The Inside Line

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Option Number Two

No matter how regular and gastrointestinally disciplined you are, if you fish enough eventually you are going to run into an unexpected and inopportune case of the green apple quick step.

When this occurs, you are left with several options. The best, of course, is to dock at a nearby marina or restaurant with acres of gleaming porcelain and tons of soft paper. Second best is to find a nearby Porta-Jon. For various reasons, sometimes neither of those is possible or, in the case of some tournament scenarios, allowable. Next best is to find a stretch of bank and get the job done there. Again, not always possible or allowable or – for the modest – advisable.

So you’re often left with the need to find a creative way to get the job done without leaving the boat. My brain has been scarred for life by the mental image that resulted when a friend told me he uses a plastic grocery bag. Some fishermen get on the transom and balance precariously to do their business. One former Bassmaster Tour competitor told me that the best way is to hold onto the steering wheel and extend your rear off the side of the boat. I’ve even heard stories of leaving a mudshark in the livewell.

None of those appeal to me, and fortunately I haven’t had to test them out.

This past weekend, while musky fishing, I learned that our friends to the north – those who chase walleyes, muskies and pike out of deep-hulled boats – have come up with a better solution. As a bass fisherman I’ve had one outboard on each of my five bass boats. I always kind of looked funny at the multispecies dudes with a little kicker motor, but now I’ve learned (not firsthand) that it actually forms the perfect makeshift commode – you just lean the outside of one cheek on the big motor and the outside of the other cheek on the little motor and it’s literally all systems go. You can even turn the steering wheel a little bit to adjust for larger or smaller posteriors. You still need to bring paper, though.