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Lake life

$10 part or $400 motor?


Gary Calloway of Wood Marine installs a new breaker on my trolling motor battery

A few weeks back a friend and I had just gotten on a big wad of big crappie out on the edge of the channel on the big lake at D’Arbonne. They were getting ready to begin moving toward shallower water, but the weather had them pushed back deep. We hit a spot and caught six good ones really quickly when the wind suddenly came up.

No problem? Well, it shouldn’t have been, but my trolling motor had been giving me some problems and now it decided to show out.  It would run for 15 seconds, then shut off for 15 seconds, then repeat that over and over. In a 12 mile per hour wind, that meant we  had ZERO chance of staying anywhere near where this big wad of big crappie sitting 16 feet below us.

After a little research, I began to think the motor must be going out. After a little more research, found out I could get a new trolling motor for somewhere between $400 and $3,000 — the latter of those I assume has magical powers that takes you to the fish and talks to your depth finder to find out how deep you should fish, which way the fish are facing and what you should fish with.

Then, I found another option.

“Why don’t you bring it by first thing in the morning I’ll take a look at it. I think I know what it is and I can fix it for you,” said Gary Calloway, Service Tech at Wood Marine in Ruston. “Better a $10 part than a $400 trolling motor if that’s all you need.”

Long story short. I did. He did.

Gary replaced the trolling motor 50 amp circuit breaker, something I didn’t even know was back there. He said the diagnoses was pretty simple due to the way the trolling motor was acting up. The trolling motor was losing voltage when the breaker would heat up due to the corrosion inside the breaker. Gary’s been an outboard tech since 1994 and said he has seen this type of issue several times over the years.

So, Gary put in a $10 part (while standing in the rain, I might add), checked it all out and sent me on my way. It’s worked great since. Thanks for the great customer service and a job well done, Gary! Come check in with Gary, Jody or Jodi at Wood Marine in Ruston for your boat and motor needs.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 9.00.23 AM

Gary not only knows boats and motors, he’s pretty handy with a rod and reel, too


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