Duo goes fishing for sales at Salmon-A-Rama
Written by Journal Times   
Monday, 11 July 2005 18:39
Some of the contestants in Salmon-A-Rama need small wagons to haul their coolers full of fish. Their boats bristle with enough spiny poles to make a porcupine jealous.

But John J. Arredondo was the object of several gazes on Sunday afternoon when he launched his canoe to fish - all 17 feet of it. It's bright yellow, but what really attracts the eye is the 3.75-horsepower motor mounted in the stern. That motor drives a water jet, like those which propel Jet Skis. The motor adds 30 pounds to the 80-pound fiberglass canoe, but it means you don't have to paddle as long as you keep the 1-quart gas tank filled.

The boat is made in Waupaca; the engine comes from Briggs & Stratton. It is, as Arredondo said, an all-cheese product. And now, as a manufacturer's representative, he is looking for orders, trying to generate the interest that will generate production.

He and Dave Oesau, his neighbor in Mount Pleasant, got the boat in the water easily. Unlike the big boys, the canoe sailed off the trailer when Arredondo braked his car, and Oesau hauled back hard on a rope to keep the canoe from sailing out into the city harbor.

As Oesau stood on the dock chatting, he looked down to see water bubbling into the canoe. Oops, the drain plug hadn't been inserted. He lifted some of the gear out, Arredondo pulled the canoe out on the trailer, and a few gallons of water ran out the drain hole.

This is Arredondo's first time fishing Salmon-A-Rama in many years. "I've fished the contest on shore in the past, but I haven't fished the contest on the water," he said.

One of his goals this week is simply to learn how the canoe handles.

"The boat is really meant for inland waters and rivers," Arredondo said. "It really is not recommended for an offshore boat."

But that's where it went.

After taking turns running the canoe around the harbor, Arredondo and Oesau headed out into the lake. The waves were about a foot (unless you crossed the wake of a large power boat), and they rolled a bit as they rounded the point of and headed along the south breakwater.

About 10 minutes later they were back, this time under paddle power.

"Remember when we took everything out of the boat?" Arredondo said. Well, the gas can never got back in the boat.

No matter, they had taken the paddles just in case, and there was more gas in the car. A few minutes later, they were back on the water, heading back out through the swells.

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