The following is an article I can across & written by Jason Baggett, an avid bass fisherman who spends countless days pounding the water for fat bass and good times. I am not sure if this is better reminder to protect your face or tighten the nut on your trolling motor prop, but a good read either way.
Several good friends and I fish the DAV Tournament every year not only to support their efforts and the awesome job they do in providing support to Disabled Veterans, but as a gathering point for all of us friends who don’t see much of each other during the year.
The 2009 event started off with the normal smack talk at the dock that had been accumulating in the months prior, and although it was nothing serious, there were some painful feelings leftover from the 2008 event which included a broke trolling motor cable that ruined the day of my good buddy “Gator”.
I had the privilege and honor of using some of the best bass gear over the years, including a 2009 BassCat PUMA (awesome boat!) & fishing with Bobby Kelly, a good friend of mine from Southern Arkansas. I knew from previous experiences and current conditions, the ride upriver was going to be brutal, and advised Bobby of it as we secured our Save Phace masks onto our blockheads. Now, before you start thinking this is a shameless plug for Save Phace masks, read on…PLEASE!
As we approached Big Piney, I noticed we were first for a reason, the waves had grown to swells, 8ft – 10ft respectively. Good Ol’ Bobby was not only a trooper but believed in me to get us fishing, and not swimming. No prob Bob, we’re in a BassCat! We finally reached our destination, and fishing we go! Fast forward two hours.
Bobby and I decided to run back down the river. We were rockin’ and rollin’ down the Arkansas (wearing Save Phace S.U.M.’s), I noticed the Trolling Motor prop spinning backwards, and then I seen a black dot. WHACK! As I gently took the boat down from running speed, I reached down and grabbed the kill switch and pulled. To this day, I still don’t know why I just didn’t turn the key off. Then I felt Bobby pulling on my life jacket, as I saw an array of swirly black dots, in a semi-knocked out trance. Bobby started asking me if I was “OK”, as I pulled off my mask, trying to gain some kind of conscience of what just happened. I looked at him, and said a bird hit me… a coot hit me!
Bobby now concerned more than earlier, told me, “the trolling motor prop hit you dude.” To my disbelief I was OK! A bit dazed, but no harm done. AMAZING.
After we gathered our thoughts, saying a thankful prayer, Bobby and I both sat there in complete awe of what had just took place. After we both knew everything was OK, we headed back down to Russellville Marina where my wife and son were. When we finally got to the marina we met Gator and his partner, by complete accident. He couldn’t believe
what Bobby was telling him as I talked to my wife and explaining the circumstances, and informed her of where to go to find another prop. After an hour of waiting, we found another prop, and went back to fishing!
Now, even to this day, my good buddy Gator, will call, email or text “Go eat a prop” as a gestural reminder to all of us the dangers that lurk us anglers. I’m not only thankful for wearing the Save Phace S.U.M. that day, but I’m equally thankful that it did what it states: it saved my Phace, and quite possibly my life.