There’s Fishing.. Then There’s Catching

Catching is Better Than Fishing!

Catching is Better Than Fishing!

I fish more than I catch.  It’s a horrible truth that’s hard to admit.  There is nothing I love more than getting out on the water and fishing.  The anticipation, the hope, the dreams of a great fish dinner.  I can keep that anticipation and hope alive for hours, and often do, waiting for that tide change, waiting for the moon phase to bring the fish to me, trying to find the best ambush spot, praying, lots of praying.   But sometimes nothing you can do makes it happen.  You paddle or ride in with the adrenaline of the day flagging and with sad knowledge it was a blank day.  Wannh!

But then there’s those catching days where you can do no wrong. Every cast is a hookup and you feel like a champion tournament winner!   I was fortunate to experience one of those recently down in one the best fishin’ holes in the world, Englewood Florida.   Englewood is South of Venice and North of Boca Grande.  There are miles of mangroves and the famous “Stump Pass” is what makes the fishing here so great!   Fish enter and exit this small pass with the tides.  The variety and quantity can be mind boggling but the prey, in my mind is trout, redfish and snook.

This particular day, my family wanted to go the beach.  We opted to take the boat since parking at Stump Pass is so limited.  We ran out the intercoastal and whipped up ski alley where I dropped off the beach goers.    I put the Scout in reverse and just backed across ski alley to the other side, anchored up by a fallen australian pine and baited up.  The tide was ripping in.  I cast upstream and drifted down  First cast STRIKE!  Trout on the line!  Landed and in the cooler.  Second cast.. nother one!  Third cast… YEP!!!  I stopped for a minute to text the family to say “non-stop fishing action guys!”  They decide to join me so I ran over and picked em up.  For the next 2 hours, we caught sheeps head, trout and ohh la la.. that gorgeous redfish you see in the picture!  Talk about heaven!

The day was good and fish for dinner was a reality not a dream.

 

Alzheimer’s Disease Visits Again

Losing my mom to Alzheimer’s happened in 2007.  It was a 5 year road of gradual decline, leading to the end.  Now, it’s my aunt’s turn I guess.  To the family, the signs have been unmistakable for some time, but accepting it and actually bringing it up to her was just too hard.   My aunt,  is an independent, never married, 85 year old lady of the south who insists “there is nothing wrong with me, my memory is fine!”  But the truth is, there is something very wrong.  It was very difficult to reason with her why she needed to go to the doctor.  ” I’m not sick, I’m fine, and I’m not going.”  Nevertheless, the appointment was made and we convinced her to go. Continue reading

Hot Tub Safety

Sometimes We Forget About Safety Around Hot Tubs

Hot tubs and spas are a popular retreat for many and why not?  There is nothing in the world like the sensations one receives while enjoying a hot tub:  Soothing heat, hydrotherapy massage, that “melting away” sensation that allows one’s mind to relax no matter what kind of a day you’ve had.

For many, a hot tub can be a respite from the pain of arthritis or sports injuries.  For others a social centerpiece for their home, and for still others, a private escape and maybe all of the above.

It’s sometimes hard to even think about the safety aspects of your hot tub because so many good feelings are enjoyed there.  But sometimes it’s the good feelings that might let us forget about certain safety issues.   If you own a hot tub now or are considering buying a hot tub, this list of hot tub safety items can help us all be aware and reminded that safety is important around hot tubs. Continue reading

Ginnie Springs: Don’t Go Without Earplugs

Kalle and I wanted to reinforce the efforts of whoever had the courage to drive over there and tell them to turn it down and we both screamed something refined, in unison like ” YES ASSSHOLLLLLES  ITS TOOO LOUD!!!”

Arriving at the privately owned  campground  at Ginnie Springs is a bit overwhelming. Ginnie Springs Outdoors LLC operates this privately owned nature park, with over 200 acres of pure woodsy Florida located on the Santa Fe River.  It is a very popular north Florida destination for campers, divers, tubers, and folks with all night partying on their mind.  Checking in on a weekend involves lines to the check in area inside a well appointed dive shop, filling out forms and signing away your right to sue the owners for any possible mishap.

Security is high.  Sneaking into Ginnie Springs will probably not be an option unless you are in someone’s trunk.  You can’t even leave Ginnie Springs park without driving past a guard.

The 7 dramatic crystal clear springs located on the property, make the park popular with scuba divers, snorklers and cave divers. All springs feed the Santa Fe River and tubing down the river from one end of the park to the other is popular pastime. Certified Cave divers can explore over 30,000 feet of passageways in the Devil’s Eye and Devil’s Ear cave system.

Fees are a bit steep.  Campers pay a per day per person charge and must also pay a per day per person charge for use of the park.  Our party, 2 adults and one child were charged over 150.00 for a 3 night stay.  In return, you are turned loose in the campground to choose from a huge plethora of campsites, plenty located directly on the river.  It probably doesn’t matter what time you arrive.. there will still be an acceptable campsite at Ginnie  Springs.  While there are a lot of sites on the river there are still more in the woods surrounding.  You will find a suitable site just about on any weekend  There is much property, all wooded all with primitive campsites set up. Continue reading

The Island of Cayo Costa, Unspoiled Florida Beauty

The Florida State Park of Cayo Costa is located right across Boca Grande Pass to the South and is accessible only by boat or ferry. It had been almost 15 years since I’d visited and I suggested it for a 3 night family getaway right before Thanksgiving.   Cayo Costa has both camping cabins and a tent area, but even in cabins, it is rustic, primitive camping experience.  There is no electricity on Cayo Costa. No water at your cabin or campsite.  There are bathrooms and water is available there.

We decided we’d take the parents 17 foot Scout to the island, traveling from their home in  Englewood.   Loading the truck was a chore with a huge cooler, giant tent, a load of firewood, fishing stuff, clothes for three, cooking gear and “W” the nickname we applied to wine.  This was one vacation where everything was lugged.  We lugged the stuff outa the truck to the dock at Jim and Faye’s, staging it for loading the boat in the morning.  In the morning, we lugged everything to the boat and loaded it carefully so that it wouldn’t sink. Finally, we were set to run to CayoCosta, about an hour away by boat.. Continue reading