Sunday, August 21, 2016

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Monday, May 09, 2016


Yep, the guys got skunked as far as take-home fish but since we're learning how to use the GoPro and my video editing software, I put together a 4:45 minute video.   

Our goal is to essentially put together quality fishing videos for our friends and family.  

Tight Lines!

Saturday, February 06, 2016


by Robin

Since Florida doesn't seem to be participating in Winter this year, we realized we may need to get prepared for the spring migration a bit sooner. Plus, our weather was too rainy for any yard projects. We decided to have our weekend date at Bass Pro Shop.

I love my man.  He totally gets my hatred for shopping and yet, love of fishing.  I thought we struck a nice balance of looking at boats, getting me something to snack on before my blood sugar completely crashed, then continue looking for lures, rods, knife sharpeners and such.

(New tripletail 7 ft rod on left, 2 spinner rods on right)
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I'd say it was a pretty good trip, followed up with a nice lunch at Chik-fil-A.

(We're set up for tripletail, cobia, tarpon and bait!)
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Followed by a trip to Northern Tools for more boat canopy bungees.  :)

Happy Fishing!

BOAT BARN (Canopy, really)

by Robin

So, for the past three weekends, we got to do this massive under-taking.  I say "we" lightly because it was mostly "them" and only "me" at the end with the light work.  I'm more like their chef and cheerleader.  Totally a way to involve the entire family and pretty much anybody who came onto the property.  ha ha.

Step 1 was the dismantling of the original fence.  It had a double-gate that was worthless.  Couldn't even open the left side.  We pulled two panels down.

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We were able to repurpose those two panels and then only custom build that last 7 feet and new gate.  I love my new gate!  It requires no lifting or pushing any more!  Totally glides open with a slight nudge of a finger.  Thanks babe!

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That was the first weekend's work.  But then, we were left looking at this jungle in the space.  Well, I just realized that we're missing the one dead tree. I guess they cut that down before I could take a picture.  It was so dead and ready to push over.

Jack and my oldest took their chainsaws to the small left palm and a side-winding one, hard to see in this picture.  Weekend 2 began with removing the bigger palm on the right.  Two days!!  Stumps were removed and dirt tramped down.

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But, when weekend #2 was over, it looked pretty useable.  We threw some extra stone there (but it needs more).  I wanna say this gave us about 15-18 more feet of room.

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Weekend #3 began every morning with a trip to Home Depot or Lowe's.   When you buy this much from HD, they think you're a contractor and give you the contractor's discount.  Thanks Home Depot!!!

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Jack followed a website called Frugal Living and this was close to what he recommended to do.  Because we can't build over the water lines and we didn't want to go through the trouble of getting permits for a permanent structure, we built something that is (re)movable.

Jack and my youngest cut 3 ft sections of the largest pipe.  Then, we drove the pipes about half-way in the ground.  It was supposed to be a full 2 ft, but circumstances dictated where they currently sat.  Also, some roots did dictate things too.  See that red tool?  Best $27 ever spent on a project. Slammed those poles right down.

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End of day 1.  Bases in ground.  Long side poles are sitting in their bases waiting to be adjusted for horizonal height.  It's hard to see, but on the left side of the boat, there is a horizontal pole going across the tops.   Little bolts were put into the base & side poles to keep them secure for height and for wind.

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(Ignore my house!  It's totally getting painted this spring!)

Below, you see Jack on the left and my eldest on the right.  They put in 2 stabilizer poles (11 ft) after the horizontal edges were complete.  Everything was checked for squareness.  Since our eldest is in engineering school, he helped with the dimensions for the perfect pitch on our trusses.    The sides are 10 ft 3 in.  The top is 13 ft 3 in.   We considered 4 & 5 ft but turns out 3 ft was exactly what we had envisioned. Also, while I'm giving out dimensions, I should note that our boat is 35 ft from tongue of trailer to propeller, hence the 40 ft tarp.  The "barn" was actually shortened by five feet during our building process.  (Didn't want to fight that one pole during the backing process.)

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End of day 2 (3rd weekend, if you're confused).  LOL  We added in a 3rd helper.  My eldest has his favorite girl helping to hold the backbone pipe.

It's beginning to look a lot like a boat barn!  The front stabilizer bar is removed and we left the back one.

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Beginning day 3 (of the 3rd weekend), Jack took the day off.  He couldn't let the project sit with only the tarp to put into place.   He also put in those little bars at the top of the trusses for more stability.  (That was my idea!)  He taped all the edges where nuts &  bolts could rub the tarp.

By lunch time, we enlisted the whole group to pull the tarp over with ropes.  Our eldest is on a 6 ft ladder, in the bed of the truck.  Safety NOT first!

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After the tarp was secured, it looked like this (below).  Yes, we know it is uneven.  Yes, it isn't complete yet.  Yes, more work was done yesterday & today to tighten the tarp and bungee it down better.

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Here's the purpose behind the uneven tarp.  We have this massive forest to the right and in the next month, millions of oak leaves and then seed pods will fall from right side.  When the boat was in the barn (not shown), the sides of the boat come up to where the tarp stops.  It is just perfect for preventing many leaves from falling inside.  Also, I like that the sunny side (left) will allow us to see into the boat longer at night when we come into trips.  There are also flood lights off the house that point to the boat.  It will be perfect for backing and parking into the dusk from long fishing trips.

Found a picture!  This is what we deal with on a daily basis, in the late winter/ early spring, without the tarp.

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That is our winter project this year!

We're currently looking for calm wind days so that we can head out for cobia fishing.  Possibly some tripletail too!

Happy Fishing,
PS: Although, this weekend, small craft exercise caution!  The waves are going up to 10 ft!!

Six months later......

by Robin

I don't even know where to begin when I've been absent for six months.  I guess one could say that I've been busy on social media.  True.  I've been busy with school.  True.  I've also reignited a former passion, horses.  True.

I fished once after our scalloping vacation, in December.  Wind was blowing.  Nothing was biting.  There was definitely nothing to write home about.  Or blog.  I couldn't even find a single picture in my folder. Sad.

Jack did catch these fish in October when he fished with a coworker.
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But, as it always happens every year after the holidays pass and we settle down into schooling routines, Jack finds a good winter project for the boat.  We've barely had winter.  The azaleas are blooming and I heard a report last week about the mantas running in the area.

Now, I can't help but think of fishing.  (And gardening, but that's another blog.)

So, I'm going to revive this blog for now.  I can't stop my tradition of posting up great fishing trips even though my boys are much older now and we mostly fish without them.

Here it goes....  off to write my blog on our new boat barn!

Tight lines,

Monday, July 13, 2015


by Robin

We're coming up on our 3rd anniversary of our disaster vacation over at Crystal River.  In short, the plan was to scallop, fish through the night, scallop more and get a room the 2nd night.  Then, springs and leave the 3rd day.   The weather was supposed to be PERFECT.  Ooooh.... nothing turned out right.

This is long but here is the 3 parts.  I just realized I never wrote the 4th part.

Scallop & Checking the skies - Part 1

Storm is approaching - Part 2

Surviving a Night of Seasickness - Part 3

Praying for a SAFE vacation this year.

SCALLOP VACATION!! - time to prep

by Robin

It's that time again.  We bumped our trip up to July for multiple reasons.  One of the biggest was that it was super hard for us to go from vacation mode into school mode the next week.  Secondly, our eldest is changing to the University and he start date is much later after our co-op begins for home schooling.

I can't wait to do this again.  Looks like we have some friends joining us again this year.

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Last year's trip pictures!!

In search of.... these!

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My list, prep stuff to get cooking with peanut oil!!

Underwater picture of tree fallen in the springs.
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Us scalloping.

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Monday, June 08, 2015

INLET - 6.8.15

by Robin

Jack was dying to go back offshore after church since the boat was still hooked up but my body wasn't willing to cooperate.  He tried to get some friends to go.  No go.

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I don't know how he managed to do this, but he talked me into getting some mud minnows and playing in the port.  Wind was whipping hard from the east, so we stayed in the channel, mostly the locks. I have a cool story about the Freedom of the Seas making an emergency stop to the port to drop off an emergent patient but that will have to be done tomorrow or another day.

These photos were taken AFTER it left the docks.  Sun was setting & fish were biting.

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You can't see it here but Jack had a flounder in his hands.

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Basically, I wanted to share my sunset photos.  I didn't catch one fish all evening.  Jack caught a crevalle jack, small mangrove and 2 flounder.  Only the one flounder came home with us.

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My evening shots.  I am learning how to use my advanced settings with my new camera.  These were taken in manual mode.

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First Choice looks magnificent under the amber lights.  My exposure was set for 2 minutes.

Hope you had a peaceful & fun weekend.

OFFSHORE - 6/6/15 - King fish

by Robin

It was a FSFA tourny day but we did not register.  In fact, we went rather late to avoid the morning rush.  We were on the water by 9 am.   It was Jack's plan to troll.  He was first up to reel when the line went screaming.

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Unfortunately, it was only a barracuda.

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Look at the teeth on him!!!  Jack had to be very careful when getting him off the hook.

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This is called a Fire Rainbow.  I learned today that it happens when the sun is higher than 58 degrees in the sky and passing over Cirrus clouds with ice crystals in them.   Cool.

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Ok, so hours and hours of trolling produced 1 barracuda.  The radio was filled with chatter of everyone else experiencing a slow trolling day.  Further out didn't produce anything for them either.

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Wow, the water was sure clear and blue.
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We we decided to pick up and move to 8A reef and troll there.  We joined the 11 other boats there and started making our passes between north and south ends.  There were weed everywhere and as i went to clear one of the lines filled with weeds, a mahi broke the surface and air-bombed my ballyhoo.  Game on.  She was swimming right to the boat and quite 'green'.  Jack gaffed her at least 4x and each time she jumped off the gaff.  At one point, I thought I lost her because my palm hit the free spool but thankfully, she was still there.  Jack had to pull power because we were in heavy traffic area and she swam ahead of me, then under the boat, then right for the engine.  My line was stuck in the steps, then the prop.  Sigh.  We were so upset.   We couldn't do anything but break the line.  What a mess and heart-break.  She was probably 10-12 lbs and full of holes.  There goes my first mahi of the season.  Poop!

But, later, this king hit the line.  Jack reeled him in but I got to pose with it after it fully died.

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After this, we decided to try some bottom fishing.  Pulled in some miscellaneous fish.  1 juvenile snapper, too many black sea bass, lizard fish and this cool looking Stone fish.

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Little black sea bass are sometimes brown.

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I did catch a keeper 15" black sea bass.  Wow, nice fish.

That was basically our Saturday offshore.  Ran over to see Mike at his boat and pick up a tourny t-shirt.  Talked to guys at the cleaning tables.  Fun times.

Happy Fishing,


by Robin

While Jack and I were in the bait & tackle store, we heard there were some flounder in the ramp basin.  Really?

I tried it out on Monday. Everything was rather small.  Mostly, I caught a really good sunburn.

But, my son and I returned on Wednesday.  I was supposed to chaperon him and his girlfriend on their date but she came down with a fever.

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We still enjoyed the morning together.  We were using mud minnows, which are fabulous without an aerator and yet, super slimy. Hard to get them on the hook without getting yourself first.

We found the flounder in the center of the ramp basin. I also came home with a small but legal lane snapper.  Not worthy of a picture.  LOL.

I fileted and fried them up for lunch, but not until I screamed YOLO (you only live once) and put the flounder in the pool with me.  ha ha.

The kids freaked out but honestly, what's the harm?  Somebody tell me.

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Hope you all are having a great start to your summer. I know I am.

Blessings & tight lines,

CFOA Tournament 5.31.15

by Robin

I didn't take a LOT of pictures today but did enjoy watching the pelicans and boats come in with fish.
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Nice cobia.

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It was a good date day with my hubby after church.  Got us some nice oysters &
clams at Rusty's before the tourny too.

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This young boy took Youth Division.  I heard that he fishing hard like this all the time.  I saw pictures of him this past weekend with a 20+ lb red snapper. Wow!

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Here was the board with the results.

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Happy Fishing!

OFFSHORE w/ Mike - vacation day 5.21.15

by Robin

I don't have  alot of information about their trip except to say that trolling produced nothing.  They did end up bottom dropping and caught small reef fish.  Jack gave all of those away to Mike for being such a great friend.

Here are the two pics I have.

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Apparently they were chased in by some storms.
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Happy Fishing,

5.19.15 - Sharks, Snappers and Small Mahi

by Robin

After our son caught his huge gag grouper, I wanted in on the same action.  So, Jack took me out the following weekend.

Well, he certainly put me right in the middle of some action.  I was fighting and fighting this fish.  Biggest snapper I ever caught and about 10 ft under the boat, 1 of the 3 sharks following us takes this huge bite out of it.  From out of nowhere, 2 more sharks join the pack.  I was so exhausted and disappointed, I forgot to keep reeling and Jack brought it up to the boat for this picture.  Then, we had to throw it back over to the sharks.  Goodness, it kills me to see the sharks eating such a fine fish.

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Jack is on a drink break.  It sure is getting hot out there.

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I had a nice grouper on but I couldn't get him out of the rocks, so I gave the pole to Jack.  He loosened the line and he swam out and it was game on.  At some point, I guess the hook pulled out, so we never did see that fish.

We caught too many of these and decided to run around looking at the weed mats instead.

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Saw a lone mahi on one of them.  We tossed everything to it and couldn't get it to eat.

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At another weed mat, saw 2 more and couldn't get them to eat.

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Super disappointing.  Trolled an hour with nothing.  So, we headed back home.

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The flying fish were very close in and it was such a photo opportunity to get pics of them.

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I greyed out the water to make the flying fish stand out.

Have a blessed fishing week!