Friday, June 29, 2007

Estrogen pollution in the Great Lakes fishery
read here for Andy's commentary on it

Estrogen altering sex organs of fish article

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Smoked Kingfish Dip

First, catch one nice sized legal Kingfish. We happened to have one laying around from Bill and Jack's fishing trip on Friday.

Be sure to have your wife filet the fish while you pretend to service the grill. (This works all the time for Capt Jack.) ha ha

Put a few seasonings on the raw meat. I'm not sure what Jack used. I think there was some salt, pepper, Old Bay and maybe garlic powder. (?)

Fire up your smoker or a grill that has a place for you to smoke up some wood chips (made for smoking). When fileting your fish, leave the skin on. That will help keep the moisture on the heated side of the fish. We also lay down foil to keep it all together.

Smoking is a long process that can take hours. We tried to speed up the process on our grill and so this time, it was only 2 hrs. Normally, we smoke in a smoker as an all-day event.

lemon slices
prepared horseradish
fine diced onion
cajun seasoning
fine diced jalapeno
Worcestershire sauce

Remove skin & dark meat from fish. Put fish in mixing bowl & smash w/ fork.Add heaping tablespoon of mayo, teaspoon or two of horseradish, splash of Worcestershire, tablespoon of onion, teaspoon of Jalapeno. Squeeze in a lemon slice and sprinkle w/ Cajun seasoning. Mix thoroughly, chill for ½ hour in fridge & mix again. Eat on crackers or toasted bagel slices.

NOTES:Add or delete, in whatever quantities, any above ingredients to suit your taste. (we didn't have Worcheshire, so we put in Soy and didn't use Jalapenos.) Also, we topped our dip with a little Paprika for color.

Here is the last requirement. Find a few people in the house that love seafood dishes and give them some dip & crackers. They will love it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

FRIDAY's FISHING for bottom dwellers

Jack and Bill left about 7:30 am for their offshore adventure. The kids and I were invited but I had stayed up very late with working on a wall mural and felt like a Mac Truck had hit me. The men were happy to have a guys day out, I'm sure. They were going to go out looking for snapper and groupers.

So, like I mentioned above, I'm muraling. No, not miming, but muraling...... painting pictures on my wall. As I do it, I always wonder why. I spent dozens of hours only to have something that I will eventually paint over one day. Disposable masterpieces, unless you're Michaelangelo. For bathrooms though, it seems like a great solution to prevent artwork from getting moisture onto it during showering. This mural will sit in our hallway bath where guests can enjoy as much as our own family.

I'll give you a sneak preview of the process. I will preface it by saying it is nowhere near done. I don't like my blending in the 2 big fish and all is subject to some heavy RE-painting. Mostly, things are what I call "blocked in". Stuff is in place but the detail needs to be hammered out.

Start by taping off your area with painter's tape. Put in your background color.

Next, I put in a little background reef to give myself perspective. You can already see some of the outlines of the fish's tails if you look real hard. (left)

Here, you see I needed to put some fish in. Partially for encouragement and partially to see where exactly my reef will sit.

By midnight, I was washing paintbrushes and calling it a night. I had worked about 11 hours to bring it this far. The colors are too bold but they're there and will be softened up over the course of today.

I have the original work (in a magazine) by Carey Chen taped up on the wall for reference. I loved this picture the moment I saw it. The largest species are mutton snapper. The yellow torpedos are Yellowtail Snapper. There are a few other reef fish, 1 being a French grunt.

Be sure to check back in a couple days to see what Jack brings in for the grill and for pictures of the completed mural.

Happy Fishing & Draw a fish!
UPDATE: It's done!!

Close-ups you can click on
Jack and Bill's manatee encounter while trying to leave the dock. It refused to move away from the boat and so they took the opportunity to pet it. It makes me wonder if he was ever rehab'd with people or is s/he truly a wild manatee. From the size of the nose, I'd say this one was still a teenager.
In the cooler, there is a Kingfish and a huge Lane Snapper. No story yet.
Have a wonderful weekend,

Sunday, June 17, 2007


God has made everything beautiful in its time. - Ecclesiastes 3:11 I just love my husband and my family.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fish in a Basket - not fried!
First up, let me say these pictures are taken w/o permission, but credited to "Fishon", who is in the Keys right now. Fishon is a trailer salesman in the Cocoa area. (Tripletail caught in pink basket.)

This was too funny not to share. Tripletail are famous for floating under or around debris. This one got a little too close to the basket and tipped it over, getting stuck inside.

Fishon was kind enough to retrieve the basket with his gaff.
They took a few pictures for posterity and then released the fish to live another day. Thankfully for Mr. Tripletail, he was not inducted into the Darwin Hall of Fame for dumb fish stunts that land you on the grill.

Here is a little Biblical reenactment of how our summer is going. The boys thought they'd like to share this with you all.

Sister Martha - always the worrier about cleaning up the house.

Here is Sister Mary - who spends all her time in prayer.

Now this always angers Sister Martha because she really wants Sister Mary to help clean the house.

Sister Martha retaliates instead of praying by giving bunny ears to Sister Mary. As you can see, Sister Mary is caught unaware as she is praising Jesus.
They're not having too much fun, are they? What is it about a towel on the head that makes you into a saint?
Ahhhhh........... I told Captain Jack that we've definitely bought the right house. My boys are loving the pool. They're so worn out by bedtime. I'm loving the pool and my tan. Jack is loving his wife walking around in a bathing suit all the time.
Yep, we bought the right house.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Yummy Snapper

Jack's friend from work accepted a charter of folks from Orlando. A serviceman had just come back from Iraq and was visiting family and so the family was kind enough to treat him to a fishing trip. Jack's friend John stepped up to the plate.

Well, it turned out to be a slow day trolling, as you can see from my below post; however, John had a back up plan and went to 27 F(athom) ridge in the Gulf Stream to drop down on a Snapper Hole. They had the best time pulling up many keepers including having a 7 ft shark trail one fish all the way up. They let a good many go back down to grow up further even though they were legal keepers. By the way, a fathom equals 6 ft. You do the math.

I'm not sure why they didn't want to keep the meat. Snapper is approx $12.00/ lb in the market. John was kind enough to offer us a gallon sized Ziploc baggie full of snapper meat. Jack accepted.

We grilled nearly all of it (froze some back for later). Jack tried something different. He's always surprising me with his chef abilities. He made a marinade of soy sauce & Greek seasonings and then dripped the filets into it. They stayed in the frig about 20 minutes before hitting the grill. It was a teeny bit on the salty side; however, the thickness of the filets evened out all that flavor. We added black beans and yellow rice to give it that Cuban feeling. For the black beans, we add a small amount of vinegar (white or red wine), pepper, 2 bay leaves, salt to taste and garlic powder. Careful not to overpower the beans with the vinegar but you should definitely taste it. Add green olives to the yellow rice for that extra nice touch.
Snapper is delicious white meat. Not mushy and not firm like mahi or cobia or tuna. Right in the middle.

Happy Grilling!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

6/9/07 Mama's Turn

The ride out - beautiful. Blue upon blue.

NOAA called for 5 ft seas, but it was 1 ft @ 9 sec intervals. (Listen to NOAA, never go-a)

By 8:30am, the overflow parking lot was nearly full from all the weekend boaters.

My first barracuda and first fish of the day. Quick release by cutting the line near the mouth.
Little man caught his too and so did Jack/Big Brother co-retrieved a 3rd.

They're strong fighters at first, but then they give up and lay on the water like their dead. When Jack went to get the hook out, all of them came back to life and started thrashing with teeth. Stinkers! One jumped his way back into the boat. Some people eat smaller barracudas but we released all three of ours.

My first Mahi Mahi - small but still a keeper. We had a 2nd that popped the outrigger but never stayed on. I was blessed to have seen it from the Driver's seat.

Stopped trolling for a while to catch some of these. Little man was so proud of his big haul.

Here is big brother and his near keeper ARS. He fought like crazy to bring this one up.

Look at the beautiful red on these fish. We all got a chance to bottom fish. It was good fun even though we didn't bring home any keepers. Jack did a great job of finding the snapper holes & wreck debris.

Near the inlet, on the ride back in to port, I captured this picture of a passing sailboat.
We also had the pleasure of seeing a Naval Battleship too. My little man loves stuff like that.

This blog was thrown together very late & I was exhausted, so it is subject to plenty of editing tomorrow.

Happy Fishing,


Friday, June 08, 2007


To start our trip, I remember asking Jack is the clouds were suppose to burn off this morning and he replied, "Oh clouds are good for mahi fishing." Hmmm.....
Our offshore morning turned out to be not so very far offshore. After 11 miles of vrooming (kid talk), we saw an active thunderstorm cell NE of us. We stopped dead in our tracks and put on NOAA weather radio and then tried to raise a few friends on the VHS radio. As it turned out, not only was the storm cell heading towards us but multiple rain clouds ended up filling the rest of the skies. We had no choice but to head back west to shore as the sky seemed to grow into one large black cloud.

We had some very disappointed people onboard, including Bill our fishing partner. He and I had high expectations of catching our first mahi mahi. For me, technically, I've made a few assists but never a solo. As we neared the beaches, we noticed clean, green water. This is the King fish's favorite type. We tried one last ditch effort near the beaches for them since Mahi was no longer an option. We saw a few fish jump, which vaguely looked like good size Crevelle Jacks. We trolled around them as well with no nibble on our poles.

By this point, it is 11am, we're still in light rain sprinkles and lunch looks like a better option. We went to Lagoonz on US1, which makes some of the best taco salads, salads and seafood platters in the area. We treated Bill since he was also disappointed to not catch fish.

In the afternoon, we finished up our boat chores. The boat needs a washdown and engine flushing no matter what ends up in the cooler. Soon, we hit the pool.

Here are the kids showing us every single jump known to mankind.

The kids loved it that Mommy and Daddy had time to enjoy the pool with them. (picture edited for G-rating- ha ha- Jack hates when I photoshop.)

Now, we're getting ready for dinner and in an hour, the shuttle will launch. We only need to walk to the edge of the yard to get the complete view down the street. When we moved, we actually moved much closer to the VAB building and the shuttle launch area.

It's been a beautiful day inspite the off & on showers. There is always something fun to do in Florida.

Edited to add:

Here, I'm leaving you with a series of photos that I took of the shuttle, Atlantis, leaving earth and heading to the International Space Station.

This is our first shuttle viewing from our new home.

This would have been the angle of the shuttle from our driveway. Not bad, but still you miss the best part when the shuttle is closest to the ground thanks to our superb tree coverage.

Our boat had a great view. ha ha

Have a wonderful weekend with your family,

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

TUNA Report

Sadly, there is little to report tonight. It was a very disappointing and costly day on the water. Five men, $650 in gas, over 88 miles offshore, seeing tuna and pilot whales and the radar screen goes *blip* and dies. Not good. They tried what they could to bring it back to life but it wasn't happening. Without radar, there is no tuna fishing. You need the radar to see where birds are feeding off the surface of the water. When you find the birds, you find the fish.

The guys tried to catch the tuna in their immediate area but they wouldn't bite. Jack saw one tuna go airborne. After that, it was a loss and they headed back in for the quietest 2 hr ride home.

We will continue with our original plans of fishing on Friday for mahi mahi. I'm just so excited to be getting out of the house.

Offtopic - the weather was suppose to be wonderful today and we had t-storms pop up around 4 pm. I was rather glad to see the guys come in early because these would have been no fun to run around when offshore.


Captain Jack is offshore fishing today with his friend, Jason who also happens to be our realtor and church friend. Anyhow, Jason does tournaments and has a beautiful Bluewater center console (cc).

I found this picture that comes close to describing Jason's boat only with twin engines and radar.

Jack took along with him the camera, lunch and his new "ditch" bag with the emergency EPIRB system (see below post).

I'm so excited for him. This is a life-long dream to be 80 miles offshore and see a pack of birds working a tuna frenzy and then have the strength to pull in a 50-100 lb yellowfin. Yellowfin can actually be a couple hundred pounds, but that would be too much to ask for. Regardless, the whole thing is a treat for Jack.

Check back tonight or tomorrow for pictures and stories.

Tight lines!


Monday, June 04, 2007

We're readying the boat to go offshore on Friday. We will have the boys with us , as well as our friend Bill.

Check back Friday or Saturday to see how our trip went.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Back to fishing!!

We've thoroughly been exhausted between painting, moving, fitting in a mini-vacation with visiting family, going to Animal Kingdom in Orlando and having Tropical Depression Barry wet the grass and raise the seas. The weather forecast looks very promising for 2-3 ft seas for a couple days in a row next week.

I've been a bit too exhausted to be in fishing withdrawls, but I'm sure it will do my attitude good to be offshore and onto blue water.