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.