You know you have an enviable job when the majority of hard working folks list your job over in the recreation column. After forty two years of hiring out as a fishing guide I could not agree more with their assessment, but as much as I enjoy fishing with different folks every day, the job still has its stressful moments.

Knowing that someone you have never even met is paying you to help them find and catch a fish that you can’t see under the surface of the water tends to raise the stress level a tad, but for the most part it is inclement weather and those untimely equipment malfunctions that give rise to an extra cup of coffee at 4:40 in the morning.

This past week was a perfect example of the latter.The weather could not have been more perfect, every day was booked and the fish were extremely cooperative. I had no days open in the near future to deal with any unexpected equipment malfunctions…… so guess what?It started when I launched the boat and returned to pull the trailer out only to discover that the truck battery had unexpectedly breathed its last.

I had to disconnect a battery in the boat just to jump start the truck and get it parked. Knowing that I was going to have to repeat the procedure at the end of the trip kept crossing my mind even while catching fish.The following day the bracket on my troll motor gave up the ghost, but I was able to nurse it through another day with the help of a screw driver and tie wraps.

And, just to top it all off, I watched a trailer tire go flat while washing down the boat that night.“That night” is a little too late to take care of the problem before a trip the next day and it doesn’t lend itself to a good night’s sleep. There is, however, a silver lining to this untimely mayhem as well as an opportunity to tout the service of area businesses.

When I waved good-by to my clients at the end of the trip and jump started the truck battery one more time… next stop was the bay door in front of Battery Warehouse on 16^th street in Orange. In less time than it took for me to drink a coke, they pulled the old battery and Whit and his gang had me back on the road.

Replacing the trailer tire was an equally quick and consumer pleasing experience.In fact, I even got my truck tires rotated while they mounted and balanced the new trailer tire.Tommy met me at the front door of Ben’s Tires in Mauriceville and I was able to call my clients to tell them I would meet them at nine rather than noon. I was in and out in less than thirty minutes!

The biggest and most pleasant surprise of all, however, involved the purchase of a new troll motor.Minn Kota has upgraded their 36 volt 101 pound thrust to 112 pounds this year and I found myself a minimum of a week away from a replacement every place I called. Strictly out of desperation, I called Daley’s Hunt N Fish just to see if they might have a rebuilt unit in Terry’s repair department.

“I think I can do better than that,” answered Keith Daley on the phone.As unbelievable as this may sound, a new troll motor was delivered and waiting on me at the store before noon the following day.Daley added that if they do not have a certain model in stock they can usually get it in one to three days and that they will do warranty work on any motor purchased from them.

The bottom line is that thanks to these three businesses, I didn’t lose a single day on the water and lost sleep worrying for no good reason!

While waiting on Keith to make the troll motor miracle happen over the phone, I picked up a bottle of scented gel that he had concocted from several other brands and it has worked better than anything else I have currently used thus far.I never really know if it helps that much with a school trout, but it has made a noticeable difference with the flounder and redfish.

I have always been a firm believer in adding a scent to plastics, but I was never sure that the fish really liked it or if it simply masked an odor that they didn’t like.We initially simply sprayed WD-40 on our worms and while it helped, I never believed the fish really liked that smell.When Gulp hit the market, however, there was no longer any doubt that scent makes a difference.

The bonus with Daley’s concoction is that not only does it apparently attract the fish, but it is also thick enough to stay on the lure a little longer than most.He also added glitter that disperses very slowly once the lure hits the water and it truly looks like a mullet or shad that just suffered an attack from a predator.

If this next front helps as much as the last one, we may well be looking at the easiest fishing of the year by this weekend!

Photo: This big over sized red liked the new Daley’s scent!