Thursday, June 30, 2011

by Robin

Let me preface my comments by saying that I am not some left-wing, feminist woman sitting behind a desk in NYC on a daily rant about sexism right after turning in my N.O.W. dues for the year. I am a conservative, country girl who loves the outdoors. All my life, I've been around horses, dogs, livestock, agricultural colleges, fishing, hunting and even survived a course in meat packaging. I am not squeamish about much, including blood, guts, castration or cauterization burning. About the only thing that makes me weak is broken bones.

On the other hand, I clean up pretty good. I love wearing dresses to church, buying nice shoes, purses & jewelry and painting my toenails. I am not against bikinis, tankinis or one-piece suits, if tastefully worn. I'm all for being sexy to the one you love. But what I want to do is have a full rant on the crap I see when trying to enjoy fishing & immerse myself in the sport. Enough is enough!!!

First, I have bought different fishing magazines for my husband at various holidays. I tolerated the string bikini-clad women in the back who stood next to various pieces of equipment in order to sell a product. I tolerated it because it was in the back of the magazine and sometimes I got away with using a Sharpie to draw on some shorts and a tank. (Jack didn't appreciate this as much as I found it humorous.) However, it seems that more and more companies are headed in this direction as they seem more desperate in this economy to sell their product. If your product is so junky that you have to put a half-naked woman on the ad to sell it, maybe you should make your product better.

Secondly, for years, Florida's SUN Channel (Ch 422 on satellite) has kept a Thursday night line-up of fishing shows to spark the interest in every fishermen for the upcoming weekend. Florida Insider Fishing Reports is wonderful for having area-specific fishing tips & information given by guides. Love that. Love the special themes they give each week for what's hot & migrating through Florida. What I don't love is that I noticed that some of the hot spots have been sponsored by various alcoholic beverage companies. Was there nobody else they could call to get to sponsor each region?? I tolerated that the first time I noticed it.

Tonight, I watched their programming and the theme for the week was "Kids & Fishing". Awesome. I have kids. We fish. Great theme. Yep, and then I got to the end of the show and I guess they have a tradition of taking a Jaegermeister shot. Toni, the female co-host, said that she didn't feel right about chugging the shot on a kids' show, but the guys talked her into it. Nice fellas. So, you've got kids all in the pictures, video and live at the IGFA museum, who have DVR'd this show to see themselves and we're subtly pushing alcohol endorsements AND drinking?? Why Florida Insider have you stooped so low?? Were your ratings so low that you had to add a female co-host, put her in 4" spiked heels, painted on jeans and then have her take shots at the end? Could you not find a serious fishing woman in the entire state who could represent the fast-growing part of the fishing community - WOMEN???? I don't know Toni. She seems nice enough, but what you've done is painted her up as a bar bimbo. Toni, if you're reading this, I would suggest you renegotiate your contract & job requirements. You look like an ornament and not a fisherwoman.

Here's the thing.... I can look totally hot, spiked heels & painted jeans, too. BUT, when I fish, the hair is pinned up, I put on my Columbia shirt, khaki shorts and essentially, I look like Dave & Rick, but better. I know when to use each type of look. Florida Insider, you're catering to men and not to all fishing people, including kids, which your show was suppose to be all about. I'm so disappointed that I may just skip your show entirely from here on out.

Last, but not least, the magazines. Like I mentioned earlier, I have ordered fishing magazines for years. In the summer, there are always plenty of girls holding fish while wearing bathing suits. Some are more tasteful than others. I'm a tolerant person, really. I recognize that sometimes we fish in Heat Index of 100+ degrees and so a bathing suit is appropriate attire. However, we've received some free copies of Salt Water Sportsman and was disappointed, shocked and even out-raged that they were to blatently sexist to have a Babe of the Month contest. I know that women get to win fishing gear and sometimes a trip but at what cost? We do a lot to raise self-awareness & self-esteem in young girls so they don't get caught in the traps of using their body to get attention. Salt Water editors, you're just reverting women back in time when they had to use their bodies to get ahead in life and you're doing it for your own selfish gratification (i.e. sexual, monetary, pride). Shame on you. Would you be proud of your daughters if they advertised their bodies like this? What century are we living in?? You will never have my $$ to purchase a copy of your magazine. NEVER.

I am very thankful to my husband who helps protect me & our marriage by encouraging me NOT to show off my body to strangers and post up photos to win contests (or get blog hits, for that matter). I have been very proud at keeping this blog G-rated for photos. Of course, this particular blog may be PG-13 for content reasons. LOL.

If any of the people that work for these companies, tv shows or magazines read this, please let me know. I would love to give you a serious dialogue about the direction you are taking the sport of fishing. I'll tell you all about my 2 boys and how we're trying to keep them away from your products and teach them to respect women. Heaven knows, I don't want them to end up like some of your clientele. Maybe I'm disillusioned to think I can raise a man better than that, but I'm certainly going to try.

Thanks and have a blessed 4th of July. Stay safe on the water & wear life vests. Don't drink & drive your boat, either.

One-eyed (Cycloptic) Bull Shark fetus
by Robin

You won't believe it.....

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

by Robin

I haven't tried googling this but I wonder how many folks out there will tell you about how delicious Wahoo steaks are. For the most part, it is commonly understood that wahoo is a dry meat. It needs a sauce. It may be gamey or oily. Not so....

I'm going to take you step by step through our process & how to cook it. This is definitely not the be all, end all story; however, it was a beautiful beginning to a new relationship with eating wahoo.

First off, catch you any decent size wahoo. Ours was 18 lbs. I suppose one could cheat and buy wahoo steaks at a fish market if you don't want to invest thousands in boats & fishing gear.


He is shown here without ice, but right after I took this photo, Jack and I made a slushy ice/water bath to cool down the meat. (It was mid to upper 90's this day, off Port Canaveral.)

Jack took off the head, tail and gutted the body of the fish from the entrails. Make sure you rinse this area out well before moving onto the fileting part.


Most fish are fileted along the length of the body, taking entire side off and then removing the skin, like this..


Not Wahoo.... they are made into steaks at our house. And sometimes it takes a small hacksaw to cut through the vertebrae bone.


Jack fileted the wahoo into steaks approximately 1" thick. You can do more or less, but this seems to be a full portion for an adult. I ate one and it was PLENTY! (almost too much, really) We vacuum-packed two steaks to a bag until we got down to the back-end and then did a few small ones together.


Fast-forward a couple weeks, Jack quick-thawed the steaks in a pot of room temperature water. Not long afterwards, they were thawed enough to begin seasoning. I used 1 steak for me and 1 went into the frig for later this week. I'm guessing that Jack has used the usual & customary seasoning suspects (i.e. salt, pepper, garlic powder, old bay after rubbing EVOO on the steak).


While my dinner was absorbing the spices, Jack was preparing a grill for his ribs, as well. My guys love babyback ribs.


Last night, Jack used a gas grill, but he would have preferred a charcoal one if he didn't need a bigger space for all the food. I do believe he threw in some mesquite chips for a slight smoke flavoring.


He grilled the wahoo a couple/few minutes for each side of the steak. You'll have to be the judge of how long your steaks need cooking. You want it white, flaky but not raw inside. Save the raw for tuna. With that said, do NOT overcook your wahoo steaks either or else you will be eating dry fish.


Then, I like to put some great side dishes together. Squash is a grilling favorite here, along with red potatoes. I used Smart Balance to complete my dairy-free meal.

I should also tell you that Jack suggested I make a nice sauce for the wahoo. I went to the garden and all my dill was gone (I make a mean dill-tartar sauce), so I came up with a fantastic substitute. I used plenty of thyme, 2 sage leaves - chopped them up. Add them to a couple tablespoons of Smart Balance, 1 small onion from my garden, 3 garlic cloves, a couple dashes of lemon juice and warm on the stove.

Pour over your steak liberally, and if you have extra, pour over your potatoes. You will not regret it. I felt guilty for eating so well while the guys were having ribs. I had died and gone to a 4-star restaurant in my own kitchen.


Mmmm, mmmm, good.

(Oh, I may need to add a warning: do NOT eat the outer skin, be careful of the upper spines that may be leading from the spinal column to the dorsal fin area, AND don't eat that skin in the belly area. )

If you try this dish, please come back and comment to let me know how you liked it (or not, ....but you will).

Happy fishing everybody and enjoy a good fish meal if you can't get out.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

by Robin

Plan A: We had intended to go tripletail hunting on flat seas, but NOAA got it wrong. They were correct in saying there were no waves BUT the wind wave was kicking white-caps. Plus, the wind was not from the west or the SW. It was a total summer "Noreaster" as Jack and I joked.

Jellyfish were EVERYWHERE and so it was difficult to check under every "brown spot" to see if it was jelly or triple. (forgot to grab that jellfish photo, but I'll show you tomorrow.)

So, motoring off the beach, looking for triples was out.

Plan B: Head to the buoys and see if anybody was home. Lots of baitfish and sometimes up to 7 barracuda lurking on top. I caught one tiny black sea bass as we went from can to can. Of course, this is at 3pm so that may have something to do with it.

Plan C: Head to the N. Jetty rocks at Port Canaveral

We anchored up so Jack could fish as well. It put the back end of the boat right in front of the rocks. AWESOME anchoring job Capt Jack!!

We had 3 dozen live shrimp in the livewell. And we went through a good dozen of them just trying to figure out the right size hooks, weights and knowing when to set the hook. But, once we started to get the hang of it and avoiding the underwater rocks that stole some lead & line from us, we were in business.


I pulled in the first barely legal mangrove snapper. Yeah!! Not long afterwards, Jack gets a small, but decent enough flounder. Yeah!! Now, we're starting to think fish fry!


We were interrupted by a pair of lovebirds... or is that love-manatees. Honestly, go get a room. Can you not do that anywhere else besides next to the boat??


I got rocked up by something very, very nice. Wish I knew what it was. Fought hard and then hid in the rock until we had to break line. Oh well, that's fishing. Then, Jack brings in this nicer-sized Mangrove snapper to go with the other. We've definitely got a good dinner going.


To end it all, I caught this great, young red fish, which measured 17". So, technically, that's a catch AND release because they have to be 18" to be legal. Jack said there might be a rule about oceanic reds vs river red fish. Either way, we're safe because he's alive & well ,back in the water.

We motored back home. Spent about $20 to have more fun than a barrel full of monkeys. ha ha.

God bless and Happy Father's Day to my sweetie, who deserved a fun day like this (compared to Sunday where he worked his butt off under the sink playing plumber).

Friday, June 17, 2011

6.13.11 - Mahi & Wahoo Trolling!!
by Robin


I don't have time to give the full story, but wanted to share with you some details & a picture we took on Monday.

In short, we trolled an hour with only 1 24" mahi to show for it. Went to the weather buoy, north of it, then started south of it. Somewhere a couple miles south of the weather buoy in 139 ft of water, about to give up and do some bottom fishing, we were hit by a nice 15-18 lb bull. As Jack was reeling, we had a 2nd hit on another line. I reeled on that a little bit but had to put it back in the rod holder while I helped Jack land his bull.

Then, we had 3 mahi in the boat and were gasping for oxygen in 101 heat index. (all smiles though) I let out the one line I had brought in when we thought we were going to leave. Set the boat to 6-7 knots and we got some water to cool down. Before Jack could even rig another ballyhoo, that line was hit. Line peeled off and it skimmed the water surface. Jack thought shark based on its actions. Then, it saw the boat, did a 180 and went down.

Reel, reel, reel...... it tried to break off in the prop (my bad for not getting the boat turned fast enough). I saw silver and thought big king! Nope, Jack is next to scream "WAHOO!!!!"

I took the pole, he sunk the gaff and it was an ice bath for Mr. Wahoo. Yeah!

He hit a yellow hoo-head with red weight with a pink skirt in front of it, off the surface (82 deg). Amazing. Usually you have to use a downrigger for wahoo.

So, there's the short story.

Happy Fishing.

Friday, June 03, 2011

by Robin

One day, we were filling our boat up with gas and Jack signals to me to go down the dock some and look at what was behind us. Wow!! One of (the late) Mel Fisher's treasure boats. ( Super cool!


They sell their gold coin jewelry in the gift shop at the Marina. Plus, I think they were up from the keys for other business. One of the crew asked me about the upcoming shuttle launch and I got to talk to him about what he does. Check out the link. They are famous treasure hunters.


But, it also reminds me of a well-known Scripture about treasure. I suppose gold, wealth and fame are nice; but, we should never make that our focus in life.


Treasures in Heaven

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. "
(Matthew 6:19-21)

It is so true. When we began tithing and giving gifts to missionaries, our focus changed from things of this world to things of eternal value. It changed my prayer life. It changed my view of life and the values I wanted to pass to my children. Sure, England, Spain & France wanted new land to create new fortune, but most people came here for religious freedom. That is what thrived in this great country. The gold went to the bottom of the sea.

I can truly say that while I was interested in photography this boat, I never once felt envious of the people on this boat. My treasure is in heaven and nobody can take that from me.

Happy Fishing & God bless,

Thursday, June 02, 2011

by Robin

Ok, I'm on a roll. Two blogs in a row, with a similar theme. ha ha.


Jack and Chuck caught several flounder the other week. Their (the flounder, not Jack & Chuck ha ha) faces are captivating to me because they physiologically start off like normal baby fish. Then, one day, they choose to lay on their side for the duration of their life. The eye on the bottom-side rotates to the topside. Once their eyes move, they're stuck like this forever. They can never choose to swim & hunt like other fish again.


Anyhow, it reminds me of the choices we have as we live our lives. We can choose right or wrong. We can live for Jesus or not. Once we have chosen Him as Savior and He changes us from the inside-out. No matter how hard we try, we could not become new creatures on our own.

I've been studying Ecclesiastes with some homeschool moms this past month. Anyhow, there is a verse that goes well with the flounder analogy.

"Even though a person sins and gets by with it hundreds of times throughout a long life, I'm still convinced that the good life is reserved for the person who fears God, who lives reverently in his presence, and that the evil person will not experience a "good" life. No matter how many days he lives, they'll all be as flat and colorless as a shadow—because he doesn't fear God." Ecc 8:12

BUT!!!! There is hope!! Rom 7:24-25

"I've tried everything and nothing helps. I am at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acts to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different."

Friend, if you feel like a flounder and you're stuck in a path that you can't get out of, call on Jesus to save you from this lifestyle. He will right the wrongs and put you on a new path.

Happy Fishing and God bless,
by Robin

Did you ever meet somebody who was very puffed up & filled with pride in themselves? Sure you have. We all have known or seen somebody like this. I think of people like this every time we catch a puffer fish.

They're absolutely worthless to eat. Not much to look at. Steal your bait intended for something else. And then, they waddle away as if to gloat in their pride. Sometimes they refuse to leave the net or hook and they *know* you don't want to touch them. They're filled with poison in their spines & in their meat.


There is a guy in the Bible much like that. His name is Adonijah. He was totally spoiled and ended up being King.... for a while. Fortunately for this fish, he ended up free whereas Adonijah didn't. His pride & selfishness ended up being the death of him.

1 Kings 1:5,6

At this time Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, puffed himself up saying, "I'm the next king!" He made quite a splash, with chariots and riders and fifty men to run ahead of him. His father had spoiled him rotten as a child, never once reprimanding him. Besides that, he was very good-looking and the next in line after Absalom.

1 Kings 2:25

King Solomon dispatched Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he struck Adonijah and he died.

So, the lesson here is not to puff yourself full of hot air and useless to those around you. You may just end up toxic, if not dead.

God bless & Happy Fishing