I spent most of last week writing, and for the last three days I had done over 10,000 words in my new book. So yesterday it was time to take a day off.
Terry had seen some nice pieces of coral at the local flea market in nearby Oak Hill, so we started the day by going there to check them out again. She found two large pieces that look very nice on the hutch in our living room.
Back at home, I called Jim Lewis and asked if he felt like going fishing, and of course he did. So we went to the bait shop and got three dozen live shrimp, came home and hooked the Key Largo to the back of the pickup truck and headed for the boat launch.
It was a perfect day to be on the water, with temperatures in the upper 70s and a nice breeze blowing. Yep, the weather was cooperating very nicely. The fish? Not so nice.
We went down toward the opening to Bissett Bay, stopping just short of it and fishing the edge of the mangroves. Miss Terry started out using one of the Mighty Bite lures I told you about in Saturday’s blog, while Jim used an artificial shrimp lure. Me, I’m a traditionalist, I decided to go with the ever faithful live shrimp.
On my second or third cast I nailed the first fish of the day, a small mangrove snapper.
Meanwhile, Terry and Jim were casting and retrieving, casting and retrieving, and not having any success. Jim decided to switch to one of the Mighty Bite’s as well, but it didn’t work any better for him than the other lure had.
You never know what you’re going to see when you’re out on the water. Shortly after we anchored and started fishing we spotted this raccoon walking along the shoreline of the mangroves, looking for lunch. I’m not sure if he was getting oysters or some kind of small fish, but he sure was a busy little fellow.
The tide was going out and pretty soon we had less than two feet of water under the boat, and we were afraid of getting stuck and having to sit there until high tide several hours later. So we pulled up the anchor and moved down a little ways into deeper water, but staying along the edge of the mangroves.
On my first cast I got a couple of bites before it stole my bait. This happened again. And again. And again. And…., well you get the idea. You’ve got to be on your toes to hook a snapper, they are real bandits! I caught another nice one, and it was big enough to go into the live well.
While I was doing that, something bit the tail end off of Jim’s Mighty Bite and he switched to another artificial, while Terry decided to join me in feeding shrimp to the fish. It seemed like with every cast I got bites, but more often than not, they stole my bait. I did catch one or two more small ones and let them go. Then, toward the end of the day, Terry got another one who joined his friend in the live well.
About then we noticed that the same raccoon had followed us along the shoreline and was still busy searching for something to eat. I wish we would have had a regular camera along, this is the best I could get with my cell phone.
The raccoon wasn’t the only critter keeping us company. Some dolphins went by, and this pelican landed close enough to the boat that I could have reached out and touched it with my fishing rod. I told it not to even think about trying to steal a fish off my line while I was reeling it in, but the bird didn’t seem too impressed with whatever I had to say.
The tide was getting lower as the hours went on, and eventually we ran out of bait. I tied on one of the Mighty Bite’s to see if I could have any luck with it, but the local fish don’t seem at all interested. Then again, they didn’t respond to any of the different artificial lures that Jim was throwing, either. The only thing they hit on consistently were the shrimp. We started out with 36 shrimp and came home with two fish, so I guess they won this one. But who’s counting? It was still a lot of fun.
The water near our fishing pier and boat ramp is very shallow, like it is most places here when you get away from the channel of the Inland Waterway. In the channel we had 15 or 16 feet of water under the hull, but only two at the most at the ramp at low tide, making getting in and getting the boat back up on the trailer a bit of a challenge. I stayed on the boat while Jim got off and held a line to the dock, and Terry got the pickup and trailer and backed the trailer down the ramp and into the water enough that we could get the boat started on it. But then it took a lot of hand winching to get it all the way up. We still need to work on that.
Even though Terry had never backed a trailer up before, she did a good job of it and I was proud of her. She had also never filleted fish before, but we watched a couple of YouTube videos about how to do it the other day, and she did just fine. There’s not much in this world she can’t do when she puts her mind to it.
Today, it’s back to writing. I passed the 50,000 word mark sometime Saturday, so I’m about two thirds of the way through the book, give or take. I never know exactly how many words one of my novels is going to be; most average somewhere between 75,000 and 80,000 words. We’ll see where this one ends up at.
Congratulations Margie Rodgers, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of Suzie O’Connell’s Starlight Magic, from her popular Northstar romance series. We had 62 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.
Thought For The Day – Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but also through being the right mate. ~ Barnett R. Brickner