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For the last two years we have bow fished in late February on a unmentionable river. Lots of large carp. Then it slows down every week after that untill their almost gone in April.
So we've been trying to get out sooner and see if they show up in January. However, trying to find a warm night with no wind has prevented that. But Monday night was perfect.
So we launched at a dirt access and the water was high so my buddy puts on his waders to help with the launch. We head up stream a mile or so and there they are! At least a hundred or so scattered within a quarter mile.
I'm standing up front and then I hear the splash, by the time I look back I see him in the water and hear the life vest going off. He did not panic and basically grabbed onto the side of the boat. we both should have known to have him kick off the waiters but in the moment we forgot about that. I was trying to get him in the side of the boat and figured we are both going in so I had him go around to the back of the boat. Still couldn't get him in over the transom.
There is no shore where we were fishing, it just gets shallow and then there's weeds and water for a couple hundred yards. So I had him hang on and backed in towards the weeds until we got into about two feet of water. He was able to stand up and we got him in the boat. Luckily I had a dry bag full of clothes and he stripped down and got into some warm clothes.
I started to head back and he said he wanted to stay out. He looked fine and the weather was about 45 degrees. I saw no ill-effects from the swim so we decided to stay out.
We probably shot for another 2 to 3 hours and did real well on the carp. So here's the gist of the story.
The bad:
He definitely should have pulled off his waiters once he got on the boat.
We should have had him kick off his waiters before trying to get into the boat.
I should have had a ladder on the boat.
The good:
He was wearing is PFD
I had a dry bag full of clothes.
The real good.
We shot lots of carp, just kidding.
The real good news is he's alive and no damage was done other than a lesson learned.
I know a lot of guys are going out in this weather walleye fishing and hopefully someone learns from this, we did.
If we were in a lake this could have turned out to be a disaster. And it's really a added danger going out at night so I should have been a lot more respectful of the conditions than I was.
 

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Anyone that steps foot on my boat at night has to wear a pfd, I invested way to much money in inflatables to risk something challenging to one of my buddies or a family member just from someone being lazy. I need to be better about wearing then during the day too, but as of now anytime we're near a dam or it's cold out they're worn.
Glad to hear everyone made it home not much worse for the wear.
 
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