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It could have been worse...


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It was a breezy day out on Lake Oconee today with temperatures in the 70's and partly cloudy skies. It was a great day to be on the lake, especially if you have a pedal drive and a rudder system to get you where you're going and keep you positioned while fishing. 


Hit my first spot for about 20 minutes with no luck. Not even baitfish were showing up on my electronics. So with the nice weather I decided to fish a new spot I had seen on the map, about 5 miles from my launch point. On the way I fished a spot with a nice drop off and run up to shallow water and rip rap and I landed a pair of largemouth, one a decent size that looked to be about 3 pounds. I lost another one that flopped off before I landed it. I really need to start bringing my net.


I finally get to my spot, a an inlet with a big stretch of brush, rocks, and trees with no homes along that entire stretch of the lake. The wind is pushing me around but between my pedal drive and my rudder I can keep my angle and fish both the shore and the ridge that runs down the shore. I land another and while landing it my kayak gets a bit turned around. So I hit the rudder to turn and - nothing. I look back behind me and the rudder is hard to one side and not moving. Crud!


Luckily, I do bring a paddle with me just in case. I pedal and paddle to the bank, dismount, and sure enough one of the rudder cables snapped. That's my fault for not inspecting them before I headed out. And wouldn't you know it, in an earlier effort to decrease weight I didn't have any tools on board to try and fix it. Another mistake.


At this point, even though I had a lot of new fishing grounds to try, I decided to head back using my trusty paddle to steer while I pedaled the 5 miles back. And wouldn't you know it, my pedal drive started making a different sound (probably needs the chain tightened and a lube job). I did stop a few times along the way to fish and I have to say, you paddle guys have a lot of fortitude. I don't know how you do it on breezy days. I would cast and by the time I reeled in I had to reposition the kayak again. I did that at a few spots, but after a while I had enough. I was spending too much time repositioning and not enough time fishing.


All in all it was a decent day for fishing on Oconee. It was nice to catch some largemouth again. But before the next time I head out, along with replacing the rudder cable I think I'm going to tear everything down including removing the deck plates and do a little preventative maintenance. I think I'll pull the pedal drive apart and give it the once over as well.



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