Friday, March 30, 2007


Thanks to the innovation of YouTube, just about anybody can put a video together. I hope to have something for you like this in the near future. My parents are coming down to vacation in a week and we're going to video our offshore mahi mahi fishing.

For the time being, I found this excellent 3:15 video of Blair Wiggins from Addictive Fishing on Cobia fishing in Tampa Bay. Blair is actually a local to Port Canaveral, but this time he was on location. It is clean language and informative.
cobia fishing with Blair Wiggins

Here is one of the nicest tuna/dolphin - fish videoes. (3 1/2 min)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Curious Bystanders

My friend, Renee, has blogged about how people ask the silliest things about her children, being that they are unique in size and diversity through adoption. Anyhow, it got me to thinking about silly things that happen to us when out boating.

The other day, on the docks, we got the strangest looks and advice. People make assumptions and conclusions without even so much as a mutual conversation. Fishing is a man's world and it is a common perception for people to assume I'm clueless when it comes to loading and unloading my boat or backing my trailer. Mostly, this happens on weekend fishing and less during the weekdays when the pros or regulars are out.

Let me give you a little visual....Our public docks are overlooked by the local restaurant, Grills. It has great seafood, lots of live music on weekends and an outside tiki hut with an area to watch the boats come and go at the docks. There are hecklers which scare me. What many folks, on and off the water, don't know is that the dock closest to the restaurant has too much angle on it and leaves a lot of trucks spinning their wheels trying to pull boats out onto wet pavement. It all seems like good entertainment unless it is happening to you.

Usually the unloading isn't a problem because the restaurant isn't open and the cruise boat tourists haven't arrive either. When we get back from fishing, the 3-ring circus begins. I usually hop out and take 1 child in tow with me to the suburban. Jack has to back out amongst a crowd of 'chillin' boats waiting on their 'ride'. I come back, praying every moment of the way, to get one of the first 4 spots with the trailer. I back down. Now, let's stop here. Any person with a knowledge of fishing/boating could notice that I'm pretty decent at this. I rarely miss the first time, even in tight situations. BUT, we're not talking knowledgeable folks... ha ha. I step out to wait for my vessel to arrive. Jack stays with the boat at all times and drives it onto the trailer.

We have a routine. We are sensitive to timing, movement, various hand signals if the band is playing and even sometimes we have relay microphones (AKA kids screaming back to daddy). I trust Jack not to mutilate my fingers (seriously) and he trusts me to load the boat like a valuable part of teamwork. What jeopardizes all this teamwork is the guy who thinks I need help. This is the man who jumps down off the walkways and starts cranking the boat for me. This is the guy who thinks he has super-human strength to load a 6,000 lb boat up rollers to the rubber stop. Sometimes Jack will let him to 1-wear him out 2-keep from hurting an innocent stranger. If this guy doesn't show up to save the day, there is the other guy who decides to talk Jack's ears off and give him advice on how and when to move the boat. He's a helping buddy because, afterall, there is a woman at the winch.

We hate to be rude to those that are sincerly curious about fishing or our classic Mako; however, mostly we have to ignore these folks. We have to focus on not having an accident. We have twice seen trucks pulled into the water with their boats & trailers still attached. I have precious cargo in my SUV and they know the drill to jump out of the opened windows and swim to me or the dock if they get pulled back to the water. I cannot afford to have my husband and other child roll off the trailer and be dumped on concrete. We once had a strap snap on our old Rinker. Scared me to death! I screamed but praise God that we had a bunk trailer at the time. We now have triple chains on our Mako because with rollers, we can't afford to let gravity do damage.

All this to say that Renee, I can sympathize with stares and curious folks who feel the need to know and help you out.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Weekend Report

We heard the some very brave men were out in fairly high swells and found cobia Friday and Saturday afternoon. We had spent those days with being at the beach, cleaning and returning our Spring Break guest home. However, Sunday afternoon, it was hard to ignore the sunshine and ocean calling our names. The wind has made fishing very impossible for 2 wks now. I guess the wind will come in like a Lion and go out like a Lion, instead of a lamb.

Here you can see we weren't alone w/ dozens of other boaters.

Right out of the gate, we saw a big (40lb range) cobia who followed our jig all the way to the boat, turned around and headed in a 45 deg straight to the bottom. Gone. It was a lesson learned. No more jigs, only live bait! Water clarity was like emerald green mud. We headed further out to deeper water but when we didn't see anything, we headed back towards the beaches and ended up seeing a 2nd one, much smaller. Jack offered up a live shrimp and that worked. The fish made a couple runs and I smooth talked my way into getting the fight into my hands. We saw it a few times and somewhere right off the back of the boat, the hook popped out of the water. We lost him. How sad and he wasn't even fighting. However, what we couldn't see, and probably happened, was that he was rolling and the hook may have pulled through some barely hooked skin. It's just speculation though.

On another go, we spotted an orange foam thingamajig which had a tripletail under it. Casting with 20 knot winds wasn't easy but Jack made quick work of bring home the I'm tellin' ya, the water was so cloudy that this poor fish didn't take the shrimp until it was 1 foot from the side of the boat and then high-tailed it. Tripletail are very easily spooked so we felt so blessed to have all 4 of us witness such a rare event. We were no sooner on our way from throwing her in the cooler and I spotted another free swimming. She was swimming right to us and Jack never had his eyes on her. It was frustrating at best to keep saying, "Right in front of you" and him saying, "I can't see it." She literally swam up to the boat and then under it. We lost her.

We get going again and Jack spots a baby tripletail, about 10 inches, under some seaweed. His goal was to throw the cast and let Matthew do the hook up and fight the fish to the boat, only the wind ruined all casts and the kiddo figured us out. I think I was most bummed about that because we really enjoy seeing the kids fishing.

So, we headed home to hopefully get back for evening church. Jack took these pictures of me holding *his* tripletail that he was too manly to pose with. I guess it has to be over 20 lbs before he will pose. ha ha. Forgive my au natural look after sweat and sunblock!

I think my lesson learned was that you should never leave almost 2 dozen shrimp, in the bucket, in the driveway and remember to throw them out the next morning. It really stinks for them and for you.

Take a Kid Fishing


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Swimming with Great Whites off France's coasts. You may want to turn down the speakers unless you like Heavy Metal music.

It take about 8 min to view. No violence.

Monday, March 19, 2007

I'd rather be the ship that sails
And rides the billows wild and free;
Than to be the ship that always fail
To leave its port and go to sea.

I'd rather feel the sting of strife,
Where gales are born and tempests roar;
Than to settle down to useless life
And rot in dry dock on the shore.

I'd rather fight some mighty wave
With honor in supreme command;
And fill at last the well-earned grave,
Than die in ease upon the sand.

I'd rather drive where sea storms blow
And be the ship that always failed
To make the ports where it would go
Than be the ship that never sailed.

Author Unknown

Friday, March 16, 2007

3/16/07 Spring Break turns ugly!!

Here are my 3 Amigos picking out our little piece of real estate.

We double-schooled yesterday in order to run to the beach today before all the pink-toasted aliens start arriving on our beaches (AKA Spring Breakers).
We had T-storms in the night and woke up to some rain. By about 11 am, we had a little glimpse of sunlight and so we packed up some castle-making gear and headed out.

As you can see from this picture, we had a touch of sunny skies in the background. There is my eldest starting his sandcastle.

Here is hubby keeping his promise of the beach and yet being exhausted from working all night. He is trying to take a nap but the sand was blowing into his face.

Little man making his castle.

It was ugly and got uglier in a short while. I barely got this shot and a couple of home movies before the sprinkles settled in.

We have to admit defeat on the Spring Break Day we had planned for ourselves and go with Plan B.
Of course, in this family, Plan B is usually as good as Plan A. We drove a few hundred feet out of Jetty Park and went into Atlantic Seafood Market.
The guys picked out Alaskan Snow Crab legs, Rock Shrimp, White Shrimp for peel-n-eating. Sides are salads, fruit, lima beans and baked french fries. What a feast for $20.
Support your local fishermen!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

3/13/07 COBIA SPRING BREAK, part 2

Got a very late start because we didn't plan on fishing today until we stepped outside to beautiful skies and no wind. [54 lb cobia caught over the weekend]

We were on the water by 11am and back off by 2:30pm. Saw 10 or so cobia ranging from barely legal to a nice 30 lber. [can you find the cobia in the picture?] Jack threw dozens of times to most of them. Most had the duck-n-run method down from over the weekend. Even the 1 manta ray we saw chose the duck-n-run method. Some others decide to enjoy the swim right past the boat and while they were curious of the jigs, nobody wanted to eat.

I'm not sure if weather was a factor in their not eating or if they're all so sick of yellow jigs and boats following them around.

I'm doing my best to see the fact that it was a beautiful 3.5 hrs on the water in almost 80 deg temps and while the cooler isn't full, the frig isn't empty either. We still got school done afterwards. So, life doesn't get much nicer than that.

Tight lines,

PS: here I am riding backwards on the way home. I often like to look back at the wake of the boat and scan the waters for more fish.
PPS: Lifting up the Salsberry family in prayer as they mourn the loss of their daughter, Lindsey.

Friday, March 09, 2007


As you will see, it started out as a beautiful Friday morning. The sun was shining with all its glory and promise of a great family day. We followed a fleet of fishermen out of Port Canaveral only to see most of them turn left, north and we headed south, down the beach.

Three years ago, we caught our first cobia off of Patrick AFB beaches while having a picnic lunch on our boat. We had no idea that mantas were like gold to local fishermen. Not to eat, but because they held on their backs a most prized possession - a cobia. Since then, we've always favored that area to do our hunting.

We were slow to spot anything in the late morning but I'm guessing by noon, we saw our first pair of juvenile mantas playing in 50 ft of water. The pursuer was holding a single cobia on his shoulder. Jack's first cast to it, his lure went into flight by itself and that was the last we saw of it. Jack quickly regained momentum on another pass of these two playful sea creatures and threw his other line with a live shrimp to the cobia.

I really love this series of photos because it shows the mantas coming closer and closer to our boat. If I showed you the originals, you could see Jack's shrimp airborne.

As it turned out, at one point, these two had enough of a big white boat following them and dove down to hide or possible take a little romantic get-a-way.

Maybe close to 30 minutes later, I see Jack on the floor, having taken all the screws out of the livewell base. All he can think of is that his live shrimp are now dead and that he wants to correct the kink in the water line. For me, I have border collie intensity when on our boat. I could care less about dead shrimp and my eyes have locked in on another ray. Too bad it was already being followed by another boat. But....... it gives me hope. I no sooner finish another fisherman's prayer and I spot our own manta to chase around. Jack leaps off the floor and goes back to his Captain duties. There is no time to be a mechanic.

This manta, however, has her own personality. [click on the pic to make it bigger] She is shy and mysterious. The two cobias on her back have chosen her well and have found their refuge - for the moment. Do you know that arcade game where the head pops out of the hole and it is up to you to hit it as quickly as you can? Well, that's how we felt with stalking this manta and her 2 brown parasites. We'd get to her, she'd duck down, a little further ahead, she'd pop up again, we'd remanuever the boat, she'd duck down and we'd try to predict her next move. A couple times, she popped up close enough to where we had predicted. I snapped this beautiful picture of her crossing our path. Jack threw his jig and like a well-orchestrated play, the cobia glided off the back of the ray and hunted the yellow jig. A little curiousity. A little snap of the wrist. An irresistable instinct to eat. Then, the smokin' scream of line going off the reel. Game was ON! The screaming line nearly put us in a chase-the-fish with the boat situation. This fish was MAD and heading back for his manta ray. The cobia made at least 5 runs from the boat. After Jack's near coronary, we had him in the cooler. [must eat healthier, must exercise!]

Oh, but the fun only had just began! He was not having any ice bath. Jack's always said that we needed a bigger cooler and being frugal, I've ignored him. I'm starting to rethink my naive ways and consider not only a bigger cooler, but one with a big lock on the outside. Jack's cobia popped open the latches several times in the process of working through his anger. It was much like those movies where the evil villian keeps coming back to life. No sooner would we get back to our routine and the cooler would open and rock and a tail would flash back and forth. It was quite some time before we were able to capture this trophy picture of Jack with his 44 lb cobia.

Almost immediately after picking up this fella, we were drifting along when another cobia swam right by us. Jack threw the boat in gear after missing his first cast. He parked the boat right in front of this 2nd one. He threw his yellow jig out. The cobia pursued it. Again, it was the perfect dance ending with a screaming line. Only, this story ends much differently. One really big head shake and Jack's line pops into the wind, flapping like a flag.

What had happened was that his line was stressed from having just pulled in a 44 lb fish on 30 lb line. The line was fraying and broke at the swivel. I'm sure that fish was in the 30 lb range. But, we can't cry over spilt milk. We're still blessed to have put several dinners in the freezer today.

Soon, the wind kicked up too much to see fish. On the way towards the port, we ran over another cobia (he's fine, but we spooked it). Jack spotted a borderline legal tripletail which I threw to 4x and couldn't catch. I did manage to feed it my shrimp without feeling a nibble. I get too excited and can't cast worth a flip in a pinch. Still, it was good practice to knock off my winter cobwebs.

Once back in the inlet, we let the boys throw the dead shrimp to the pelicans and seagulls. I love this picture I caught.

Take your family fishing,

Thursday, March 08, 2007


River trials for the engine


Good news, it runs.


From the river, now to the Atlantic Ocean to search for cobia (see the gold fish in the picture). No cobia found. Only short snappers found offshore.

Here is one of the Cobiathon's Team Logos.

This will be the 2nd weekend that the big COBIATHON has been cancelled for weather. While we will not be participating, we are praying that weather clears next week for the tourney to go off on Sat Mar 17th. We will be picking up a friend of ours in Jacksonville for him to spend Spring Break with us.

Happy Fishing!


Saturday, March 03, 2007

3/3/07 4H District Day!! Today was our competition for my eldest's 4H demonstration/illustration speech. We were very proud of his achievements. Here are a couple pictures from today's competition.

Setting up and about to speak on "Lures and Baits"

Group Photo of all the kids that were in front of the Mid-Florida Research Center in Apopka. Sadly, there were probably another 20 inside that didn't get the news to run outside for the photo. My 10 yo 2nd row, far right(blue coat, behind girl in red shirt) and my 7yo, who didn't speak but better known as photo ham, was centered 2nd row, white shirt behind boy in blk shirt.

We were so rushed through the Awards ceremony that there was no time for a photo. Here is one happy child. Also note that the weather dropped about 15 deg through the day and it was downpouring rain.

April 10th, he will do his Tropicana Public Speaking contest - County-level. He already won the 4H homeschooler level.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

2/28/07 To catch a Thief

Last night, Jack was preparing to head off to work and I was brushing my teeth before bed. I had just let our boxer our for the night. It was an ordinary routine played out many times.

At the same time, our neighbors had arrived home from relatives after celebrating the arrival of a brother from Las Vegas. They were still outside having their final chat and smoke of the night before heading in.

One of them happens to see a shadow moving between our vehicles. Then a hooded person went down between our front porch and the boat, sitting half in/ half out of the carport. The brother asks the neighbor if that could be me. However, it didn't really fit the scenario of a person out walking their dog. So, they bravely took 2 different routes approaching our carport and the back of the boat. Out pops the hooded figure right in front of our neighbor, John. Knowing that they had been caught, the figure races down the street. John raced as hard as he could with his titanium hip, we call the bionic hip. He hears the thumping of feet behind him getting louder. It is Amber, his 17 yo daughter, who is about the lap him.

Meanwhile, we hear pounding on the door. There is a male voice yelling aggressively saying something about "Dog". It was Maurice, the visiting brother. Jackson, our boxer is going nuts. Jack looks out the window and sees nobody. Knowing that we have drug addicts across the street, he is thinking that they are strung out and causing trouble. He comes back to the room to get his weapon of choice and heads back to the Living Room. I , being more passive, grab the phone and peep out the front schoolroom window. There is another thundering rap on the door and I hear them calling my name through more dog barking. By then, Jack opens the front door and Maurice is satisfied that we are not harmed and now aware of the situation. He and Jack both jump in their cars to head down the street to help John and Amber out who were last seen chasing the hooded figure.

By now, Maurice's wife, our boxer and I am standing in the driveway, spooked and wondering what has happened as we see shadows of people and cars at the far end of the street. John pops into the light given by the lamp posted at the edge of our property. Jackson, being suspiscious, greets him with a fierce stance and hair raised. John knows to speak and then the guard is dropped. Soon, the cars followed each other back up the street with a young girl in the back seat.

Our mystery hooded figured ended up being a 12 yo girl from the far side of our subdivision who had run away from home. She had been hit either by fist or phone with some regularity by her mother. Tonight, she wasn't going to take it any more and ran. Poor thing didn't even have shoes on. She had intended to sleep in the back of the boat through the night. Possibly she thought the cuddy cabin would provide her a bed as well. Not only would she have had a bed, but also a toilet.

Anyhow, the evening ended with the local police speaking with her. They couldn't find any bruises on her, so therefore they weren't able to call in Child Protective Services. They simply took her home and had a talk with the mom. Our side of the street chatted for until midnight to retell the story from everyone's point of view.

Our affectionately named "Druggies" from across the street came out to see what all the fuss with cop cars was about. I think they were a bit jealous that they weren't involved.

So, we will pray for our 12 yo runaway and hope that she picks a better way to handle her situation. I would hate to have harmed her accidentally, thinking she was a thief. And we also thanked God for Amber's courage to chase down what she figured to be a girl as she studied the body in motion. And to Mr. John, who gave chase inspite of his bionic hip. I pray that he can walk without pain today.

Fortunately, nothing of ours was stolen or even touched. However, our friends from church had their entire NavNet system (radar & gps) stolen out of their boat this week.

Secure your boat!