Here's the ecstasy part: I picked up my Commander 140 this week that I won here on KBF.... It's red. It's beautiful. It's AWESOME! A hearty round of thanks go out to Courtney at Wildy, Aris and the folks at Mariner, and most of all Chad Hoover and KBF for putting these Challenges on!
Got some great pics of it at Mariner Sails and then some even better ones at home in the front yard with my daughter and the inflatable Santa mock sight fishing in it. All day at work I'm chomping at the bit to take it out for its maiden voyage on a local city lake. As luck would have it, I'm able to slip out a little early today and I'm launching at about 4 pm. It was everything I thought it would be. I'm standing, pitching jigs, sitting on the captain's perch, stretching my legs, all within a few minutes of getting it wet. Wow, very different experience than the Manta 12. It was really just a 'getting to know you' type trip, so I only brought the jig and crankbait rod with a few baits. 30 minutes pass where I'm really able to get a feel for this thing. It's definitely harder to turn than the MR, but more than makes up for it in comfort, tracking, speed, space and stability. This thing is one sweet machine. I'm able to stand and fan cast over this whole little cove I'm in. I think that's what immediately impressed the most. When you're up with the higher vantage, you really end up covering so much more water. And this boat holds point so well. There was a decent little 11-12 mph wind rolling through and I found my self fishing, not constantly making adjustments like I have to in the MR.
In other words, I'm on cloud nine chunking and winding my favorite perch squarebill along some reeds. Not really expecting much because well, it's this little city lake. I've caught a few fish just over 20 inches here through the years, mostly from the bank, but it took literally decades to pattern where the bigger ones hang out, and it's only in march/april during the spawn that I've had any luck catching anything over the 3 pound mark. Then, I feel the sweet nervous resistance we all crave so, and the drag starts peeling! After a short fight, STANDING UP, I lip an 18 1/4 and bring it over the gunnels. Not necessarily a great fish lengthwise, but this is the FATTEST FOOTBALL I HAVE EVER CAUGHT! Normally I don't weigh fish under 20 inches, but this thing was so stout I busted out the rapala digital. It came in at 5.89. My first fish from the Commander. Standing. Pushing six pounds. For reference, here's a 4.9 chunk I caught at Mill Creek (which is a big fish lake) last year.
About the same length, but the one I caught this evening put it to shame in terms of 'chunkitude'! I'm giddy of course, and after taking the requisite pics from several different angles and releasing it, I sit down on the perch to savor the moment.
Now for the agony part. As I lean back to grab some Gatorade out of the cavernous tank well, my camera slips out of the pocket of my jacket and into 8 feet of water.
Always meant to attach a float to the ole Pentax WS90. Wow do I wish I had. It really was a nice fish, particularly from that lake, and my first from the Commander no less! Now all I've got is a fish tale! I tried to dredge with a jig with a treble hook attached, but the sun was soon gone and it was no use...
Oh well, it's hard to wallow in self-pity for too long when you're sitting in a brand new Commander 140 that you won!
I'll get over it, I guess. Still hurts a little though, if only for the other pics on that camera I was gonna use for this post....
Here's some pics I got on the iphone. The other ones were much better.
Thanks again Chad and KBF!