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“They also personally realized an error and mentioned to me that they wish they had a marine band VHF-FM radio aboard their boat to assist in communicating with us easier without dropping a call,” Cambell said.
Never rely on cell phones on ERIE.
 

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Never rely on cell phones on ERIE.
I always rely on my cell phone to take pictures of the fish we catch:D. Seriously, I'm glad they made it out safe, but from the picture of the boat, it looks like a bass boat which in my opinion has no right being out on the lake...that is just asking for problems...

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Misdirection,that's just a poor statement about bass boats.I have fished Erie for yrs out of bass boats and never an issue.Experience on the big water and knowing how to read and take waves is the issue,not the boats.A well built 19+ft bass boat can more than adequately handle Erie on most days,depending on the operator.And pretty sure that can be said for a lot of non bass boats out there.Not saying I've really enjoyed some days out there in 4-6 footers,but watching the weather,knowing how to take the waves,working the throttle correctly and above all,not rushing will get you out and back safely.

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From the pic, it looks like a calm day. Wonder what happened to take on that much water?
I can tell you from experience that it don't take long, and it dont take much! My boat went from "fish on" to bottom of the lake in less than 2 minutes last summer, and that was on Alum... Some moron not being mindful of their wake, disregarding boater law, common sense and safety.

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Misdirection,that's just a poor statement about bass boats.I have fished Erie for yrs out of bass boats and never an issue.Experience on the big water and knowing how to read and take waves is the issue,not the boats.A well built 19+ft bass boat can more than adequately handle Erie on most days,depending on the operator.And pretty sure that can be said for a lot of non bass boats out there.Not saying I've really enjoyed some days out there in 4-6 footers,but watching the weather,knowing how to take the waves,working the throttle correctly and above all,not rushing will get you out and back safely.

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That is a poor statement! "I have been street racing since I was 15 years old. As long ad you are a good driver and capable of weaving in and out of traffic at high speeds your fine. I've never wrecked and never will because I'm smarter than the average bear. Stick around and I will tell you how to look down the barrel of a gun to ensure your ammo is seating properly while chambering on semi autos"

I hope you either see the true risk of your decision, or continue to have the same luck in the future. Floating around a lake trying to keep your two kids calm while whistling and trying to signal for help is no fun! Thank god we were on Alum and not Erie.

And before you go that direction, I have been operating watercrafts on a regular basis for over 20years. Grew up on the Mississippi and have driven everything from pwc to 40-50 ft yachts.

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So,you obviously don't know bass boats and lake Erie,but what's your point? I bet many of the thousands of guys running bass boats up there that have no issues would disagree w/you.Weather(forecasts and current),wind direction,knowing how to run waves,and common sense make it very possible and very safe.You do not know what your talking about.No disrespect intended personally,but you just don't know.

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I heard about it from Conrad's bait and also lakeshore when I got up there around 2:30. It was a bass boat. When we got to the ramp there were bass boats running all around out there. The lake had died down by the time we got there. There was a bass tourney Sunday. There was a dnr officer at the ramp and my dad talked to him for a few mins but didn't get details about the accident. My dad used to fish bass tourneys 20+ years ago on erie and as long as you can judge waves and be comfortable and confident with what you can handle in your boat you should be fine. I do agree with the marine radio comment. I wouldn't even think about going out on the big lake without one.


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Misdirection,that's just a poor statement about bass boats.I have fished Erie for yrs out of bass boats and never an issue.Experience on the big water and knowing how to read and take waves is the issue,not the boats.A well built 19+ft bass boat can more than adequately handle Erie on most days,depending on the operator.And pretty sure that can be said for a lot of non bass boats out there.Not saying I've really enjoyed some days out there in 4-6 footers,but watching the weather,knowing how to take the waves,working the throttle correctly and above all,not rushing will get you out and back safely.

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This was the second bass boat to go down out of Ashtabula alone this year. Not only are these guys risking their own lives, but those of who come out and rescue them and salvage their boats.

A couple of years ago we were out of Bula in a 16' closed bow perching...not that far out...the coast guard came out into the lake to warn all of us a perching that gale was coming thru...wasn't forecast and we had little to no warning...by the time we pulled up anchor and ran to the harbour and got to Lakeshore, the waves were coming over the break wall. The lake had been flat when we were perching.

So, in my opinion, bass boats shouldn't be out in the open water...that's just Darwinism in action...

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Sunday morning was awful rough....those hard south winds can be very decieving to the unexperienced lake erie boater...
 

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Sunday morning was awful rough....those hard south winds can be very decieving to the unexperienced lake erie boater...
Yea, we saw the forecast for Sunday being 3-5s and decided we didn't need to be out there.

That said, it sounds loke these guys kept their presence of mind and handled themselves pretty well for their situation. Obviously some extra preparations/gear prior to being out would have helped them out. Glad they got back in.
 

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So,you obviously don't know bass boats and lake Erie,but what's your point? I bet many of the thousands of guys running bass boats up there that have no issues would disagree w/you.Weather(forecasts and current),wind direction,knowing how to run waves,and common sense make it very possible and very safe.You do not know what your talking about.No disrespect intended personally,but you just don't know.

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To some extent you are correct. I have never been on Erie in a bass boat. I have never robbed a bank either. Not because I haven't wanted to, but because it is a historically bad idea and has the potential to go seriously wrong. With that being said. I have been on erie and have experienced it go from nearly glass to 8-9s in no time. It was a scary ride back on a large charter and that was enough to tell me that Erie ain't no joke. I'm sure there are alot of guys that are more experienced than most that take that chance on a daily basis and are confidant/able. Probably even considered to be pros. But it only takes a short lapse of judgement for pros to lose their lives the same way an inexperienced captain would. It is not always at the fault of the operator and often time is the result of not having eyes on the back of your head.

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Again,that's kinda where common sense comes in to play.You have every available resource at your disposal to know if wind is going to switch and how much waves will build.I NEVER go out not knowing.If it is,is going to be or possibly could turn ugly,then you don't risk it.Again I have ran home from pelee in 5-6 footers.Would I go out in them?No.W/resources available would I ever put myself in that situation again?No.Butw/a little common sense and planning a bass boat can not only handle it,but can be safe and enjoyable in almost as much wave as a 1-21Ft aluminum deep v.That's the facts.And just for the record you should have NO opinion on anything if you've never even done or experienced it.That just makes no sense at all.I don't mean that rudely at all.Just making a truthful statement.

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A number of years ago smallie fishing of Redbrook in 16 FOW. Wave's were less than 1' as my wife was with me and she won't go out if the waves are any more than a ducks wake. We saw a bass boat next to us take a wake over the stern and in 2 minutes the outboard was on the bottom and the was bow sticking up, I'm guessing from a trapped air pocket. I got on the VHF and called station Ashtabula while another boat went to pluck the 2 guys out of the drink.

You have to remember, "Bad decisions make for the best stories!"
 

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Again,that's kinda where common sense comes in to play.You have every available resource at your disposal to know if wind is going to switch and how much waves will build.I NEVER go out not knowing.If it is,is going to be or possibly could turn ugly,then you don't risk it.Again I have ran home from pelee in 5-6 footers.Would I go out in them?No.W/resources available would I ever put myself in that situation again?No.Butw/a little common sense and planning a bass boat can not only handle it,but can be safe and enjoyable in almost as much wave as a 1-21Ft aluminum deep v.That's the facts.And just for the record you should have NO opinion on anything if you've never even done or experienced it.That just makes no sense at all.I don't mean that rudely at all.Just making a truthful statement.

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The one time I was out on the charter and it went from flat to 8-9s was more than enough to form any man's opinion. The forecast was clear no storms, minimal wind, etc. in fact we almost didn't go because the forecast was too mild we expected it to be a horrible day. WE have all had the days where no chop = no fish! Well that changed drastically and with no notice... This was my first Erie trip and I went on that boat with arrogance due to me spending 3-5 days a week on the water for the better part of my life. When the other guys were prepping themselves for nausea by taking motion sickness meds I was making fun of them and while standing on the edge of the boat leaning over the real pulling walleye off the worm harness. Well no more than 15 minutes later I was eating crow ad I looked out the bow of the charter and seen nothing but stormy skies between myself and heaven. No land, no water, we were climbing to the to of the wave and by my account I swear we were completely vertical. And to come back down the other side nothing could be seen but a wall of water in any direction and I truly feared for my life more than I ever had before! Once we were back to the harbour and I was able to find my land legs the buoy reports said that what I had just experienced were 8-9s. Every man there (Erie vets included) swore it was more like 10-12s. Idk and can't make that conclusion because I have never experienced anything comparable prior, or sense that day. I have been back several times a year sense and have had great experiences everytime. Including the days where it was soo calm it was as if someone set the boat on an enormous mirror and we caught nothing but the occasional catfish. (still mad the captain wouldn't let me keep them, can't be no worse than Mississippi River Cats) That one experience was enough for ne to respect that lake and never take it for granted.

As far as bass boat experience, my boat sank last summer. I had a pleasure boat no more than 18' in length pull s tuber less than 30 yards off my stern while I was drifting for saugeye with my kids. The first roll of his wake came in and I knew it was bad news. Immediately tried to start gas motor to get on plane and give the bilge time to do its job but it was not firing due to the amount of water it took in. the second roll came in and I knew it was going down so I told the kids "I need you to relax we are going to sink. You have you life vest on don't worry." As I tried to secure as much gear to the boat as I could. By the time I got that out of my mouth the boat was completely submerged underneath and we were in the lake.

It don't take much, and it don't take long. Have you ever sunk a boat? I would have to say I have more experience than most.

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Whatever you say bud.You're right.I only fish Erie a lot and all in a bass boat.I've never even came remotely close to sinking a boat so I guess you're better at it than me.Some people.

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And glass calm to 10 footers doesn't just happen w/no warning.W/weather apps you know that is going to happen before you ever launch your boat and plan/adjust accordingly.I knew Sunday morning before I started my 3hr drive up there there was going to be 2-4footers s/se wind and that it would switch to S/SW and would subside by mid morning. That's just what happened.Ran 15-20mph out and ran 45-50 back in.Again common sense and knowledge is huge up there.If they would have said a different direction of wind or stronger winds or building to 4-6ft in afternoon then you gotta stop and do some thinking.If there's a chance of pop up thunderstorms,you gotta stop and think.Your bad experience up there came from you not being schooled on conditions up there and because your charter captain was not very smart or informed.Bass boats are great up there,rookies better be smart,though.That is all.My point is WELL made.

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jlami, was there any recourse since this guy sank your boat?

a boater is responsible for their wake.
No unfortunatly not, the only witnesses to the actual wake were my then 7 yr old and my then 8 yr old in my boat. And 8 passengers in his boat, 4 adults 4 children.2 of which were on the tube...



They were however reprimanded for how close they circled the area while we were being plucked out of the water by two other boaters and still buzzed even the water patrol boat once they arrived. The watercraft officers on Alum are horrible! They are afraid of the big money on that little lake. They chased the guy down and when he said it wasnt him they simply checked his oh#s and sent them on their way. Didn't even board his vessel and check safety equipment or check for alcohol. The entire stop lasted about 15 minutes. PATHETIC!

The whole story is archived here on ogf... Just search "jerk sunk my boat" it was a pretty big deal!

I fully intended to persue it legally and go after both water patrol and the other boater for their negligence. I was contacted by news crews wanting to do stories on the accident and then follow up with the lack of competence of the watercraft officers. All of this spawned from the ogf thread I posted out of anger the night I left the boat at the bottom of the lake. Not only was I contacted by attornies wanting to prosecute both the boater and the watercraft office and news crews trying to cover the story prime time to expose the lack of safety and law enforcement at alum, but I had over 30 pms from ogfers wanting to give me gear to replace what was either lost or ruined. Everything from new rods and reels, to tackle boxes full of gear, divers volunteering to recover family heirlooms thought to be lost, fishing trips for the kids to ensure they did not develop a fear of boating, and soo much more.

One ogfer in particular (requested to forever remain anonymous to ogf) had seen the thread and told me that several years ago he bought his son a bass boat that needed a trim switch replaced. He apparently told his son to fix it and it was his. Well years later the boat was still sitting in his barn, abandoned and untouched by his son. He told me that he wanted me to have it to replace my boat and get me and my boys back on the water. At the time he contacted me it had only been a few hours since I got my boat from the bottom of the lake. I originally declined his offer, thanking him for his generosity but informing him that I was not looking for any handouts. We began to talk back and forth via pm and he eventually convinced me to take him up on his offer... I drove about three hours to his house expecting nothing in particular, but when I got there the boat turned out to be a 17' bass tracker tournament tx with a 50hp merc. fully decked out. I was soo overwhelmed I felt guilty accepting his gift. I truly was expecting something ugly and buoyant that was fit for worm guts and chicken livers. His family and I visited for several hours and after experiencing how awesome they were I would have felt even worse leaving without it. They were so anxious to pass this boat on to me and my family they would have truly been insulted.

I had a 3 hour drive home by myself, towing this boat that was bigger and nicer than my old 14ft fibreglass hoopti that was completely trashed in my driveway. It truly was a life changing ride for me. After interacting with him and his family I felt that I needed to be forgiving about the entire situation. I stopped communicating with the news reporters, I quit returning the attornies calls, I stopped insisting the case be reviewed through watercraft supervisors, and just let it go. It happened for a reason, it humbled me, it taught my children a lesson about what to do when truly faced with an emergency situation, to stay calm and that no matter how safe you feel something out of no where can threaten your life if you're not taking proper safety precautions... (like going out in the middle of Lake Erie in a boat that really had no business on big waterin the first place) That lesson alone was priceless! Besides how date I take any further gain from this tragedy, I had just been blessed with something far more than I felt I deserved.

Ogf has a phenomenal group of members that truly band together when a fellow outdoorsman is in need. I did turn down all other offers, I felt that I had already received alot more than was deserved, expected or was necessary. I diligently keep my eyes open for a chance to pay it forward and I take advantage of all the faculty time I can get out of the undeserved gift I recieved from a member of ogf.

I am typing this and feel bad because I have not kept in touch with him and his family the way I feel I should. Life has been very busy with business, and three kids. I think a phone call at the least is well past due... I know he and I are both busy a fathers and business owners so hopefully if I get a vm, he will stumble across this...

As far as how good you are and able to navigate the rough waters of Erie in a "bass boat". You never know what will happen that you are not prepared for. Your never that good when its already too late. Dale Earnhart was arguably the best race car driver ever...

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