Friday, October 24, 2014

Fall fun!

I think this is one of those "we will use this picture against you in high school" type photos!
 Dane and Daddy got a duck!
 We were out on the jet boat and went through a huge flock of coots...  it was so funny, they would let us get right on top of the and then they would dive cause they couldn't fly fast enough...  for some reason we all thought it was hysterical!
 Bones hoping for just one little tidbit!
 Our little fish catching pro!
 Bones and I enjoying the day!
 Our little ham. Ever since we harvested the sturgeon roe she has been obsessed with fish eggs.
What a stud; the fish is pretty nice too! :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014


    Dane and I were so very lucky to go and see family friends, Karl, and Nancy in Florida.  I met Karl over 10 years ago when we moved to Montana.  Karl and Nancy lived in Seattle, but Karl would travel to Montana to see family and hunt.  We always tried to spend a little time together when he made it to Montana.  Although our friendship was founded on hunting and fishing, Karl is an amazing man.  He has been both a friend and mentor to me. 
Karl and Nancy retired, and moved to Florida last year.  It has been too many years between visits.  They moved to Amelia Island near Jacksonville Fl.  Dane and I were fortunate we were able to go down and see them for a week. 
    Like a lot of kids, Dane has never walked on an ocean beach.  He has never looked down on the world from the window of a plane.  What an adventure this was for him.  Dane and I were like kids in a candy store.  We had so many great new experiences. I don't have the time to write about them all,  we stood 15 feet from a live gator three blocks from the house.  I was able to see Dane catch lizards and frogs, redfish and sea trout.  We saw sea turtles, a manatee, porpoises, and millions of bait fish migrating down the beach just feet from us.  Dane hooked a huge tarpon on the beach, and we ate fried alligator tail, not to mention the best shrimp I have ever had.
        I need to give Karl and Nancy a huge thank you, so so very much.  They let us invade their home, and they embraced Dane's excitement (it was endless).  At six years old, his attention is short, but his passion for adventure is contagious.  I am sure they slept good for a few nights after we left.  I enjoyed the Floridians, they were southern without a doubt, polite and wonderful.  The food was great, I have never had better shrimp in my life.   Fresh fish was caught and cooked, and could not be outdone by a fancy restaurant. It was just nice to get away and see a new part of the world, and catch up with friends.  We took hundreds of pictures but here are a few.  
This is a cicada, they made a tone of noise and were very interesting to Dane. 
It only took Dane a few minutes to get use to the ocean, then I couldn't get him out of it. 
in places on the beach the sea shells were so thick, we were walking on them!
This a 5-6 foot gator just a few blocks from the house in a water retaining pond near Karl and Nancy's house.  Dane and I made daily trips to go see what was in the pond. 
Karl has made several trips to Africa, and he let Dane look at his trophies (and hold a few, what a treat).  It was awesome. 
Above is a blue wildebeest, and below is a red hartebeest.

Just a few of the unlucky lizards Dane caught while on safari in the back yard. 

This picture struck me, just a boy and an ocean, endless adventure.
This looked a postcard, all the sea shells were amazing.  
Nancy and Dane in the surf.   I owe Nancy a huge thank you.  She was purely wonderful.  So thank you so much. 

Dane convinced Nancy to help dig to China, and Nancy is trying to get Karl to take his turn with the shovel.  I just sat back and smiled.  It was very nice to unwind and unplug.

Karl, taught me how to throw a cast next (I am still a beginner), but we were able to catch finger mullet in the surf and use them as bait.  Here is Dane with a few mullet and Grits (Bones's sister) supervising the boys. 
Dane with a Blue fish, one of many and fun was had by all
Surf fishing at its best.
Karl, thank you so much. 
Dane with a 12 foot surf rod reeling in a skate, what a champ. 
Our first, but not our last skate of the day.  Dane did great. 
The seagulls were looking for handouts.
Dane is a great fisherman at six years old, I only take credit for teaching him the little bit I know.  He has great form, and is fighting a big redfish. 

A nice red from the surf, he was too big to keep, so we took his picture and let him go. 

You never know what you are going to catch, it was awesome.  I have to say fresh flounder was one of the best fish I have eaten.  It must have been a combination of good cooking, great company, and ambiance. 
One morning, and Karl had set up a guided trip for us.  We hooked a pile of nice fish using live shrimp.  We must have caught a dozen different species.  Here is a nice sea trout.  The memories we made were incredible. 
Georgia was only a 20 minute drive away, and Karl took us to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.  This was a big gator catching some sun on the side of the road.  It was impressive to say the least.
Close up

I was thinking, just a few more steps, I will have a great picture.  This gator was thinking, yes just a few more steps......I will have a nice dinner. 

Dane inspecting a turtle nest, they rope off the area to prevent it from being disturbed. 
Our last morning, we walked the beach took one last moment to appreciate it all and......
We were off.  Back to reality.  Again, thank you Karl and Nancy these two Montana boys had a great time we will never forget.