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ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
I love my Conquest 23
|Author||Topic: I love my Conquest 23|
posted 02-02-2003 05:39 PM ET (US)
Friday night I took a ride down to Port O'Connor TX to check up on my beloved Whaler. I keep it in a storage barn across the street from the boat ramp. I awoke Saturday to clear skys, calm winds, and a flat bay. I was by myself, but decided to go for it and take a spin. I had charged up the batteries overnight since the boat was last run on Sept 28. The traffic at the boat ramp was slow, so I had no trouble launching by myself. The Opti 135s started each on the first crank and settled into a 600rpm idle after a coujple of primer bulb squeezes. I let them warm 3-4 minutes while I raised antennas and readied fenders. Then, backed off the trailer and tied off while I parked the truck. The intracoastal was flat, calm, and clear green, though the tides were very low. I made the run of 8 miles out to the mouth of the Big jetties on the Matagorda Ship channel running 4500 RPM and 40mph with the Merc Singin. A brief fun up to redline and 45 mph to be sure all was well after they were thoroughly warmed up seemed effortless. They were running strong in the cool 65 degree humid day. I usually fish in the summer in 90 degree plus temperatures and was really suprised to notice the difference in the strength of the motors. When I his the end of the jetties, you could have skiied on the Gulf of Mexico, it was flat. I ran out to the color change a few hundred yards from the farewell buouy without ever dropping the RPMs. Got there, and decided to keep on going out to some oil platforms about 8 miles out. Total trip out was at a nice 35-40 mph on dead flat seas. Got to the rig, and dropped a double hook rig baited with some leftover old table shrimp I had pulled out of the freezer. As soon as the bait hit bottom in 60', fish on. Landed a nice Black drum a few minutes later of about 12 lbs, followed by two small sharks and a couple of Whiting. All were released as is was too pretty of a day to clean fish. For grins, I tried planing out on each engine running alone. No problem, 4500 rpm and 28-29 mph were achieved with either engine running lonesome. Headed in the long way running to the beach and then turning south cruising over the outermost sandbar where the water was chest deep, and clear green. Watched the bottom go by until I hit the muddy outflow from the jetties 20 minutes later, turned inbound and for the house. Running the pass I pulled up along one of the local guides in his new triple engine fountain 34 CC at 40mph. I motioned for him to put the hammer down, and he did. The boat left me like it was accelerating from a standing start. I put 2.5 hours on the motors, mostly at 4000-4500 rpm and burned 18 gal of gas for a gps round trip of 38 miles. It was a great winter day to get out. With the canvas up under the hardtop, it was nice and toasty even with the vents open and the back wide open. Today I'm nursing a bit of a sunburn. I love my Whaler and expect to spend a lot more time with her in the coming warmer months. Thank you god for blessing me with a day like Saturday to shake the winter blahs.
posted 02-02-2003 06:19 PM ET (US)
Thanks Bill, for a wonderfully refreshing and uplifting read. Vicarious boating is way better than no boating at all when there's still 2 months to go before there's any likelihood of getting in the water. And that will have to be the result of towing Outre' *way* south of here, as we usually do for Spring Break; local boating won't start for me around here until mid-May.
So I trudged out through the snow and peaked in on Outre' for a moment after reading your post - everything is still fine, and I'm reminded that I've got to get cracking on the projects I lined up to accomplish on the old girl this winter. I guess Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, so there's still time...
posted 02-03-2003 11:29 PM ET (US)
I can sympathize with you. Dropped my Conquest 23 in the water Sunday for a beautiful fishing day 30 miles offshore in the gulf. We landed our limit of AmberJack and a couple of trigger fish then decided to head back. Was a little foggy but it was slick and the ride was nice. Radar worked great too!
posted 02-03-2003 11:44 PM ET (US)
Man, it's about 40-degrees and raining tonight, but I swear after reading this fine story I would haul the boat down to Lake Erie tomorrow and go fishing if it weren't for all that damn ice covering up the water.
Good report, Bill.
But you must come up to the Great Lakes in August and get out in our pristine fresh water seas. You won't catch fish like that, but you can drink the water and it is beautifully blue and clear!
posted 02-04-2003 11:12 AM ET (US)
I grew up in Chicago and spent my summers fishing and swimming on the lower Michigain shore between New Buffalo and Muskegon MI. My sister and husband live in Muskegon, and I have spent many fine hours with them sailing. I miss the great lakes profoundly, but only in the summer;-)
This summer my wife and I are planning on trailering the Conquest up to Muskegon and spending a week cruising that area. I can't wait, there's a lot to be said for clear fresh water, coho, walleye, and lake perch.
posted 02-09-2003 06:50 PM ET (US)
Nice one, you should be in a Whaler brochure!
posted 02-09-2003 09:31 PM ET (US)
I live in Austin as well, but have a place in Port O'Connor. Give me a good email address and I'll let you know when I'm looking for a crew this summer.
posted 02-12-2003 10:23 PM ET (US)
Thanks for the reply. You can reach me at email@example.com
We fished Port Oconner this summer and liked it. That is a great offer. It might also be fun to take both boats out too. Send me back an email and let me know what month you usually start fishing. Thanks again, Dave
posted 02-12-2003 11:11 PM ET (US)
I love my 23 Conquest too...
However, it's winter-time here in the Peoples Republic of Minnesota, and my Conquest has been shrink-wrapped since late September...
For the record, it was so cold last Saturday (-21, air temperature) that my snowmobile wouldn't even start.
To add insult to injury, there is too little snow to ride it on anyway...
Don't ever complain about 40 degrees...and liquid water...
posted 02-16-2003 05:18 PM ET (US)
Conquests rule. I am taking my 28 out tomorow. It should be in the low 70s here in Yankeetown (Fl.
posted 02-16-2003 07:46 PM ET (US)
You guys are killing me. My 23 Conquest is under cover and buried by 12" of snow. 20-30" expected here in south central PA. Enjoy your day on the water!!!
Bring on spring!!!!
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