figure out a plan.  Plus, it may me a little more time to fume and to call Wal-Mart.  My wife came back chatting to Mills Fleet Farm.  By this time I’d been on hold a good long time and took her phone as she was talking to the tire department at Mills Fleet Farm.  After a review of the size, etc., I told him to put them on rims and we’d be there as soon as we could.  After dumpster diving for some wood or concrete blocks in the hotel’s garbage enclosure I stumbled across some landscaping pavers that came in handy.

Not necessarily how you picture your boat when you leave for a trip!

Not necessarily how you picture your boat when you leave for a trip!











Thanks to the helpful staff at the Osseo Fleet Farm the tires were ready when we arrived.  The tires were of course too big and that required the removal of the fenders.  Not the best choice, but my only choice so I went with it.  Nearly two and half hours later we were back on the road.  What a start to our adventure and hats off to my kids and wife for being patient.

Fishing was a mixed bag.  Hit the water for about an hour Sunday after the rain and caught a bluegill, rock bass, small largemouth bass and a 12″ walleye on a Mack’s Slow Death rig with a crawler.  The next morning I was able to catch a couple largemouth bass, pike and a rock bass on a black buzz bait, plus one more largemouth on a spinnerbait.  Later I managed two more walleye, 13″ and 15″, again on the Mack’s Slow Death rig with a crawler.  Caught a load of sunnies with my son and called it quits for the day.






Monday evening I was on the water with one of my daughters.  The bass were swirling all over the top waters we were throwing.  Unfortunately, they were just slapping at them and we managed just two fish.  Tuesday morning was still windy and slow.  One 12″ crappie on you guessed it, a Mack’s Slow Death rig and crawler.  No walleyes though.  Saw one swirl in the shallows along a rocky point and reeled up my walleye rig and tossed a Tiny Torpedo to the spot of the risk.  Kind of like fishing for trout.  Twitch…boom…fish on.  Had my eldest daughter join me and other than a few small sunfish, were not able to generate anything more significant.













And that was it.  Time to head back to the real world.

– Hats

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