The virgin birth
God in a Manger
Fullness of God
The reason for the season has become the stumbling block of the masses. He is occasion for back peddling and a kind of silliness I had not seen before. If you don't believe in God, then it is just a story about a child in a manger, a baby born to save the world from sin. A young girl, who must have read the prophet Isaiah, and in 7:14, where he says, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." You could say she read this, and being pregnant out of wedlock, decided to attach herself to this prophecy. Then this same girl taught her son the word of God, at a level superior to the priests of that time. She then proceeded to educate him in the business of miracles, and of course ultimately his sacrifice, to stick to the prophecies of Isaiah 53: "Who has believed our message
If its just a story, just a doll in a manger, some songs about a hero that made a group of people have hope a long, long time ago, then why is everyone so offended? Why do I hear people running around screaming about separation of church and state without the understanding that the same people who wrote this and many coming to our shores, were fleeing religious persecution. The pilgrims were sinners that had found the God of the Bible, normal men and women who still struggled as they sought to understand the world differently. We would say the pledge of allegiance when I was a child, "one nation under God," and yet those writers included "liberty and justice for all." There was tolerance of the belief of others written into this, and yet if I claim to be a Christian, it must go way beyond tolerance. I am told to love you, even if you hate me. A nation that worships political correctness worships dishonesty. It can no longer give an accurate portrayal of its history, origin or freedoms. I love my country, but it is changing rapidly. When asked to say if something is right or wrong, we back peddle again. When my daughter's band goes to play a song, the teacher feels the need to explain to the audience that it is not a Christmas song, lest anyone be offended. Well, I am offended, at how unbelievably ridiculous we've become. A story about the Creator of the universe, extending Himself to those who are lost. The story of a people who could not seem to save themselves, and so required this sacrifice of mercy. Yea, we don't need anything like that.
The virgin birth
God in a Manger
Fullness of God
Poor fellow, he just wants to dry his wings, but I want a picture, and there is just no way to explain this to him. A very clear sky, the water is much colder and I can now see that I was approaching the shad issue from the wrong direction. In the still water, I can see the little fish the bass were chasing and they are a pelagic, but the cold has driven them in to the shallows. They would usually not come this close till night. They act very much like thread fin shad, boiling at the surface, but the bass seem silent.
The Anhinga warned me to stay away, but I persisted and he flew off. He was replaced by a beautiful Great Blue Heron. I saw one of these birds, at a park in Leesburg, consume a dead gallinule, and I have witnessed another choke down a turtle. Very robust creatures, and beautiful to watch, so much poise.
All these fish in shallow water have drawn the birds. It is amazing how small a window they function in, to catch a fish. They have to move with reeds, remain so still and strike so fast. They have to compensate for light refraction, a fish is never quite where I see it. These birds manage this well.
Lily found the hawk today, and hopefully he does not find Pickles. We have been through that before.
I attempted a picture of the schooling fish that the bass are feeding on and gently tried to get this guy to regurgitate a few for me, but with no success. I am guessing it is the same fish at Crane's Roost as it is in my lake. The biggest ones I've seen so far, are no more than 3 inches, and I don't have anything on me to imitate it. My default jigs and spinners are white, and while these work well in lakes with shad fixed bass, they have not produced for me here. It looks like a long, slender minnow, with a dark line down the middle. From the dock they remind me of emerald shiners. It's of course ideal to be able to mimic color and pattern, especially with something so prominent as the dark line, but I believe size and profile to be just as much of an issue in this instance.
Since I don't have anything to match the overall look of the fish, and since they are no longer taking Senkos, I decided to try a 1/16 ounce finesse jig head, I got on sale at Bitters and some greenie weanies. No luck, so I went to a darker color and threw some watermelon/purple jiggy sticks. These worms are about 5 inches long, and with such a light jig, it is a delicate approach. The bass are not feeding like they were in days past, even though there are large pods of bait both in the shallows and mid lake. I do see some activity over open water, but not in range. I look at the minnows that are jumping again, and they are small, so I pull out a drop shot worm that is more a translucent white and purple. It is about 5 inches, so I trim off an inch and a half. I cast it as parallel to the bank as I can, and near the bait schools. Finally, after 2 hours of experimenting, I get my first bass. Another gentleman is casting a crank bait and has made it all the way around the lake without a hit. The bait fish schools in the shallows are relatively unmolested, and it is slow fishing, but I now have some confidence, and as I work my way back to the car, I catch a bigger one and then the smallest bass I have caught in this lake to date. Three bass in three hours, definitely not one of those days where you say we slayed them, but those you remember mostly for the day. The hard earned ones, where you have to reach a little deeper, that's when I remember each fish. So, was it the size, the presentation, persistence, or just dumb luck. Well, this I can tell you, when its hard, I often go small and when there is a lot of pressure on the fish I will revert to finesse and modify my lures. I love to fish.
Jingle bells, Lily:s feet smell; you should have warn socks today
Daddy caught bass, but not too fast, and the bigger one got away. Bitter:s June bug red trick worm.
All of the other reindeer use to laugh and call her names, they never let poor Drewdolph join in any reindeer games. Maybe cause you:re not really a rein deer, Drew.
Quack Quack Quack to the sound of Jingle Bells.
The girls will talk to any body.
Florida snow man, very rare.
Bah hum bug.
Are these candy canes ripe yet? That:s the way I use to keep them from eating all the candy canes on the tree. It worked for several years, but then they figured it out. Parents, always having to upgrade their creative tools.
Puff, the magic dragon, lived by the sea. Now on tour in Altamonte Springs.
Ah, little kids and alligators, it warms the heart.
Who:s a good reindeer? No Drew, not you.
Oh come on!
And a gallinule in the reeds. On the second day of Christmas….yada yada yada yada. She is probably too big for Bass to feed on, but their babies disappear quickly each spring, and I think bass are often the culprits.
*Don:t worry Calvin, I caught one for both of us.* Oh, that:s wonderful. The fish in here were feeding voraciously, and usually you would think that:s a good thing, but the problem tonight wash:t that they were too far away. They were actually crashing shad right at our feet. It is a problem we have solved at other times in other lakes, but not the two lakes I fish now. There were some whales in here blowing up on bait that night too, so it definitely merits more consideration. We could:t pull one off the shad so Peter went with a small brush hog over by the Lilies and pulled up this chunker. Nice fish.
The neighbors are out picking through the grass by the front porch again. I use to see them in Panasoffkee; they would flip cow patties in the air trying to get to the goodies inside. Yummy, but Sandhill Cranes are beautiful none the less.
I went wacky style because I could:t pick anything up on the other methods tonight. The bass in my lake seem to really like the Slurpie in bluegill color.
While you do get a lot of smaller fish this way, 7 in all, I do use this to target big fish that are slow to bite as well.
This Warmouth perch is just greedy, and only a few centimeters longer than the stick bait. Lily started out the evening with me, but then left fishing for a crafting date with Miss Brenda. It is wonderful to have good neighbors; she is truly a blessing.
Nice tree ladies, but if only you would put your crafting powers to a higher call, that:s right, lure making. I think they:d be great, and I could do all their field testing.
Wacky rigs do take the big ones and sometimes they are more than just a follow up. Ah, I can proudly hold my thumb up again, nice and shredded.
I still don:t get how you guys manage the selfie thing. So, one in the hall with a little help.
They seem to fight a whole lot harder with the cooler water temperatures. This one pulled drag and took me into the pads on 8 pound test, but I got him. Great way to end the day after work, and it is hard to watch tv knowing that there:s fish out there that I haven:t caught... yet.
It use to be mostly weeds in here, but the cold has killed back that and a lot of the algae as well. You can see little baby bass in these pictures.
There was a teary eyed girl at the base of an oak tree, for many hours today. I think Pickles fell asleep somewhere in the tree, but eventually he came down right as we were about to leave. It was getting cold and he went straight for Lily:s pocket.
I did Black Friday once with Meegan, and a lady yelled at us for cutting in line. No, I said I am already done shopping so I am trying to get to the check out. When she pointed out to me that the check out line wrapped all the way around the store, we looked at each other, laid the stuff down and went home. Id rather go fishing, and the only thing that could have made it more cliché is if I would have been fishing for Black Crappie.
My fishing hole had been transformed into a winter wonder land. Very surreal, catching bass to the sound of sleigh bells ringing.
I threw a Slurpie which took 2 bass for me tonight and I missed another on it. My brother gave me a bag of these, in bluegill, but I have not been able to find them on the internet in this color. This was my wacky rig worm tonight, and I also took one more fish on a Bitter:s magic wand, but it was destroyed in the process so I Texas rigged a KVD Ocho, and that took two more fish for me, including my biggest catch.
This whole Black Friday business has me puzzled. The news showed people camped outside stores on Wednesday afternoon for Black Friday deals that would start on Thursday afternoon. Thursday was suppose to be Thanksgiving day, but it was apparently absorbed into consumer day, and yea, oh well.
It was a terribly difficult week at work, but a couple of fishing rods and a few hours by the water goes a long way to clearing the mind of its rubbish. A couple tried to help me with a photo.
A hotel in the background. I spend very little time at this end of the lake, but I could see them smashing shad. I broke off on snags 3 times with my drop shot so I left it for a wacky rig.
A Blue Heron was using the lights to fish as well, but he his so skittish about being approached. Everything is fine till I stop moving and make eye contact. He is very shy.
The wacky rig wash:t weedless. It was basically an Owner Mosquito tied with a polymer knot and then sunk in the middle, balanced portion of the Slurpie.
Some chubby little bass in there tonight. The Ocho was Texas rigged on a 4/0 hook with a small bullet weight on top.
I:ll try a few selfies, and its still not an easy thing with a fish.
There is nothing in the world that invokes the memories of childhood for me like flowing water. Whether the creeks and rivers of the Florida woods, the tidal flow of the inter coastal, or the mountain streams of Appalachia, the current always flows strong in my veins. I have been trying to convince my wife of a trip to Little Econ, and over the summer I made an attempt with the kids, but there was so much heavy rain at the time that the river was swollen and the surrounding area was flooded. It is a place that I prefer light tackle, spinners, small poppers or a fly, but the water was so high and the current so strong, that my Rooster tails just danced along the surface. So fast forward to yesterday and much lower water levels, it's raining but the river is approachable. The rain is not so cold as to be uncomfortable, and not so heavy that it floods the banks, but strong enough to clean the air and rest a tired mind.
The water is a beautiful red in here and some of my most productive lures have been Rooster tails, Mepps and Panther Martins. It is dark and cloudy though today, and there is no light for the blade on my spinners to reflect, but I still managed a very beautiful Red Belly. I do well in here with white, red and white, and the hammered blade type of spinners. It is a good place for a drop shot but no matter what you use, you will invariably brake off at some point. The bottom is littered with fallen trees, but that is also where you find the bass. There were leopard frogs around so I decided to put away my drop shot and cast the only small Hula Popper I brought. As I brought it back through a section of slow water and over some logs, it got hammered. It has been a while since I fished back here and I forgot how much harder the river bass fight. I thought I hooked a bow fin as he pulled me down and hung me in the branches. So I slid down the bank and tried to work the snag free, but what's this, he is still on my line. It is a 3 prong hook and a prong was lodged in the wood and another in the hard part of his lip. I managed to straighten out the prong and land the bass, which considering my current luck with closing the deal, I felt quite accomplished. Maybe I have broken the cycle of missed sets and lost fish.
There are several ways to approach the Little Econ area, and whether you want to fish or are just out for a hike, there are different entry points that would accommodate both, but I can't imagine being by water and not fishing. Yesterday we parked at the kayak entry off of 419 and Willingham Road, and we were able to get the last to spots. It is a very small parking area, so it is always good to have a plan B. There is a bridge on Snow Hill Road that offers good access to the trails along the bank, and is also a good place to launch your canoe or kayak.
I have also taken pickerel, American Shad, bluegill, crappie, catfish, bowfin and gar in these waters. There is also a lot of wildlife to be seen, like the deer that came charging down the hill about 30 feet in front of me. A beautiful place to visit, and its really not far from the city.
You can see holes in the hill on the opposite bank. The water was higher than that earlier in the year. Often these cavities are the work of Plecostomus, and I have seen them burrow from one pond to an adjoining farm pond, causing the land bring to collapse.
Some of the trees were very heavy with air plants.
Red bellies are very beautiful and also make a great shore lunch. My brother caught some larger ones on a small crank.
A nice chunk here and his fighting prowess would shame the bass in my lake. I took this largemouth on a Hula popper and look at the gorgeous color on this fish.