I'm not even sure what that means. It was a right handed reel, but I guess she doesn't use a bait caster that often so she grabbed it upside down initially. We corrected it, but it still didn't feel right to her. Matt is using a piece of shiner that Lily froze, and Drew is using some hotdog that her and her sister were cutting into pieces and then stuffing with beef fat. It worked very well, and I caught my fish on the same thing.
This is what it looked like on the way down, but it has been doing this every day for two weeks now. At some point you just have to suck it up and go fish. Sometimes fishing in the rain actually pays off, but sometimes its too much rain and it actually effects the water chemistry. In deeper bodies of water you can have lake turnover, and in Florida's shallow lakes, we sometimes have PH crashes due to the heavy rains. Most of the lakes I fish are rather alkaline and buffered against this, but I have seen dies off due to what was determined as DO levels. The heavy rain may have an adverse effect at times. Flash flooding causes massive run off which sweeps pollutants, fertilizers and large volumes of what could be much colder water into the ecosystem. Depending on the size of the pond and other influences, like springs, it may or may not handle handle this well. Sometimes the fishing takes a steep dive, but I attribute this to stress, and conservation of energy due to low oxygen levels. "Yea dad, uh can we go fishing now?" Sorry, where were we?
Thanks Matt, always a good time.
Sure, but I'm going to take a camera, and stop at every point of interests along the way. I may even get lost, and discover something new, but there are far too many letters in the alphabet to only spell the words with A and B.
I talked to some people taking a swim with their dogs. They said they loved it here because there were no snakes or alligators. "I find that rather impossible to believe, and in fact, I always assume there is." I walked over to the back water, about a hundred yards away, and found this beautiful little fellow. He's probably trying to avoid the larger of his species also.
I would go in the swimming area too but with my eyes open, and not just for myself but for others swimming there too. Dogs would be a reason for me to stay out of the water though; they tend to act like gator attractant.
Stopped to rescue a turtle on North Street, then let him go. The poor terrapins, always wanting to move from this canal to the pond on the other side of the road. They seem to have a strong sense of water, but are ill equipped to deal with cars. Tucking into your shell doesn't help much.
Then I saw a sign for Seminole trail head. This is one of those places frequented by bikers and roller bladers. It is a wonderful place to walk, with plenty of mature shade trees. It is also part of the black bear corridor. If only people could learn to leave them alone. I also found some pretty sections of Little Wekiva, and man the water has really come up with all this rain.
Not sure if they were breeding, fighting or preying, but there were several wasps that kept piling up on each other. There were hundreds of these mounds in the area with lots of little wasp hovering above. Apparently there are many mound builders.
I believe these are shelf fungi.
The woods seem to be frequented by suburban teenagers, as this cave drawing and the many empty beer cans suggest. I'm no anthropologist but I think it safe to say that the boys were not true malt connoisseurs. The Busch was in poor taste and leaving your cans all over the forest floor was in even poorer taste. I did however, enjoy the graffiti. While I was admiring the little dragon, a very large bird flew by. It was so quiet it had to be an owl. So I walked the way of the shadow.
His head follows me all the way, and he is assessing the amount of threat I represent. I take some shots before getting closer because he looks like he's ready to take off. Sure enough, after just a few more steps he bolts, and I follow him one more time.
I decided to go a back way home, and in my final stretch, this guy. What is an Emu doing in the city? Oh well, I really don't mind dropping off the kids, but don't tell my wife.
You can take the smallest thing, and watch it open wings
In a moment it will fly, then not so many moments go by
And the fly is ready to die
But this is how time has passed us by
It is described as breath, and yet so difficult to let it out
Till the years and age, have weathered it with doubts
The mind, the morning, and the mourning have faded into dark
In the twilight things look differently, and beg a change of heart
Her hand grows cold inside of mine, the embers lose their glow
As Autumn's leaves are covered now, by winter's falling snow
Calvin "Cheese Grits" Yerke
Girls, I know that old seems a great distance away right now, but some those who love you are already there. They look back in fondness at the whole of your span of life. They remember you as babies, as toddlers and little girls. You're blessed to have met them and they feel fortunate to have lived so long, that they know the names and faces of the grandchildren's children. I remember my own great grandmother and the things she taught me just by letting me tag along. They offer you moments that are easy to miss, and stories of the past. It is a history you can't watch, but can buy for the price of an open ear and a little of your time. I miss my great grandmother. She knew many things that people today would not consider worth knowing. Her experiences taught her how to make everything from scratch, that hard work was a blessing and that life could be interrupted at any moment. She knew of plenty and also times of want. This made her frugal and accustomed to saving. I loved her, and of course now I miss the stories that I once had trouble sitting still for, and I regret that I did not always listen. Please take the time for these moments, and give yourself the advantage of knowing your elders and spending less time later in regrets. They were also made in the image of God, and they were smiling at you in love before you had ever opened your eyes. It is a brief moment, this life.
From the land of Ginseng, rolling hills, mountains and streams of clear water, came a man I met in Florida. Howard Robinson once told me that he came from the second largest state in the union, and so I pulled out an atlas and told him that West Virginia was not nearly so big as Texas. He said, "if you flattened it out, it would be bigger than Texas." He has always worked outside, and at 70 years, when most men are trying to find a place to stay warm, he is trying to plan a hunt for this fall. He always likes to tinker and has an eye for what something might be. The cane he has in the picture was a root he found in the ground while working. Howard doesn't need a cane, but he likes to make things from scratch. He brought the root home and told his wife, "look, a seahorse." She couldn't see it at first even though she is good artist in her own right. Howard took the root and helped the seahorse come out. It is his favorite cane, but he is an old horse trader at heart, so he won't put a price on it, but he'd know the right price if he heard it.
My wife asked Howard and Gerry if she could sell some of their art work on the site, and they consented, but my pictures did not turn out so good. My wife is threatening to fire me and hire a new photographer. I will have to find a better way to picture product.
Here are some pictures of pieces that combine Gerry's drawing and Howard's work with raw materials.
I hope you enjoyed a sample look at some mountain art; there will be more in the months following.
I listened, like you should when you're fishing new water, but I wasn't getting anything over three pounds. That isn't a terribly bad thing, and I enjoy it regardless but the white pearl, black and purple, and even my go to plum and green pumpkin, weren't producing the bigger fish. I kept going back in my mind to the color of the craw, and the shiners that Lily was catching. There was orange, some gold/green and a lot of surface action. So I broke down and checked out the fishing section at Walmart.
There was a square bill that I thought might work, but the weeds are ridiculous in here and I only had about 4 dollars to spend, so I opted for the Culprit Gumbo in a 7.5 inch worm. It played on a lot more orange than the crawdad and I was hoping for a reaction strike. There are also a lot of water snakes, sirens and fresh water eels in some of these Florida lakes. Culprit lures have a great action, and the only problem I have with them is that bass will often drop them rather quickly.
A big bass go to for me, especially around creek mouths and shallows, has always been soft plastics that imitate snake colors. Sometimes I will go bigger than the 10 inch worms. This time they had 7.5, but I had noticed some banded water snakes about this diameter, and there are other small water snakes down here that are probably a shallow water staple. Yes, the bass were in shallow water, in the heat of September, but there is a spring in this lake not far from where I caught them and it had been raining all afternoon. I caught five bass, in the rain, in the shallows, in less than 30 minutes. The first 2 strikes tonight I missed, and one of those strikes I knew came from a heifer. I cast to the opposite direction to give her a chance to reload, and then tried the same spot again. She took it hard this time and buried me in the weeds, but the hook was set deep and held. I worry some times because I am using 10 pound mono in here due to the clear water. Well where are my little hecklers now, I was 10 years old again and found myself running to the house and banging on the door for someone to bring me a camera. Finally, I got one of the big ones out of here, and I went back to my old school trouble shooting; it felt good. I know what you're thinking, it was irresponsible to take him to the house, but she was out of the water for a total of 3 minutes. We ran her back down to the lake and she was still kicking; she even drew blood from one of my thumbs. A beautiful bass, a beautiful rainy day, and thank God for such a great hobby.
I needed something to occupy my mind, so time for a little hook and line
A little time to myself, to unwind, just me and the fish that I find
But, "Mr., what are you doing", I hear coming up from behind
"I'm playing tennis," is what I reply, then send my lure out through the sky
"I think you're fishing," she tells me with conviction, and that my tennis is nothing but fiction
"You are correct, I'm trying to catch bass, but not getting a whole lot of love
Even though the bass that I'm watching, all seem fixed on things up above
So I'm working this little Assassin, I just keep casting and casting and casting"
"Well Mr.", she says, "I don't think you're leaving your bait out there long enough"
Her little sister agrees and nods her head at me, "have you ever caught a fish with that stuff?"
"Yes, it's a good lure and I'm trying to imitate injured prey, that's why I move it this way"
"Hmm," she replies, "have you ever caught a bass in this lake?"
"Yes, but unless I show you then you're going to think I'm fake."
Heckled by two little kindergartners, God I really do need a fish
Just one little fish, God please, just this one little wish
And to the sound of jeering girls, and laughing little banshees
I cast a toad, as far I can, across hydrilla weeds
Just like a seal on Shark Week he glides across the surface
Until Leviathan comes forth and crushes him with purpose
I fight the monster to the shore and glow as one redeemed
Then show it to my tormentors, who say, "what an ugly thing"
That's it, that's all you have to say, about this mighty bass
"Well it took you long enough,' she said, 'but probably cause you reel to fast"
Calvin "Cheese Grits" Yerke
I made some new friends at the lake the other day, while my girls were playing video games. They were cute and not the least bit shy when it came to critiquing my fishing style. I finally consented to teaching them how to cast a spinning reel, and we discussed what a bass was. Their confidence in me was not very high, since what I called fishing, they saw as skipping plastic. I tried several lures that day and finally ended with a dark Zoom toad, with blue flecks. There were bats diving close to the water, and I have no way of proving it, but the bass seemed very interested in them. Maybe the dark toad, falling on the water beneath them triggered the response. I don't know, but I try to use anything that nature makes available. Later my girls came out and did some fishing of their own. They were eager to share, and I listened as they taught the other two girls about fishing. This is a proud moment when you see your children are able to teach other children the art of angling. When you can teach some one, it means you are developing a deeper understanding of it yourself. It was fun to watch, and see my daughter express some of the same frustrations when they mishandled the gear. I guess its time to reach a little deeper into my arsenal and share a few more secrets. They can cast net, fish with lures some, and teach others to do the same. I am very happy with them, so I think we will keep them.
Forty years old and still in awe of the outdoors.