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Friday, July 30. 2010
On last Thursday, July 22, I was contacted by the folks at The Big Wild Radio Program, currently airing on 22 stations in the upper, mid west, asking if I would do an 8 minute interview, Friday, on frogginâ€™.Â After reading my September 17,2009 post on frogginâ€™, "What's It Called", Gundy and Johnny V, hosts of the program, contacted me on Friday and taped an 8 minute segment about the sport.
The segment will air on July 31 and will be posted on The Big Wild Radio Programâ€™s blog on August 2 and will cover shooting, gigging, grabbing, cleaning, recipes and eatinâ€™ of frog legs.Â Not having a list of the radio stations, it would be best to check out their blog.
Radio personality, hmmm?
Wednesday, July 28. 2010
I donâ€™t believe thereâ€™s been a song written about going to Hot springs, but Stumpy and his Texans are going up there today for a two day tournament, starting on Thursday.Â Finally weâ€™ll be getting to play some competitive teams, BUT, weâ€™ll still be missing three of our good players.
The one we will miss most is Eldon Brast, our number one pitcher.Â He will be at the hospital Friday while his daughter, Debbie, has neck surgery.Â All should pray that the surgery is successful!
Weâ€™ll be better than our effort in Kansas City, but two good teams, The Texas Greyhounds and Oklahoma Blast will be waiting to sneak up on us.Â Who knows how itâ€™ll turn out because were still playing on a square field, using a round bat and round ball?
Monday, July 26. 2010
We enjoy sweet potatoes several times a week.Â Theyâ€™re healthy, provide fiber and are low on fat.Â Yesterday, for lunch, we tried something a little different.
At lunch, Layla and I split a t-bone, but of course she got the tender side.Â Along with the steak, we had green chilies and onions and we halved a sweet potato.Â Now, regular potatoes are a natural with steak, but being on a healthy eating kick and trying to loose weight, we thought weâ€™d have a sweet potato too.
It turned out that the sweet potato was great with the steak and green chilies and onions, I even mixed all three together in one bite and the taste was excellent!Â Sweet potatoes are easy to prepare in the microwave.Â Just puncture the skin several times, place in the microwave, cover with a paper towel and cook for five minutes.Â Take the potato out of the mic, cut open and apply a butter substitute.Â They are very, very tasty.
Now for the green chilies and onions.Â Clean and slice up a fist sized onion, then take a good sized skillet and with the electric stove on low/simmer, or the gas stove burner set on real low, put a half of a stick of butter into the skillet, then, add the onions, cover and simmer for a few minutes, until the onions turn glassy looking, or lose their whiteness.Â Then, take a can of diced, Ortega chilies and add to the onion/butter mix and cook for ten more minutes.Â Serve hot, feeds two, double or triple recipe for more folks, are great over steaks and scrambled, eggs and probably will â€œgo alongâ€ with almost anything.
Sunday afternoon, we also made some home made, peach ice cream, with peaches off one of our trees, used skim milk, along with Splenda, but, I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll try to put any green chilies and onions on the ice cream.Â One of these days, Iâ€™ll post the recipe for our peach ice cream too.Â
Saturday, July 24. 2010
Arizona summers can be brutal with their heat, July especially and this particular one in 1973 was really brutal!Â Temps in the hundred and twenties to twenty-five, not much wind and frequent, swirling, dust storms.Â The dust storms led to the chore of cleaning out our pool, too.
Thursday morning I got a call from Jake Schroder and he said, â€œBeech, this summerâ€™s too hot for this olâ€™ Texas boy.Â Letâ€™s take our families up to the Black River, camp out, fish and enjoy the seven to eight thousand foot temperatures!â€Â Needing no prompting, I obliged him and we agreed, in order to get the camp set up before dark, to leave just after lunch on Friday. Â
The Black River, one of our favorite camping spots, was on the Ft. Apache Indian Reservation and already having permits to fish, hunt and camp on the Apache Indianâ€™s land helped to make the three hour, drive an easy one.Â South of Ft. Apache, the Black River joins the White River to form the Salt River and the chain of lakes that leads down the Saltâ€™s canyon to Phoenix.Â By the time the Salt reaches Phoenix, except for periods of heavy rain, it is just a dry river, bed, flowing on until it meets up with Quiotosa Wash and forms the Gila River that flows on until it meets the mighty, Colorado at Yuma.
Enough geography!Â Camp setting was easy too with each of our total of six children having their assigned chores.Â Jake and I planned our next days fishing trip while our wives started the preps for dinner.Â He and I would grill the steaks on our special, two by three foot, piece of steel, expanded metal.Â In 1971 we found this great, grilling, tool beside the road and used it whenever we camped out.Â During our move to Atlanta in 1974 every item of our goods was delivered, but for the piece of expanded metal and Iâ€™m sure that some moving hand acquired him a great grilling tool also.
As the sun was coming up Saturday morning there was no breakfast in bed as we gobbled a hurried snack and started our descent down into the canyon of the Black River.Â The canyon sides went from a pleasant walk, to a slide, with a misstep meaning a fall of some distance.Â Jake, our boys and I made it safely down to the river.Â The boys explored, like the girls above, looking for artifacts that were illegal to remove from the reservation, while Jake and I began fishing for the plentiful small mouth, bass.
Our lure of choice was a Mepps, Number 2, spinner a great choice for the small mouths and any lurking trout.Â I have used this spinner in several places along the Colorado River in Arizona, in the Big Thompson River in Colorado and in Georgia on the Chattachoochie, all with great results!
We were both armed with whippy rods, spinning reels with eight pound, line and we were also armed with .22 pistols, that later, led to an interesting development.Â We carried along our pistols, not using them once, for self defense, against the many rattlers.
We saw no one else during our two day stay, fished all day Saturday and Sunday morning, kept enough for a good mess for a two family fish fry and, needless to say, the fishing was great!Â After a quick meal of fish sandwiches, we gathered up everything, packed our trucks and, with Jake and his family in the lead, headed back to our homes, better said as ovens, in Paradise Valley.
After a several mile, four wheel drive only, jaunt we finally hit the blacktop and waiting for us, it seemed, was a White Mountain Indian Policeman.Â These have always been tough guys, the same Policeman that helped subdue the mighty Apache Nation and forced most of them on to the San Carlos Reservation.Â An ironic note to this sad chapter in our Nationâ€™s treating of all Indians, was that after rounding up the Apaches, the White Mountain Apache Policeman were also herded on to boxcars and shipped off to Florida, returning years later to their mountain home.
The Policeman pulled us both over, checked the Shroderâ€™s papers, no racial profiling then, then came running back to our truck shouting, â€œWhereâ€™s the pistol, out of the truck?â€Â We unloaded everyone and I showed him the unloaded, pistol, a Ruger Bearcat, quite expensive now, he took it and said, â€œThis is illegal on the Reservation and Iâ€™m going to keep it!â€Â Offering a barrage of reasons why he should just give us the gun back and send us on our way, he finally relented, but forcefully said, â€œI donâ€™t ever want to see either of your families on this Reservation again!â€
We never went back, but Jake, his son, the same son that told the Indian Policeman about our gun, his son-in-law and grandson went back two years ago, but he never told me about any police encounters.
Thursday, July 22. 2010
Nearing noon on a hot, late July, day, we, Doug Small, a neighbor, and I were ready to call it quits and head in from a less than productive trip of trying to find and catch some speckled trout east of the Galveston Causeway.Â The tide had started out and us having been at it since sun up, were hot, tired, sun burned and casted out, when we noticed five, fishing boats pulled close to the small islets that separated Swan Lake from the bay.Â They were northeast of the mouth of Campbellâ€™s Bayou and just below the first of a series of small cuts that ran out of the upper end of Swan Lake. Â
Closer inspection showed that these were five, guide boats, sans clients, just guides.Â Having know some of these fellows, they signaled for us to pull in behind the last boat and one hollered out, â€œNot too close to the bank, thereâ€™s a school of reds just below the little cut.â€
Just then, one had a big strike and set to battling the red.Â It was some fight, but finally the pressure from the rod and the reelâ€™s drag slowed the fish, it was boated and the happy guide held up a nice redfish, probably thirty inches long.Â Another guide had a hit and let out a yell as the fish, another big one, peeled off line.Â Soon it was boated, another thirty incher, just like the first.
We hurriedly cast out toward the shore and began working our shrimp back toward the boat, popping the corks and keeping the slack out of our lines.Â We both had solid strikes, hoping for two big reds, but after short fights we boated two, three pound, specs, nice fish, but not the hoped for reds.Â Casting out again with no luck, we could only sit and watch as the guides decimated this school of fine redfish, catching between twelve and fifteen of the battlers!Â Obviously, our two specs had been hanging below the reds, hoping to clean up the scraps!
We caught no more specs, they cleaned up on the reds and over a year later, at the Houston Boat and Travel Show, I saw one of the lucky guides and he told me that it was a, â€œOnce in a lifetime deal and if another of the guides hadnâ€™t spotted the fish in close and radioed the others, probably you and your friend would have gotten into them first!â€
For years, I always checked out this spot on an opening, outgoing tide, but never had the luck that we almost had and, just think, we could only watch!
Tuesday, July 20. 2010
In 1986, the â€œdog daysâ€ of summer came early and by the end of July it was almost too hot and humid to plan an offshore fishing trip.Â Dewey Stringer and I had a bad case of cabin fever and decided that weâ€™d brave the heat and humidity just to have a go at some kingfish.Â Picking a Friday, because it was too hot to work (ha-ha), we conned another of our king chasers, Max Weber, to go along.Â We decided that we would leave early, before the sun came up, find some shrimpers culling their nights catch, then, load up on the kings and be back before 9:30 AM.
Max spent the night with Dewey on Tiki Island and I stayed at my Bayou Vista home and all of us were up way before the sun, loaded up Deweyâ€™s boat, a twenty-three footer with a two hundred horse outboard, and headed for the Intercoastal Waterway.Â Hand held spotlights blazing, we planned out his boat and sped under the bridges of the Galveston Causeway, under Pelican Island Bridge, through Galveston Harbor then turned right between the jetties and on out into the gulf.
The night before weâ€™d gone by our friendly, German bait camp operator, the same one that was the star of â€œInvasionâ€ on one of my earlier posts, picked up bait and ice, and found out from him just where the shrimp boats were anchoring up and culling.Â We picked a beautiful morning for our jaunt offshore, very light wind out of the southeast, slick seas with virtually no swells and at first light, sure enough, twenty miles out, we found three of them tied together, culling their nights catch!
We pulled up beside the three and made the almost, obligatory trade of beer for shrimp, packed the fresh shrimp in the big cooler, then set to catching some kings.Â Max was first in the water and his line had barely settled when a hungry fish gobbled it up and took off.Â The long run against the lightweight tackle, assured us that it was probably a king, it was and after a lively tussle was gaffed and into the cooler it went.
Dewey had a big hit and off the fish took, but wasnâ€™t fighting like a king.Â Shorter runs and a grudging, not give an inch pull on his line.Â It was a jackfish, jack crevelle, not edible, but what fighters! Dewey was struggling with the jack, on the light tackle, he struggled for over twenty minutes, for just after sun up with no wind, he was working up a sweat.Â Max said, â€œIâ€™ll fix thatâ€ and with one swoop of a handy, bucket, filled it and deposited the contents over Deweyâ€™s head and shoulders.Â The eighty-four degree water was cooling and after that, as we were fighting fish, one of us would anoint the other.Â Believe it or not, it was cooling and refreshing.
By 9:30 we had filled the big, cooler with kings, but before we started in, we anointed each other one more time and took off.Â The big, two hundred had us skimming over the flat seas at a record pace, we retraced our way in and were back unloading the boat by 11:00 AM.Â A little late, but it was a great trip, even with the heat!
Sunday, July 18. 2010
Telling my Dad and Uncle, George A Pyland, better known as â€œUnkieâ€ about the great luck that Gary, Vic and I had at the Quarantine Station this past Saturday, primed them to offer to go with me on the coming Friday.Â One problem, both men were retired, but I had a great, sales job and needed to work.Â But, as someone famous once said, â€œThereâ€™s always room for ice creamâ€, so thereâ€™s always a way to slip off for fishing!
Slipping off turned out not to be a problem so, as before, we launched my â€œnewâ€, second boat at Pleasure Island Fish and Bait, cruised under the two causeway bridges, under Pelican Island bridge, through Galveston Harbor and anchored up on the east side of the Quarantine Station.Â The tide was running in bringing clear, green, Gulf water, the wind was light out of the southeast, the sun was just breaking over the horizon, ushering in a perfect new, day!
Because it was Friday, we were the only boat anchored up, so far, and we let fly our casts using the same rigs that Gary, Vic and I had used the past Saturday.Â Slip corks set around nine feet, but my Dad and Unkie both had new reels, Ambassaduer 5000â€™s, the latest reels on the market, and I still had a direct drive, model, poor me!
We all cast out , and not simultaneously, as on my past trip, we had strikes from good fish, landing three, two pounders.Â Unkie and my Dad could cast out their rigs so smoothly, these new reels were a cut above mine, but we spent the morning catching fish and having a lot of fun!
As the tide peaked, Unkie and my Dad had big strikes, real good fish!Â They began their â€œwaltzâ€ around the boat, circling it three times, these were really good specs they had hooked.Â Both specs made several exciting runs, the new, reels handling these runs smoothly, then it fell to me to net the fish.Â â€œHit â€˜em in the nose with the netâ€ my Dad instructed and following his orders, I successfully netted both fish, almost six pounders!
The tide slacked before 11:00 AM, the specs quit hitting and we called it a day with forty-two in the coolers.Â Yes coolers, because we had to put some fish into our â€œlunchâ€ cooler, too! Â
On my way home that afternoon I stopped by Oshmanâ€™s and purchased me an Ambassaduer 5000, pictured to the left.Â This old reel, purchased in 1966 has caught a lot of fish, it is still quite usable, but newer reels are smaller, lighter, have advanced drag systems and are, virtually backlash free.
Friday, July 16. 2010
In the 1960â€™s, one of the best places to catch speckled trout, wading or from a boat, was around the tip of Pelican Island, known then as the Galveston Quarantine Station, now known as Seawolf Park.Â The parkâ€™s development, now housing a WWII submarine, â€œSeawolfâ€ and a destroyer escort, caused the complete remaking of the end of Pelican Island, but, and a big but, the huge granite stones that lined the tip of the island and extended out fifty or more yards under the water, still remain. And, this spot, during the hot summer months, on an incoming tide, fishing for trout around the point, could be fabulous!
The first station was built in 1839, but hurricanes and continued yellow fever outbreaks caused it to be moved north, across the harbor, to Pelican Island in 1892, but the great storm of 1900 completely destroyed the buildings.Â In 1902 the State of Texas built its last station on the southeastern tip of Pelican Island and in 1919 merged with Federal, port operations.Â Â During its thirty-five years of operation, the Pelican Island Federal Quarantine Station that closed in 1950 inspected over 30,000 ships that brought an estimated 750,000 legal, immigrants to Texas!
During the late summer of 1966, the first fishing trip out in my new, second boat was a memorable one.Â We, Gary Anderson, now deceased and Vic Hayes, now lost to me, headed out to the Quarantine Station for a go at some specs.Â Our tackle was basic stuff, direct drive reels, six and a half foot, popping rods, and something a little different, slip corks above our bait of choice, a live shrimp.Â The slip cork was easy to rig, you just tied a knot in you line at the depth you wanted to fish and the cork, complete with a hole running the length of the stem, when cast out would slip up the line until it met the knot, and there you were, in our case fishing at a depth of nine or ten feet.Â The swivel that the leader, hook and shrimp were secured to, prevented the cork from slipping down on to the shrimp.
My new, second boat had a feature that was way ahead of its time, a live bait well, but you had to be careful that when moving out to your fishing spot, or changing, spots, a plug was applied to the drains.Â If this wasnâ€™t done, dead shrimp was the bait of choice for the day!Â We remembered on this trip.
We launched the boat at Pleasure Island Fish and Bait, motored under both sides of the Galveston Causeway, through upper west bay, passed under the Pelican Island Bridge, through the harbor with its ships from many countries and finally to the old Quarantine Station, where we anchored out from the rocks along the shore.Â Our first casts were met with solid strikes and then the fun began, three big guys trying to land three good specs, out of a sixteen, foot boat.Â Having caught a lot of good fish on the first cast, but never three, this was a very unusual happening.Â Succeeding, we admired the three fish, all four pounders.Â The tide stopped running in and the fishing shut down, but we ended up with eighteen, good ones, two to four pounds.
On the way back in, passing through Galveston Harbor, it dawned on me that on calm days, this boat would be great for running around the end of the jetties and fishing on the Gulf sides, then it dawned on me that three years ago, I had already been shown a great place out there!Â Over the next forty years, I would grow from a â€œjetty noviceâ€ to a â€œjetty proâ€, but on those â€œgood daysâ€ weâ€™d always stop for a few casts around The Quarantine Station!Â
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