Monday, June 30, 2008

by Robin

If you're wondering why this blog has come to a complete, screeching hault, wonder no more. This has been our daily picture for the past couple weeks. A couple of times, hail has entered into the picture.

As of 6:15 tonight, 280 lightening strikes have already occurred. We have a 70% chance of rain tomorrow and 60% the next day.

NOAA says:
I have no idea when we'll be able to fish next. I wasn't looking forward to being on the water with thousands of other boaters for 4th of July anyhow.
Plus, we're at the time of year when late-night Mangrove Snapper fishing is an option. Throughout the summer, many fishermen in our area head offshore on full moon nights to fish for these active night-feeders. It has always been something I wanted to try; however, once we stayed out past dark and it freaked me out. You hear little noises on the water and you have no idea what's making them. Running back in to shore, you have to be on the constant look-out for other boaters, bouys and ......good luck if you hit floating debris! This would be a good time to do some buddy-boating with a big spot light.
Happy Fishing to anybody who can get out,

Sunday, June 29, 2008


It's not about the fish........

Thursday, June 26, 2008

by Robin & other great local fishermen

This is my #1 daily hit for this blog. Mostly they get this link I wrote back in June 2007 but nobody likes it because I didn't write down specifics. So this is for all those googlers who want great smoked kingfish dip.

Capt Randy's Smoked Kingfish Dip (My favorite)
1 pkg of smoked kingfish
lemon slices
prepared horseradish
fine diced onion
cajun seasoning
fine diced jalapeno
Worcesthershire sauce

Mix fish in bowl, smash w/ fork. Add heaping tablespoon of mayo, tsp or 2 of horseradish, splash of Worcestershire, Tbl onion, tsp jalapeno, squeeze in a lemon slice & sprinkle w/ cajun seasoning. Mix thoroughly, chill for 1/2 hr in frige & mix again. Eat on crackers or toasted bagel slices.

#2 version: John's Smoked Kingfish Dip
Pkg of smoked fish (kingfish preferred)
1 pkg cream cheese
3 Tbl mayo
1/2 - 1 c flaked fish
2 Tbl lemon juice

Mix together and put on a cracker. Add pepper, cayenne pepper or blackening seasoning to taste.

#3 version: Scott's Smoked Kingfish Dip
Smoked fish
2 c cream cheese
1/4 c mayo
sweet pickle relish
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 Tbl yellow mustard
1/2 med vidalia onion
1/2 green pepper, chopped fine
2 stalks celery, chopped fine
1/2 Tbl celery salt
2 Tbl Worchestershire
1 clove garlic minced
1 Tsp pepper
1 Tbl lemon or lime juice

All these came straight from the fishermen themselves. Even our version is a little different but most similar to Randy's. Add or subtract whatever you don't like or can't eat. Smart Balance mayo works well too.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

by Robin

Sunday, June 22, 2008

by Robin

On the way back home from catching the bull dolphin, warsaw grouper and 60 lb cobia, we heard James Brown begin singing "I feel good" on the radio. Here we are bursting out in song......offshore..... coming inshore.

3rd try. Let's see if Photobucket beats YouTube.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Slideshow of St. Augustine

First stop was Outback Crab Shack, west of St. Augustine, then into St. Augustine to look for artwork & see old buildings, then tour Fort Castillo and see the river, then over the bridge to visit the Lighthouse which was already closed for the evening. Hope you enjoy the pictures of our family day.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

by Robin

We drove up to St. Augustine today for a little family get-away. We had two purposes. First, find a piece of art that we loved and would want to see on our big wall in the LR. Secondly, visit the historic city, see Fort Castillo and visit the lighthouse.

Well, the first gallery we visited ended up being the one we came back to after walking all over cobblestone in 90+ deg heat. It was down to a half-dozen pictures all painted by Tripp Harrison. It was so hard but we narrowed it down to this one. I'm in love with the peacefulness in the shade this one gave us. It's called "Keys Whaler." (Whaler is the boat in the middle.)

Ok, so then we had a little problem. We really liked so much of his work. It was hard to walk away with just one. So, Jack thought it would be ok to get a smaller print of this one too.

"Leaving Bimini"
But, my 2nd choice was still sitting on the floor. It reminds me so much of a weathered house on stilts that we saw in Cedar Key. The lady at the desk said this was a true place in Miami called "Stiltsville." I really liked it but we didn't need 3 pictures. So........

We ended up getting a mini of this for my school room. The colors are going to look fantabulous with my green walls. Maybe it can sit opposite of my mini of Cedar Key's Dock Street.
I hope you've enjoyed the pictures. I'll try to post up pictures of St. Augustine over the weekend.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

by Tim Hawkins

I love ADD'd Christians. They crack me up. But, they also give me hope that I'm not the only who loves Jesus but can't fit the perfect mold. They give me encouragment. One of my favorite ADDDDHHHDDDs is a preacher named Tony Nolan ( and the other is Tim Hawkins, comedian & singer.

Friday, June 13, 2008


by Robin

It was a bumpy ride out. Rain clouds off/on near the shore. Beautiful rainbow. Funnel cloud that came half-way down to the sea. Spooky. Slow day for trolling. Could be the fish bite stopped for weather reasons.

Anyhow, Bill was first in line for when a fish was hooked. Bill is a coworker and friend. They landed this nice cow about 5-7 lbs. She was rather mad about being put on ice - - a solid icebox fight for 2 minutes kicking the sides.

For bottom bumping, Bill pulled up chickens (nickname for short snapper) while my son picked up this rather large black sea bass. Good eats. He goes in the cooler for mama.
They're never more than a pound or so, but they do have very tender white meat.

Not much else happening so they decided to call it a day and save the gas. They were back home by 4pm where the little one and I were just starting to make dinner. I opted to stay home to nurse a bad back.
(Gee, you'd think this was a mid-west farm report with funnel clouds, cows and chickens. ha ha)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

How to Process 101 lbs of Fish Meat
by Robin

First thing we like to do is keep all the species separated. I use every big bowl I own if need be. Ice is great. Continuously remove excess water as it melts.

We also tend to remove almost every appliance & knick-knack from the countertops. This makes sanitization easier afterwards.

Ok, so Jack grabs a bowl and we begin our work. (Cobia shoulders shown)

He trims bloody parts, removes bones, determines how to best cut the pieces (i.e. steaks, medallions, nuggets). We keep a scrap bowl for disregarded scraps. We used to bag this and give a little each day to our dog, before he passed.

Always have a sharp filet knife & sharpener handy.

After the fish is trimmed, one of us will rinse it clean and give a quick inspection. From the sink, we move it right to another board.

Here are our usually spices that we choose from to season. Not all the fish get the same spices, but we keep everything handy.
Lime juice is in the spray bottle. Everything gets spritz'd & usually garlic powdered.

Here you can see Jack seasoning the grouper.

While he is seasoning, I am making vacuum-packed bags, approx 1 sq ft.
Keep a sharpie handy for labeling all the meats with species and date of catch.
Vacuum & seal.
Sometimes, we'll put the # of pieces in the bag or if it is seasoned specifically for a purpose (i.e. fish tacos).
Then we move onto the next chunk of meat.

After we're done w/ everything and we've frozen back whatever we want to save or have labelled to give to friends, we sanitize the counters twice w/ clorox clean-up. Lots of paper towels. Most the pots, boards & knives get put into the dishwasher and extras get hand-washed.

We have a metal bar of soap that takes the fish smell off our hands. It was a gift so I don't know where she got it but it does work. I have no idea of the chemistry behind it but would love to know how it works.
Soon, we're starving for lunch and my youngest's desire is always for fried fish nuggets. He got grouper here. Warsaw tends to be course, so it's usually seasoned more than some other species.
Jack and I have picked out our mahi steaks and seasoned appropriately.

After they are seared & cooked thoroughly, Jack's secret is to put a tsp of Smart Balance on top for more flavor & it mixes w/ all the juices on the plate.

May everyone be blessed with this much fish in one day's catch.
Jack, our eldest and friend Bill are going offshore again tomorrow. I'd love to go but I'm healing a tender back. My baby and I will go out and stock up on staples to have with our next fish dinner.
Happy Fishing!

Found this great blog on blogspot. (Sharie - you'll want to see this) It originates out of San Francisco Bay.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Many of you who read both my blogs know that we painted -our-school-room this weekend rather than fish. Jack's buddies were calling one by one to see how the seas & fishing turned out. I'm sure the Atlantic ocean was filled with trolling lines today, as the seas were very low.

I will say that we did enjoy some grouper nuggets & home-made onion rings. I get my batter straight out of the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook (you know, the red plaid one your mother owns). Fry in light oil at 350 deg for a few minutes. Yummy!

Add some beans, applesauce and whatever else you enjoy and you're all set.

If I get a lull between company this week, I'll post about how we processed 100 lbs of fish meat last weekend. Exciting stuff, right? You'd be surprised at all the stuff people google and learn from this fishing blog. Remind me to never post my top secret recipes here. LOL. Next weekend, I'm sure we'll be back to fishing again...... or at least Jack will. We may have a guest fisherman from S. FL with us.

Happy Fishing y'all.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

G to PG-Rated FOLKS!!
by Robin

It never ceases to amaze me that I get google hits from people looking up perverse stuff. I blogged once about a nudist beach in our area. It was totally g-rated, no pics and wish I had never blogged about it. Somebody found me looking for nude family pictures.

Some person googles "dolphin fishing sexy women" and somehow links to me. Now, I love to dolphin fishing and sometimes I do it in a bathing suit, and I am a woman, but, but BUT, you will not see the likes of anything so scandelous on my blog. Anything slightly revealing gets photoshopped or cropped for modesty reasons. (Btw, they got "sexy" by my saying my husband was James Bond-sexy with parking the boat.) I really must be more careful with my word choices.

So, if you've found me looking for something unwholesome, click out. You won't find it on either of my sites. We are Christians trying to do our best to represent our Lord & Savior. Please....... get yourself some help.

Back to fishing........

Monday, June 02, 2008


Have you ever looked deep into the mouth of a cobia? I am so glad that I took this picture because last night, I was trying to remember if I had that fish hooked well or not. Yep, looks like she (Edna?) swallowed the hook pretty well.

Here is a picture of the sub that came into port the same time we did. Well, infact, we beat it into the port and almost cleared past the basin where it would have turned in, but Deputy Barney Fife of the Ocean ran lights, sirens and screamed for us to leave out the port. OK??? He sends up right back toward the sub and a couple tenths of a mile to go back at the south end of the rocks. Thirty - fifty more feet forward and we'd be past the naval basin. Make sense to you? Me neither. He yelled so harshly at us (with machine guns on his front deck) I thought we'd be boarded and ticketed, but he went back to his position. How scary and intimidating for young kids to witness. Gee...... we don't exactly look like terrorists.

Last but not least, no sooner did we get in the port and we had to pull over to allow Sovereign of the Seas to pass by. Everybody watches us. We watch them. We all wave. I wanted to open the fish box but that may be bragging a bit. It wasn't until the massive thing passed that I thought to grab the camera. I wish I had done it as they were next to us. Nothing makes your boat feel small like being next to a cruiser.

I'll have shuttle pictures on the soon.

Happy Fishing!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

by Robin

The next morning after catching the three big blessings, I admit to taking something for the pain in my back and legs. I felt like a Mac Truck had hit me, so I'm sure Jack felt like 3 hit him since he did most of my heafty work for me. Offshore fishing is more like an endurance run, not a sprint. There has to be some level of physical fitness to withstand dehydration, starvation by seasickness and pulling in big angry fish.

Anyhow, as Jack cleaned the grouper and then mahi, next up was the cobia. What a massive body! Three days later, I'm still in awe and disbelief in the size of this fishy. I had Jack take these other pics so you could grasp the size of even the head of it next to my head. It could swallow my fist easily (probably two!).

Extreme fishing is when whatever your catching can eat you too. LOL. I didn't fear the fish until it was in the boat though. Cobia have the reputation of saving all their fight for once they're inside the boat. I've seen what a 22 lb'er can do. I can't imagine 3x the power on the deck floor. I could only think to tail rope the fish. The first attempt landed me slime across the cheek and the rope slid back off. Have you ever tried to catch a lightening quick fish tail? It ain't easy. My 2nd attempt, I had to rope it fast & with determination. I did, but not without him getting another slap square in the mouth with the tail. Ouch! At least he was caught on both ends now.

While the tip of the bait knife broke while trying to do a quicker, humane kill, Jack still managed to bleed him out. We do have a bullybat, but it was at home. I never once thought Cobia would be on the dinner menu for this trip. Anyhow, once in the cooler, there was no more fight left in him. Nothing left in us either.

We tried to drop a couple more baits but our hearts weren't into it. We were content that we had more than enough meat and my seasickness was coming back. I convinced my stomach that it could handle some watermelon for the ride home. Ahhhh, watermelon never tasted so good. Cool, thirst-quenching, refreshing. I ate 4 pieces in a few minutes. I'm sure I looked like a starved sailor on a deserted island. My son also ate his share of watermelon.

Well, maybe tomorrow I can blog about how to process 101 lbs of meat. I took pictures during the process. We had cobia & mahi steaks for lunch, while my little guy had his mahi fried nuggets. I'll try to blog those recipes over the next few days too.

Happy Fishing Y'all!