Saturday, December 30, 2006

12/26-7th/06 ??

We drove down the Bee-line and headed out to the port in sunshine but upon sitting at the docks, we saw this coming our way.

It did sprinkle and kick up some wind-wave, as we huddled inside the cuddy while still tied down. After it passed, we made it out a few buoys before coming right back in. Somedays, it is better to stay home and stay WARM! I was in shorts but freezing.

Here I am with our little crew, coming back into the inlet.

By the way, on the 28th, Jack tried again to get offshore with his coworker and did not succeed. They tried for flounder a couple hours back by the lockes with no success.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Last week of December!!

Ummm, I'm not sure where to start off. It has been crazy since I last posted a real fishing report between super high waves (8ft+), the holidays and the hospital. Since this is a fishing blog, I'll just quickly say that gall bladder attacks are no fun. Secondly, we've had front after front move through our area, making it over 6 wks since I had been fishing. Last, our boat has been on the water 3x in the past week. Twice, we were unable to get past a mile offshore because the wave action quickly went to 4-6 ft waves. Above is Son #1 with a large blk sea bass.

Here are some photos from the one day we made it out to the Snapper grounds. Jack thought he had some secret spot and we were going to come home loaded up with Red Snapper (our legal limit would be 4 for us adults). Well, there were plenty of fish there but all the Snapper were undersized.
A couple commercial boat were running lines all over the area. Maybe they were Kingfishing, but they could have also netted the area for Snapper. Eitherway, nothing much was left but Juvenile fish. We were disappointed.

Left is a double-hook-up of 2 sea bass. We only kept 8 total, being about a pound each (roughly 14-15 inches).

Here I am with Jack and our double- hook-up on "Chicken" (Juvenile Reds)

At one point, we had a triple hook-up with all three poles bringing up fish. Son #1 was also fishing on the Penn reels. Jack and I were on the new Saltist reels. Oh my, those are just so smooth and easy to bring in fish.

In the background, you see our son bent over in pain. We had to do a little medical care on him, as he was hit with the Snapper dorsal spine when it was brought in the boat.

Unfortunately, accidents are part of fishing. We all came home with punctures and bruises.

See the band-aid on the ankle? ALWAYS keep hydrogen peroxide on your boat. Flush out the wound immediately, then neosporin and bandaid. Flesh-eating bacteria is nothing to mess with in salt water.

We managed to pull up fish every time we put our lines down, but all the snapper were too small to be keepers. Granted, the majority were under 15 inches, but we had a few at 18-19", few pound; and this makes for an exciting few minutes thinking that you may have a keeper. We had times where we pulled up double the fish, making it feel like a keeper but instead you'd have 2 smaller reef fish. Fun, but still not what we set out to get.

In the end, we went through 5 lbs of cigar minnows. The yellow/red fish is a Lane Snapper. This guy was a nice keeper speciman. They are the smaller cousins of the Snapper family but exceptional eating.

Here is one of those almost keepers, being 19.25". They have to be 20 inches to keep.

This one had to have his stomach vented in order to get him to swim down.

To the right is a Gray Trigger. I changed from dead bait to a jigging plug that Jack gave me in November. Anyhow, I'm not so good at enticing fish to eat the plug, but I still caught him in the side.

This particular fish went right back down. I do not like to clean triggers and Jack will only do it if they are huge. Pretty fish though.

At one point, I was letting my line down and my line began to burn the bottom of my thumb. Something had snagged the cigar minnow and ran for the border! Duh! I reeled and it made a run. I reeled again when it slowed down and brought it in -- Wow, a Kingfish. Not big, but a keeper size. Nice lil' bonus for the ice box. At first, we thought it was a really big Spanish Mackeral because it had its Juvenile spots still on it. (a first for us to see) A guy at the docks corrected our guess. Thankfully, it was still legal size and it is awaiting getting smoked while being vacuum packed in the freezer.

Jack locked up with something big at one point. No matter what we did, it would not budge. To us, this can only mean 1 species - Goliath grouper, formerly known as the Jewfish. They can reach upwards to several hundred pounds.

We ended up breaking the line in the end.

We were down to the final piece of bait in the bucket. One measley fish head. I put it on and sent it down to the bottom. Whack! No way! I had to straddle the pole to keep it from going overboard. It pulled against the drag. I tightened the drag. It pulled at will against it again. Ok, I was seriously out-matched. I tried with no success for 10 minutes, not to mention, out of breath. Jack took the pole and muscled whatever it was slowly up from the deep. It was something out of a Hemingway novel to witness.
We could see something massive coming up. Our first thought was a smaller Goliath grouper. Then, it turned sideways and I caught this picture as it was still about 10 feet down.

Shark! Big ol' Nurse Shark.

We caught a Nurse shark a couple months back with Bill, a coworker, on board. This one was definitely bigger.

After snapping a few more pictures, Jack handed the pole to me and I stayed on the far side of the boat, while he did his best to get that hook out.

He'd say, "Reel" and I did. The Shark then said, "No Way" and swam away another 6 ft. Finally, Jack got it, hook and all the line, back in the boat. Successful release and the beast swam back down.

We guessed the weight to be over 80 lbs. and somewhere around 6 feet.

Jack nearly had a heart-attack over this one. After he gained his breath, we high-5'd each other. I wish the clarity could come out better here. My original is just gorgeous. We headed back in and went to bed tired.

Happy Fishing!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

12/16/06 Sebastian Inlet

This will be short & sweet,.....make that fishy. Capt Jack took his coworkers down to SI and jigged for flounder. Weather was overcast and moderate temps. I'm not sure about the tide. Anyhow, no takers. Jack did bring in a decent sized Spanish Mackeral who never found it's way to the digital camera. I took it to the neighbor's house for dinner. She is from Dominican Republic and loves fish whole.

My turn to fish is coming up soon. The camera will be turned on.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

How to play fishing tricks on your naive friends!

First, you find a couple people that have never fished in rough seas before.
Secondly, you show them where are all the fish are - fast!
Third, put them in the front of the boat and offer to take their pictures.
Fourth, turn the boat into oncoming waves and have camera ready.

Courtesy of friends from deep, blue Sea.

12/14/06 GO OR NO-GO??

It's not NASA but we're still in a period of indecision. It's T minus 24 hrs and holding until a possible window opening for fishing. We nearly decided to do flounder fishing in Sebastian on Friday, then changed to Snapper hole on Saturday out of the port. Now...... only time will tell. The seas are holding at 5 ft. and it is drizzling off/on all week.

Aside from fishing, we've stayed active between watching the launch, attending Christmas parties, doing 4H events, being sick a little and watching movies. Schooling has been light but it is the holidays in our hearts. Technically, we're right on track with our mid-point since we school in the summer.

(Son #1 rehearsing for Share the Fun)

Here are a few pictures to view some family events over our fishless month.

Our other son rehearsing his song.

Here is my gang most afternoons. Infact, they're in the living room right now watching a movie.
I call the other 2 kids my foster neighbors. ha ha People have asked me if any of them are twins when we go to restaurants together.

Actually, they are 10, 9, 8, 7 yo. It must look like I was barefoot and pregnant for 4 years!

Here is my other hobby some might confuse as a side business. ha ha.

This is my busy season for making special memorial pictures for others. Here is Makai from Atlanta.

He has the sweetest old boy eyes, doesn't he?

My 7yo took this picture of our tree with lights on.
Merry Christmas to all!!
God sent his only son that no one should perish but have everlasting life. He came humbled in a manger. God clothed in humanity. He came to show us how to live a righteous life and to train up others to proclaim the good news of the gospel.
If you get a chance to see a movie this holiday season, I insist you see the Nativity Story. Bring a kleenex. It was absolutely beautiful and heart stirring.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

12/7/06 We have lift off!! Oh and chocolate mint cookies!

I'm coming up on a month of not fishing (the 11th) and the seas are up to 6 ft+. The good news to that is that all the fish are growing but nobody else can catch them either. When we hit that snapper hole again, we should be able to easily find some nice keepers.

Tonight, Discovery will hopefully launch in less than an hour.
To pass the time away, the kids and I decided to make some more holiday cookies. Again, this recipe comes from Jill at Sonlight. They mimic Thin Mints from Girl Scouts, only I put a caramel twist on them.
First, I cut little squares of those caramel apple wraps. Firmly place on Nilla Wafers.

Secondly, melt the chocolate (1 bag) at 50% power for 2 min increments until soft. Add 1 tsp peppermint extract to the melted chocolate.

Here is my son, dipping the wafers into the chocolate/mint sauce. (PS: you may want to thin the chocolate with a couple Tbls of oil)
It does look messy here. We put them into the freezer to harden the chocolate. After that was done, we pulled them off the wax paper and broke off excessive chocolate edges. The covered wafers were put into a freezer bag to be saved for a holiday party or company or gifts.

Here are my guys from our Share-the-Fun 4H event on Monday night. Both of them chose to perform a Christian song with video to the audience. Ribbons are based on points given by the judges. Son #1 barely missed his blue ribbon thanks to 1 judge. He was in Junior division. Last year, he won it with sign language. Son #2 is a cloverbud and they are not awarded points. A blue ribbon is a token of encouragement.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

12/2/06 Holiday Treats & High Seas

The seas went down to 3 ft today and heading right back up to 5 ft all next week. I'm in serious sun/fishing withdrawls. The only way to cure it is by doing holiday baking and do my best not to eat all of it.

Grizzly Bear Claws

Warmed homemade caramel
1 bag of Ghiradelli Semi-sweet Choc chips

After putting down the caramel first, then add the cashews in paw-like fashion. Add melted chocolate on top. Put in freezer to solidfy.

Must be kept in cool temps. They make delicious, sticky treats.

I hope to be fishing by next weekend.

My good friend Dawn (KenyaMK) has been making these great holiday gifts. Here is a photo that she wanted to share with others.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

11/30/06 Psalm 77 [edited]

v1 I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice, and he gave ear unto me.
v7 Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?
v11 I will remember the works of the Lord, surely I will remember thy wonder of old.
v16 The waters saw thee, O God, the water saw thee; they were afraid; the depth also were troubled.
v19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are no known.
v20 Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Well, it doesn't quite intend to speak about the overwhelming withdrawls of not fishing for almost 3 wks, but it will do for a fishing report when the waves are still over 7 ft for the 2nd week in a row. It will go down to 3 ft waves over the weekend before sky-rocketing back up again. Ugh!

"Luther's Dad" from the fishing forum went to Sebastian Inlet, staying inside the inlet, and found the Southern "doormat" Flounder have arrived. I would love to run down there Saturday and try for some, but Jack will be covering weekend shift.

Monday, November 27, 2006

11/27/06 High Seas!!

What can you do when the seas have been high for over 10 days? Find fishing videoes on YouTube.

This one demonstrates how to catch Mahi mahi off a large sargassum weedline. [The language is clean; however, the guys aren't wearing shirts.]

Enjoy! Here is one off the OuterBanks, NC aboard the boat Godspeed.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

11/18/06 A Year of Thanksgiving !!!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

11/17/06 A Christian Snook???

Angler's 12-pound snook has unusual double line

BY BILL SARGENT of Florida Today

In 30 years, angler Brett Hedleston figures he has caught over 1,000 snook, most of them in the fall of the year along the surf near his Cocoa Beach home.
But there was something uncharacteristically different about the 12-pounder he pulled onto the beach last week.
Instead of the single distinct black lateral line that runs along the body of every snook the 32-inch fish had grown a double lateral line at a point midway along its side.
"Where the lines overlap it looks a lot like the Ichchys," said Hedleston, 43, a religious man and member of the non-denominational Club Zion Church.
"I've never seen this before. It's really rare," Hedleston said.
Ichchys is the classical Greek word for fish, and it's also associated with the fish symbol representing Christianity.
Like most of the snook he catches, Hedleston cleaned the catch and gave filets to friends, among them Keith Capizzi, pastor of his church.
"But I've kept the skin so I can show people," he added. "I think it has a special meaning and I'm lucky to have caught it."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

9/15/06 Fish cleaning day!

Normally we come in late from fishing and Jack has to get sleep to stay on his schedule, so the task of cleaning fish comes the next morning. We've tried sitting over the top of the cooler but your back starts hurting soon. We moved all the appliances off the one kitchen counter and clean in there, but that's only suitable for smaller fish. Honestly, I felt like I didn't want my whole kitchen contaminated with fish germs. So, it was laid on my heart to take a tall table outside and cover it was plastic and get ready to clean fish outside. When Jack came in from work, he had this mixed emotional look on his face. He sighed saying, "I'm tired of you reading my mind." I had to laugh. I didn't mean to.

Anyhow, everything is bagged up. (Thanks Mom & Dad for the Food Saver last Christmas! )
Left: Snapper with a tag sticking out of the top. We will call in this number and get more info about where this fish was caught before.

We ate our share of the Black Fin Tuna. It was okay. I think we may have cooked it wrong. It was a little dry.
The kids had the Trigger fish filets. It was delicious, as I tried a little bit.
Do you want to know why it is called a trigger?
You see that spike on the top? It will stay in a locked position no matter how much you push on the spike. BUT, if you push that little spike in the back, it will un-trigger the locked spike and both spines lay down in the groove God made for it to sit into.
Cool, huh?
Another interesting fact, Triggers to not have scales like other fish, nor smooth skin. They have these mini-armoured plates with a touch of velcro to them. One way they're smooth. The other way, it is rough but with a stickiness to it. They also have very human-like teeth.
Eat Fresh Fish!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

11/14/06 Red Snapper, Blk-fin Tuna & more
No report to speak of as the Captain was 2.5 hrs later than expected getting in. He needed to sleep.

I do know that they were getting only sharks the first couple of hours, so then they started to troll in 120 ft of water. That's when they got the little Black Fin Tuna and the 12 lb Bonita.

Bonita is not good to eat, but they are generally kept by fishermen to use as bait when cut-up to troll with later. This is a REALLY large Bonita.

At some point, it was getting towards heading in time and so they were trolling over to our favorite spot, Pelican Flats. Before they could get there, Jack sees the 'honeyhole' loaded with fish on his Fish Finder at 86 ft depth. Every time they drifted the area, they picked up Snapper. Some too small, but 4 big enough to keep. Also, there was one barely short of legal Gag grouper they had to release.

Here is my older son pictured with a Grey Trigger fish. They have some big ol' teeth and tough skin. I am NOT going to clean this fish tomorrow.

The guys took NO pictures because they said there were too busy catching fish. So, when my son and I were rearranging the fish in layers of ice, we snapped these pictures.

Take a kid fishing!!
11/14/06 On the water again.......

She barely got her "Soft Scrub" and "Clorox-Clean-up" bath and Jack has taken her out again. I'm here homeschooling the boys. When he took some pictures of Saturday into work, the other fishing buddies were showing signs of withdrawls. So, they're going to put in a half-day of fishing and head back to shore by 2pm. These guys are all night-shifters too.

I saw the on fishing forum that many guys were planning to head out tomorrow; however, it looks like the weather is turning worse. 2-3 ft seas, increasing to 3-5 ft in the afternoon. YIKES!! I'm glad my man is in 1.3ft seas (7 sec wave period) and .7 ft wind wave. In other words, it's smooth out there.

I hope to have a late night post with some fishy pictures.

Here is a picture of Jack on Sun am with his Red Grouper from Saturday.

Flat seas!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

11/11/06 Red Grouper, Lane Snapper & Bucket-o-BlkSeaBass!!

I'm knee deep in stuff to do today, but thought I'd post up some teaser photos with editing later to add the stories.

Up at 4am, on the road at 5am, clear the port by 6am, greeted by the most beautiful sunrise. I know it sounds like a Fisherman's Fairytale story beginning, but it looks more like the stampede of Gold Rush miners.

The first few spots around 30 mi offshore and working back towards shore, we pulled up 10 sharks in a row. Not fun when pulling them for 150-228 ft.

This was actually shark #11 caught by son #1. I then proceeded to catch shark #12 before we didn't have another one show up. All sharks were released in great condition, although I *wanted* to kill #12 for popping me in the thigh. Thank goodness he did not chomp me.

This smile says it all. First pass and we hooked up with nice black sea bass (BlkSB), so we stopped and anchored there for a few hours.

Son #1 landed one of the first and it ended up being one of the largest ones in the bunch.

Not to be outdone by his brother, my little man brings up the biggest Lane Snapper of the day. He was happier than this but I should confess this is the 4th picture. All the others had my finger in the picture too.

Now, we've got some competition going here (not to mention, some dinner).

The top fish is BlkSB and bottom was a grunt which gets released.

Half-time REPORT

Lots of BlkSB and 3 Lane Snappers

Being the competitive Sports-fishing Mom that I am, I thought I'd win the pot for the largest, most unusual and most difficult to release categories.

Yes, it is a Sea Turtle, hooked in the flipper and then managed to wrap himself up. Yes, the will try to bite you. Yes, they bite at the boat. Yes, I held the flipper. Yes, the hook should fall out in 2 days or less. Yes, he should live a happy, long life.

The passing-by dolphins noticed the turtle struggling and were markedly distressed by the situation. They hung out for a short while, very close to the boat, clicking and doing tail-flaps to show their distress over the situation.

Right at sunset, Jack lands this beautiful Red Grouper and he goes into the box.

About 30 min later, we head home, in the dark. I was a bit unnerved but everything went fine.

This morning's cooler shot.
Nice grouper!

Final tally:
14 BlkSB
4 Lane Snapper
1 Sand Perch
1 Red Grouper

12 sharks
1 Sand Perch
1 Lizard Fish
1 Turtle
Lots of BlkSB, grunts, 2 short Vermillion Snapper, 1 short Am Red Snapper

PS Those new Saltist reels are fantastic. My arms are sore. All the fish are cleaned. Lunch was fantastic!!