Jon Boats Part 2

Jon Boats Part 2

Andy Dear | Monday, 30 August 2021

Last week's Front Page found me waxing nostalgic about the significant role that aluminum Jon Boats have played in my life. These flat bottomed skiffs have transported me to and from more fishin' holes than any other type of vessel

  Jon Boat number two came in the form of a 14-foot Quachita (pronounced Washitaw) that my dad purchased somewhere around 1985 or so. I vividly remember going to pick this little boat up on a rainy winter day, at a dealership in Seguin Tx. called Allen Marine. We did a significant amount of "enhancements" to that little boat, which essentially turned it into a miniature decked-out Bass Boat. The beauty of the Quachita was that like the Gamefisher, it too could be transported in the bed of any pickup truck, without the need of a dedicated boat trailer. The first and most significant modification involved adding front and rear decks with pedestal seats. Everything was then covered with indoor/outdoor carpeting. And, so that it could be used in the always necessary duck hunting capacity, it received a good old rattle can camouflage paint job.

  Like the Sears Gamefisher, the Quachita was pushed by the aforementioned ESKA 7.5hp outboard, or in many cases, simply by an electric trolling motor. We fished this boat not only on the Medina River for White Bass, but also on several private bodies of water for Largemouth Bass. The Quachita saw a lot of use in both duck hunting and fishing capacities on Boot's Stuarts private lake (which I've written about before), as well as on a chain of private OxBow lakes off of the Trinity River, north of Houston Texas called Cypress Lakes.

  The Quachita was the first boat that finally convinced me that I was not cut out to fish out of a 36" wide Jon Boat. Although it enabled us to sneak back into some spots that were not accessible by anything other means, 36" is just a skosh to narrow for two south Texas Rednecks, and all of the necessary gear it takes to actually go fishing.

  Aside from the inherent instability due to its narrow length, and the propensity to leak through the rivets, the Quachita served us well for several years until it too was finally stolen somewhere around 1991. We used to keep it chained to a tree on a remote piece of property we owned for many years, not far from the Medina River. Nobody was more surprised than me to find the chain cut, and the boat gone, simply because the property where we stored it was WAY off the beaten path and quite far removed from any human habitation. Nonetheless, the Quachita era ended, and it was time to find a new boat.

Hope you're all having a great week.