May 23, 2012
Memorial Day is upon us. It's a time to slow down and remember every soldier who has made a sacrifice, suffered death or a life-changing injury so that goobers like me could run around covering bass tournaments and filming fishing shows. Two simple words: "Thank You."
But look, I'm convinced that if I ever stop filming Zona's Awesome Fishing Show, which appears on Outdoor Channel Fridays at 8 p.m. ET, I could show up on any boat ramp in America on Memorial Day weekend and film a best-selling blooper tape of people struggling.
Look, do me a favor. Do us all a favor. Don't be "that guy." If you're reading this and you aren't absolutely confident that you'll be a thing of perfect efficiency when you get to the ramp this weekend, well, then, fix what needs fixing.
Is your cranking battery fresh, or has it been sitting stale as last year's Christmas cookies? And please tell me you're not going to ask your wife or brother-in-law, neither of whom have ever backed a boat down a ramp in their life, to "help you."
If you just absolutely have to rely on an amateur for assistance, then I'd recommend going to an empty parking lot for practice until they are experts at backing up a trailer before you even consider humiliating them and yourself on game day this weekend.
See, here's the deal, boat ramps are like security checkpoints at airports. Nobody wants to wait in that line, so don't make it worse by being totally unprepared when you're up to bat.
Boat ramps are not maintenance garages. It's not a place to tune up your outboard, organize your fishing tackle or take inventory of your water skies and blow up your inflatables.
It's not a playground either, so rein in the zoo monkeys. I love taking my kids to the lake. It's an important part of our lives. But I don't let the little crumb snatchers run rampant on the launch ramp. It's dangerous, and it's irresponsible.
Think of boat ramps as a tollbooth. Get in. Get out. And getting out doesn't mean pulling up five feet from the water's edge and stopping. Get way out of the way before you stop to re-adjust all your equipment for the ride home.
You guys who are reading this probably don't need a lecture. Most of you are proficient bass boat owners. But "the guy" that is "that guy" probably doesn't even realize that he is "that guy."
So help him out, dudes. If you have one of those guys in your life, help him get prepared. Memorial Day is not the time to be a jackknife on the boat ramp.
And speaking of being prepared, no matter how proficient you are on the ramp, make sure you call BoatUS Angler to sign-up for a membership www.BoatUS.com/angler/. You just never know when you're gonna need assistance on the road to the lake, or once you're on the water.
And certainly let's hope none of us have issues on the boat ramp this coming weekend.