June 4 was a very good day for Eli Jaimie and Avery Merrow. They were catching fish after fish during their first competitive college bass fishing tournament.
Near the end of the day on Torch Lake in northern Michigan, Jaimie and Merrow had pulled in a collective 20-plus pounds of fish. Their bag was at least in the top five, Jaimie thought at the time. As they drove their boat back to the weighing station – around 18 to 20 miles away, Merrow said – the motor started making noises. Then there was grinding.