Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas to all my friends...thanks for stopping by!

I hope all of you and your families have a great Christmas and that next year is your best yet!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Green Trout

A friend of mine called me and said he wanted come down to Apalachicola and catch a mess of "green trout". Now for those of you not fortunate enough to be from the southeast, a green trout is also called a black bass or large mouth bass, in other parts of the world. Now people bass fish all over the country, but "green trout" fishing entails a different technique. First you have to have the proper equipment. No fancy, high dollar rod & reel...nope you have to have a 11 or 12' bream buster reel, just your modern day cane pole. This coupled with a bucket of frisky shrimp and you'll be prepared for a day of "trout" fishing.

I picked up 8 dozen shrimp and met Mike at about 1100, just as the tide started to come back in to the bays and creeks. We rode the tide up the creek dabbling shrimp in likely looking holes as we went. Somehow it very therapeutic to watch your cork shimming around, just before it disappears.

Four hours later we were out of shrimp and had boated 50-60 "green trout"and kept a half dozen for supper. We had laughed, solved some of the world's problem, watched eagles coming and going from their nest and now it was time to enjoy on last treat that Apalachicola offers...oysters! We put the boat on the trailer and headed to Papa Joe's at Scipio Creek for an ice cold beer and equally cold oysters shucked while we watched. A fitting end to a most enjoyable day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Great Blue Heron

Beautiful birds, but they always look strange in a tree. This guy was was watching us, as we came back from an aborted off shore trip.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fall in the Florida Panhandle

We had our first major cool front this weekend coupled with "big" negative tides. 20-30 kt.  north winds with tides averaging 1 foot lower than normal equals more trouble than it's worth to fish, so I took a ride through Tate"s Hell State Forest and Apalachicola National Forest.

Wright Lake in Apalachicola National Forest
Who says we don't have seasons?
An interesting clover...not sure what it is.
The  deer tongue or wild vanilla still had some good color.

The soft greeneyes were in scattered clumps and still in good color. Overall there are still a number of wildflowers in bloom. I'll post some more later in the week. I'm fishing in the morning and it's my bed time.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Whiskey George Sentinel

I knew it was a good sign , when we headed into Whiskey George and there was an eagle watching the confluence with Cash's Creek. The morning was overcast and a pleasant temperature. Typical fall weather in Apalachicola. There were birds working schools of shrimp, being pushed to the top by trout. We stopped and caught a dozen short fish before we headed up the creek.
We picked up 8-10 more small trout on top water plugs, but not the quality of fish I was after. I was basically scouting for trips this week and I wanted some bigger fish.
Our clouds went away and so did our top water bite. The tide had turned and better trout started blasting LYs all around us. We switched over to sub surface MirrorLures and started catching better trout.

I'd accomplished my goal to locate some fish in an area that i hadn't fished in a couple of weeks and we had caught 20+ trout in the 2 hours that we'd been it was lunch time and time to watch a ball game.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Hour On The Bay

 As I wandered down to the dock for a sunset cocktail and maybe get lucky with a few sunset pictures, looking across East Bay at Apalachicola. I heard the chirping of an eagle. He/she, I haven't mastered determining their sex at 100 yards at twilight, landed in some pines.

What to do now...finish my cocktail and take some sunset shots or run through the pines and palmettos in shorts & flip flops in the dark. Well I took a dozen or so sunset shots...but I  had to go see if he was still there.

It was 700 PM and the light was going fast, but he was still there. The quality isn't the best, but considering the time and's not too bad.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Signs of Fall

 The first flight of white pelicans showed up in East Bay this morning. A sure sign that cooler weather isn't far away. As you can tell from the picture they were too far away for decent pictures  with my current lens. By the time I decided to put the boat in the water for some closer shots and ran around towards Whiskey George, they had departed.
The good thing about white pelicans is their arrival coincides with Mirrolure time. This is when the larger trout start loading up on protein for the fall and winter. I didn't hit any of the big sows this morning, but I did find some nice sized males 18-19" that were looking for a snack. We've got some rain forecast later on this week so we may get some top water action, if we have an overcast day or two.

Eagles are everywhere you look in the bay. This immature eagle didn't seem to understand why I was releasing trout.

They don't get their white tails and heads, along with their yellow beaks, until their fifth year. This guy looked like he was starting to get some white on his head.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Autumn in Apalachicola

This is a busy time of the year, here on Apalachicola Bay. As summer heat begins to give way a lot of things start happening at once. The first being the annual white shrimp migration. The shrimp that have been growing in the bay's and river's brackish waters start moving to the open gulf to spawn. During this journey trout, reds and tarpon have a hey day and so do we! There is no limit on white trout, so it's a great time for fish fries. Limiting on speckled trout is also very doable.

Fish and shrimp aren't the only creatures on the move. Now also the beginning of the butterfly migration with thousands of  Gulf Fritillary

and everyone's favorite the Monarch

and one of my favorites the Common Buckeye

Many of our migrating birds are passing through now. I've seen a number of colorful warblers that don't year around here along the ever entertaining humming birds, not to speak of all the eagles that are starting their nests. There were 5 overhead at one time last week.

Cool nights, warm days and all kinds of critters...Autumn in Apalach is a fun time!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Monsoons in the marshlands

As luck would have it, we've battled rain and wind for the past 10 days. First came TD5, then it fizzled and came back around to keep our winds blowing and thunderstorms for some-part of most days. i had a new camera ordered and it came in yesterday so I'm chompin at the bit to go play with it. Wanted to run up East River and take a few bird pictures and maybe a tarpon picture are two, but there are thunderstorms bouncing all around I decided I'd run over to Tate's Hell and see what I could find that would hold still long enough for me to figure out what buttons to push and knob to twirl.

After a stop at Cash's creek for the first rain picture I  went to the dwarf cypress board walk.

Several unique stands of cypress wetlands are located within the forest. These cypress trees are documented to be over 150 years old but only reach a mature height of approximately 15 feet, hence the name "dwarf cypress". They are also referred to as "miniature" or "hat-rack" cypress. The Ralph G. Kendrick Boardwalk offers an observation tower overlooking one of the most prolific areas.

The cypress were too mono-toned to be any fun. As I started to walk back to the truck I noticed a number of water lilies in the swamp surrounding the board walk. I took several picture at different settings and I thought this one came out nice.

I didn't see anything else of interest other than a king snake, but he was too fast for me.

About that time another shower started to head my way, plus it was nearing lunch time so headed back to the house for a bologna sandwich and to study some of the software that came with the camera.

We'll after my sandwich and about 30 minutes of refusing to read the's my latest creation!

This is the picture above with colors manipulated...I think it turned out cool! This may expose my artsy fartsy side...nah, no way. I don't think it exists. But I do think I'm going to have fun with my new camera.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Manatees Love Apalachicola

Well... I saw a first today and didn't have my camera with me...just my luck.

As I started across the causeway to Apalachicola, there were about 10 vehicles pulled off the south side of  Hwy 98, with the drivers and occupants looking at the bay. After stopping I could see something splashing about 50 yards out in the bay and realized that it was a manatee breeding.

It seems that manatees are indiscriminate breeders and when a cow goes into heat, all the males in the neighborhood show up. Today there were 9or 10 in attendance when  I stopped, but I was told they had been there for several hours.

Oyster Radio's Blog

Here are some photos that John took.

John's photos

Here are some photos Laura took of the manatees.

East Bay Manatees

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tarpon Days of Summer

These sweltering days of late July, August and September are thought of as the "Dog Days", but I prefer to think of them as the "Tarpon Days". We have a great tarpon fishery in and around Apalachicola, that doesn't receive much least the areas that I fish. We fished 4 days last week and we saw one other boat tarpon fishing!

Here's a nice account of 3 days from last week.     Jim & Tim's Tarpon Trip

Friday, July 23, 2010

TS Bonnie

Currently it appears that Bonnie will stay well to the south and west of Apalachicola, but hopefully we'll get some rain out of it.

Best wishes to our neighbors to the west.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Why I look forward to the 4th of July

The 4th of July is day that brings forth patriotism and feelings of pride in many of us. To others, history is lost and it's just a day off and fireworks, but to me it's all of the more! My brown turkey figs will be ripe.  

 I only have one fig bush, but it must love Apalachicola's climate. Every year it keeps me,  and my friends and neighbors in sweet, succulent figs.

While I love figs straight from the tree, what comes foremost to mind is fig preserves. Not just fig preserves, but fig preserves and steamy hot cathead biscuits! Truly the breakfast of champions!

A couple of mornings of picking figs yielded enough figs for preserves.

After a good washing, I removed the stems and covered in sugar (5# bag)

Just let them sit on the counter overnight and the sugar will pull the moisture out. The next morning add a touch of cinnamon and some lemon slices. Cook slowly for about 3 hours and then can or  freeze your preserves.

Make you up some cathead biscuits and cook some of your home cured Canadian bacon. What a way to start the morning!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mason the tarpon slayer

This past weekend, three generations of the Edwards clan from Montgomery, AL. came to Apalachicola to take on the silver king. They consisted of grandpa Chuck, son Charlie and grandsons Mason and Sam.

After an early start the fish didn't get turned on until about 0930, when Charlie hooked a bull shark. While he was fighting it, Mason's rod went off...but it sure wasn't a shark!

Two hours later an exhausted Mason led an equally exhausted tarpon to the side of the boat.

Just as the leader was grabbed, the tarpon tried to make one final run. The 60 pound bite tippet parted and the tarpon headed for deeper water. After nearly 2 1/2 hours, 11 year old Mason had bested a tarpon twice his own weight. A day he will remember for years to come.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Oil and Apalachicola

I'm getting a lot of calls and emails inquiring to the location of BP's oil. Here is the latest information, that I've found.

As this chart indicates, we are not in any immanent danger from the spill. Come on down...we've got more fish than fishermen right now.