Category Archives: fishing

Kayaking in North Key Largo

Here’s a brief report of my Friday activities:

I met Dave V and family at Jack’s down in Florida City on US 1 at 10 AM and we headed down Card Sound Road, made for Key Largo and swung into the old ramp just beside Garden Cove. We put in one kayak (for me) and a large tunnel hull canoe for Dave, his wife, and two little ones around 10:30. It was very breezy out, so the waves were a little on the choppy side. Dave hooked up a 45 lbs thrust trolling motor to his canoe, and tied mine to the back and dragged me across the channel, then we abandoned our plans to head to the barge and beach due to the rough weather. But we did stay in the creeks and flats protected from the wind by the mangroves and it was very pleasant. I made sure to lather up with SPF 35 waterproof sun block so I wouldn’t fry. Inside the creeks we saw lots of mangrove snapper, a few very big snook, and even a black stingray with white spots. At one point, Dave tied off on some of the mangroves and went for a swim in the surprisingly cool water. I let him use my snorkel gear since I wasn’t going in and in the course of exploration he located a honey hole of a lobster spot. According to Dave, the ledges were jam packed with lobster of all sizes. I believe him because he dove down and came up with a lobster in his bare hands. He also reported seeing a French Angelfish and plenty of tropicals. After all that, we headed to the grass flats and tied off the canoe and kayak while we ate lunch. Dave also showed me that the upside down jellyfish all over the grass flats are almost completely harmless. Just about the only way their stinging cells can effect you is if the are left on your most sensitive skin, like the inside of your are or your neck. I actually handled a big one with absolutely no problem. I’ll post the video later.

As the tide continued to go out, we almost got stuck in the grass/sand flats when they actually were out of the water. We cleared the flats and made our way back to shore and headed for home around 3 PM. When I got home, I realized that the sun had burned a stripe on both of my knees where I missed putting on the sun block.

Overall, it was a beautiful day, though a little windy and we had an excellent time. Friday night, the plan is to go back for a little night excursion to do some fishing. We shall see how that goes.

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Saturday Top 5: Movies Watched in the Last Month

These are the top 5 movies that I have seen over the past month. Some are in the theater and some are out on DVD.

#5. Taken – Liam Neeson is a former special agent whose daughter is kidnapped overseas. This was not a bad movie, but not great either. It’s purely unrealistic action similar to the Bourne series.

#4. Tristan and Isolde – I didn’t even know this movie existed, but I enjoyed it a lot. It’s about the Brits after they became independent from the Roman Empire and their struggles with the oppressive Irish. In many ways it’s a knock off of a Braveheart type film, not quite on that level, but it was pretty good.

#3. Tropic Thunder – How could I put such a ridiculous movie in my top 5? Because of Special Jack. “Mama!”. This movie made me laugh so hard I was seeing stars.

#2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt star in a love story about a man who ages in reverse. I wasn’t exactly sure how to take this movie, because I am not clear as to what to the point of the movie was. The acting, costumes, and make up was great. It’s unbelievable to see how they can make someone look old or young with a little latex and make up.

#1. A River Runs Through It – This early Brad Pitt movie is about a Montana Presbyterian minister and his family and their love for fly fishing. It’s based on a true story with a few changes to the original story, such as the omission of the 5 McLean sisters. It’s not full of overly hyped drama, action, special effects, or emotional tricks to choke up the viewer. It’s just a story about a good man and his kids who grow up loving to fish, one of them a responsible young man and one who liked to drink and gamble. I can’t believe I waited all these years to watch this amazing film.

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Free Thoughts

-Thursday is the day I post my thoughts. It’s pretty simple, I just type whatever pops in my head.

-The shooting at Wal Mart yesterday was all the talk yesterday at work. Apparently an angry boyfriend walked into the garden center and shot his former girlfriend who had just taken out a restraining order against him. He then fled to his home where he shot himself.

-The stock market doesn’t seem to like the US move toward socialism. Our economy was sick under President Bush, Obama apparently wants to finish it off.

-Hurricane season is just around the corner. I think I am going to start getting my supplies together now. Be prepared!

-Only 2 months since football season has ended, and I am having withdrawals. I hate football offseason. The Dolphins and Canes have a lot to look forward to this year.

-We are going to be even more organized in this year’s fantasy football season.

-The major football related news right now is the boat with the NFL players and agent whose 21 foot boat capsized in the Gulf of Mexico in up to 15 foot seas. Friends of mine suggested that probably they plowed the nose of the boat into a large wave going too fast while rushing to get in, or they got sideways and were flipped by a big wave.

-Max had his little bit of masculinity removed this past Friday. It’s not bad enough that everybody mistakes him for a her, now he has been altered. Poor fella.

-My vacation cruise is exactly one month away from today. Snorkeling, hiking, and relaxing here we come.

-Marcela really hooked me up on Sunday. She made some excellent paella mixta with chicken, chorizo, octopus, little necks, muscles, shrimp, and scallops.

-I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I cannot wait for the TSP Anthems CD to be available.

-The work that Trav, the guys from TSP and the People for Care and Learning are doing for the people of Cambodia is God’s work. I’m so proud of them.

-I will see some of you this Sunday at the theater as we come together to worship, enjoy and learn from each other, be inspired, and be the church.

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Filed under animals, Blogging, church, family, fantasy football, fishing, food, football, Homestead, Hurricanes, life pointe, Max, Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes, NFL, Pets, politics, religion, snorkeling, sports, thoughts, TV, vacation

Head Movie Thoughts

-The weather last week would have been perfect for a trip out on the reef.

-Winds were under 5 mph, bay was glassy, and there were under 2 feet off the reef.

-Unfortunately I was not feeling my best during that time and wouldn’t have been able to enjoy it anyway.

-Marcela and I have been on another movie trip for the last week. We have watched at least one movie every day for the last week.

-A neighbor has been supplying us with movies, some of which aren’t even out of the theater year, free of charge.

-We also picked a few up from Blockbuster.

-We saw some comedies (Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Soul Men, and Tropic Thunder), some action (Rambo, Eagle Eye, and Wanted), and drama (Bella, Pride and Glory, and Deception.

-I recommend for everyone to see the movie Bella. It’s a very loving family movie about life and giving life a chance. I loved it.

-There are a few that I would not recommend for others to see due to their graphic nature: Rambo, Soul Men, and Tropic Thunder. Tropic Thunder was one of the funniest films I’ve seen, but it’s pretty much intended to offend.

-The irony of the movie is: Robert Downey Jr plays the part of an award winning actor who has surgery to become a black man for the filming of a movie which is intended to win him an award. Robert Downey Jr was nominated for an Academy Award for actor in a supporting role for this movie, in real life.

-Paul Blart: Mall Cop is also funny. I recommend this for all ages. It’s a comedy about a single dad who is a security guard who wanted to be a cop but flunked out due to hypoglycemia. He turns out being the only person who can stop a heist of roughly $20 million from the mall’s accounts.

-I am finally about to kick this cough that accompanied a fever, chills, fatigue, and body aches over the past week. Marcela got the same thing. The most effective relief came from Mucinex DM 12 hour and tylenol.

-On Saturday, I coughed so hard, I felt like my head would explode. We never really appreciate feeling good until we feel bad.

-Marcela and I will be getting new passports for the cruise although they won’t be necessary since the ports we are stopping only require birth certificate and picture ID.

-I have a big interview on Monday. Whatever the result is, I thank everyone for their encouragement, help, and prayers. Big thanks to my dad and Mark Similey.

-See y’all at church Sunday!

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Filed under family, fishing, health, humor, life pointe, vacation, work

Many Thoughts

-I think I am losing my voice.
-Yesterday I got a bit of a cough and today my voice is cracking.
-I sound like I’m 13 years old.
-Overtime was offered to me Tuesday for Friday, I said yes.
-Yesterday, my overtime was cancelled.
-This morning around 5 AM, I received a call offering overtime for today. Sweet!
-Last night I parted ways with my green Glock 19. I plan on purchasing a black model 17 or 19 Glock as soon as one comes in to Lou’s (5-8 weeks).
-My vacation is approaching. April 5 is right around the corner.
-I will be snorkling, hiking, relaxing, and eating.
-Last night Marcela and I went to Capri in Homestead and used our Christmas gift certificate.
-The restaurant was packed. I was surprised to see so many people.


-After our delicious spaghetti dinner, we enjoyed a real treat… Canolis! They were so good.
-I got to see my old buddy Oral Beason last night at the Dolphin Mall.
-Oral and Dee are having twins, one boy and one girl. That will make 4 for them.
-It feels like years since I have gone fishing out on the water.
-Max is going to get a puppy cut. We are taking off his long fluffy coat since he hates being brushed so much.
-Valentine’s Day is two days away. I will work that day but I have something planned.

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Filed under fishing, food, Homestead, Max, Pets, schedule, snorkeling, thoughts, time, vacation, work

Conventional Thoughts

  • I am just about in full swing politically now, having followed the true story of the Beijing Olympics, and now watching the Democrats in Denver.  Things will be getting interesting… for me anyway.
  • Last night, I watched old Slick Willy AKA President Clinton light up the crowd in Denver.  His speech stated that he would be supporting Obama, but I missed any details (other than that he is a Democrat) why anyone else should vote FOR Obama.  I heard exactly what I expected to hear.  “When I was president, everything was great, the country was great, the economy was great, the world loved us” etc.  What I didn’t hear was,”Obama is the best man for the job because _____________________.”  You will have to fill in the blank, because I don’t think “community organizer” or law professor is a good enough reason.
  • Biden’s speech was pretty good, but I did feel that it went from a heart warming piece into an attempt to paint John McCain as a poor choice.  Unfortunately, when Biden or any Democrat starts talking foreign affairs in a dangerous world, people start to think long and hard about who they want as commander in chief.  When he mentioned Russia/Georgia, the crowd died.  Fair or unfair, Democrats are not perceived as being strong enough to lead us in the world when there are rough times.
  • Biden’s speech didn’t connect with the crowd, certainly not the way Bill Clinton’s did.  At this point, Obama’s bounce shouldn’t be astronomical, though I assure you he will get a bounce.  John McCain should announce sometime tomorrow around 11 AM who he has selected for VP.  My dad is predicting Romney.
  • On to other stuff.  Tonight is the opening game of the season for the Hurricanes.  You will see me up at Joe Robbie…. er, Dolphin Stadium to watch the Canes get a little practice in against Charleston Southern.  If we make 10 wins this year, it will be extremely successful.  It’s sad how expectations have fallen recently.
  • It’s lobster season and I am still trying to get out.  Monday night looks really good!  Snook season starts that night too, so maybe we can grab a slot and some bugs.
  • I called the park ranger to ask how many bug we get, and when he said 60 each person I was ecstatic.  Then I realized he said “six to each person” and I was back to reality.  🙂  That was for Brian, if he is reading.
  • If you are interested in politics and especially from the point of view of a great American young man who is in living in exile from Cuba, check out Roberto Reports.  He has some good things to say and just recently started blogging.
  • Things are going to be changing up at LPC soon!  As of September 14, we will be going to 3 services on Sunday morning: 8:30 AM, 9:45 AM, and 11:00 AM all in the same Pier 2 at Flagship Cinemas at the Campbell Drive exit of Florida’s Turnpike.  I will be at all three, but I will see you guys at the 8:30, right?  🙂
  • O’course I will be working this week, so I won’t get to be at the theater Sunday morning.  But, I will see you next weekend, I garooooontee!

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Friday Bottom 3: Canned Food

We all have a guilty pleasure when it comes to canned foods.  Some people love spaghetti-o’s, some love beenie-weenies, and some people even like rutabaga’s in a can.  Well, here is my list of the 3 worst canned foods.  The criteria is that it must be fairly common, the ingredients must be in question, and it must be a food that you wouldn’t want people to see you eating.  I won’t be including pork brains or canned horse or anything obscure like that.  If you feel I have missed something, feel free to add it on.

Honorable Mention:

Sardines – Yes, I actually enjoy sardines.  It makes much better fish bait than human food, but if you add enough hot sauce, serve it on a cracker, it’s actually not that bad.  Be careful not to spill any of the oil on a porous surface or it will not only leave a stain, but an odor that will last forever.

#3 Vienna Sausages – Yes, I know this is one of my family’s favorite traveling foods.  It’s like a hotdog, only mushier, saltier, and with a strange flavor that cannot quite be identified.  But the best way to neutralize this strange taste is to break out some good club crackers and smash a Vienna Sausage between the two crackers, like a sandwich.

#2 Potted Meat – Whoever came up with the idea of taking pieces of minced leftover meat, salting it heavily, sticking it in a can, and actually naming it “Potted Meat” must have been a marketing genius.  Who would actually buy this stuff?  I will tell you.  When a hurricane threatens south Florida, one of the rules is to have plenty of Potted Meat and Vienna Sausages on hand for survival purposes.  As soon as the first bad weather starts to hit, I open a can of potted meat and I am comforted to know that I will survive.

#1 Spam – Is there any doubt that this would be the #1?  This is also known as “Mystery Meat”.  Spam actually had a campaign a few years back that you could slice it and fry it, put it on a bun, and call it a Spamburger.  There are also many recipe sites where you can find all types of high-end meals made from spam.  Every year in Texas, an event called Spamarama is held where you can compete in Spam cooking contests.  I actually had something with spam that was decent.  Someone had a platter with layers of chopped up spam, cream cheese, and pineapples served with crackers.  If you can avoid dipping in the spam, the pineapple and cream cheese goes pretty good together with the cracker.

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Filed under Bottom 3, fishing, food, Hurricanes

The Thought Bite

  • I have been dreaming about fishing constantly lately. I actually got to go out again today into the gulf stream and slam some dolphin with a few friends from work and one of their son’s.
  • We were on the water by 6:30 AM (an hour later than planned) and filled the live well with baby jack and pinfish. Allen (the kid) had fun just catching bait. That’s one of the cool things about catching your own bait with kids, they get to participate.
  • We ran from Bayfront south to Pumpkin Key, then out through the cut into the ocean side, past the reefs and into open water. Immediately, we were in blue water and found weeds. They didn’t hold any fish though.
  • We decided to go deeper so we headed about 10 more miles east to roughly 700 feet of water. We scanned the seas for weeds and found them finally. Trolling north, the weed patches were full of dolphin (mahi-mahi), triple tail, bait fish, and shark.
  • I put out the planer and Tony put out two rigged ballyhoo and we were on fish immediately. It was like total chaos, fish flopping all over the boat, blood everywhere. We lost two nice dolphin trying to keep the school close, but overall it was successful for a bunch of rookies.
  • One crazy thing happened. In the middle of the school of dolphin was what appeared to be a cobia. I threw a jig at it and boom it was on. I fought it pretty hard and it wasn’t until it got pretty close that I realized it was a reef shark. I got it close enough and Tony gaffed it. That sucker was trying to bite everyone! It was great.
  • We ran north to the Pacific Light and found more weeds. By this time it was around noon so it was HOT. That is usually not a great thing for dolphin.
  • Regardless, we got a hit after trolling a large patch of weed and it had two followers. We got on the other one too, and we ended up with two more decent gaffer mahi in the boat.
  • After this, it was getting hot and the bite was off so we headed in to Caesar’s Creek for some snapper. We got about 12 mangrove snapper and I caught one more shark that we released.
  • Overall, for a bunch of rookies (with the exception of Tony) we did pretty good. With some preparation, I know we can really mop it up next time.
  • BTW, even though I am sunburned and exhausted, the shark steaks are in my fridge right now. Grilled shark will be on the menu tomorrow night. Now we will see who bites who!
Shark!  The shark was cruising with the school of dolphin.

Shark! The shark was cruising with the school of dolphin.

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Saturday Top 5: Lobster for Dinner

These three lobster can be found in Florida waters, along with slipper lobster.

These three lobster can be found in Florida waters, along with slipper lobster.

Lobster is a favorite food of mine. Its sweet seafood flavor and its texture makes it the perfect food. It’s also the most fun to eat the lobster you have harvested yourself. Let’s get to the list!

#5 Lobster Bisque – This is a great way to clog your arteries. It is basically the remaining bits from a Maine Lobster other than the tail and claws, combined with various seasonings, onions, oil, butter, heavy cream, and cognac and strained with a fine filter. The texture is supposed to be velvety smooth and the flavor should be rich, creamy, with all the taste of lobster. It is excellent!

#4 Fried Lobster Tail – As a disclaimer, I must say that I have never had it prepared this way, but a friend of mine from work who is a true fisherman talks it up so much that I have to give this one mention. It seems to be a pretty simple operation. You remove the full tail from the shell, halve it, batter dip it or coat it in flour/corn meal with seasoning, and drop it in the deep fryer until the breading begins to brown. Sounds good to me! Why is it #4? Because I can tell you I don’t like Lobster Newburg as much as I would a whole tail, and the soup is good, but I would still rather have a hunk of lobster meat fried up.

#3 Lobster Ravioli – This is a delicious way to stretch your lobster meat out in order to serve more people with less meat. Though it is excellent, I have always felt like restaurants go skimpy on the meat in each ravioli, and that is my biggest complaint. Since I don’t know how to prepare it properly myself, I guess I don’t have much to complain about. I have also had it prepared with chunks in the ravioli, and I have had it more finely minced. I prefer the chunks.

#2 Steamed Main Lobster – I get a little sad when I see a lobster that has been boiled. Why? Because there is a better way. Boiling a lobster, in my opinion, actually leaches some of the flavor from the meat. This can be proved because if you taste the water after boiling, it has the flavor of lobster in it. In any case, just steam it until it is red, serve with clarified butter, and you will have a quality lobster dinner.

#1 Grilled Rock Lobster Tail – I would imagine that Maine lobster would do just as a well as rock lobster, but that isn’t the point. The point is that this is the best way to feature the best food on planet earth. Simply split the tail in half down the length of the tail, spray your hot grill with a little no stick, then throw the tail on the Q. Turn it after a minute or two, and when the meat turns opaque, it’s done. The length it takes will depend on the temperature of the grill and the size of the tail. Make sure you have some fresh lemon and clarified butter handy! You may want to brush the tails with a little lemon/butter or olive oil during the grilling process.

A couple of helpful tips for lobster preparation:

Rock Lobster can be deveined after the tail is separated from the carapace by breaking about a 5 inch section of antennae from the lobster, then break the tip off it. Insert the small end of the antennae into the vent and work it in an inch or two. Twirl the antennae and continue twisting as you pull it out. The result should be that the entire vein should come out in one long nasty black string leaving a perfectly clean lobster tail.

Clarified Butter (ghee): This will make a great difference if you like dipping your lobster in butter. Simply place a stick or two of butter in a small sauce pan on medium-high heat. The butter will begin to bubble and foam. Turn the temperature down and let the milk solids settle. Turn the temp up a little and continue simmering the butter until the milk solids begin to brown and maybe even burn. When your butter reaches perfect clarity, remove it from hear and strain it through a fine strainer lined with wet cheesecloth. This clarified butter should last in the fridge for a long time if you want to keep it on hand.

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Filed under fishing, FL, food, top 5

Shark Fishing from a Canoe in the Middle of the Night

Last night, I went out to Card Sound to tool around, try to catch some snapper, and maybe even a couple sharks.  I gotta say, Dave V is a maniac!  It’s almost midnight, and we are in a canoe buzzing around through the mangroves with a couple of lights, life jackets, a cooler, tackle boxes and fishing poles.  We stayed in the canoe for about 20 minutes.  LOL I am brave, SOMETIMES, but when we almost tipped and I started thinking about losing my cell, wallet, tackle, etc, and then I would have had to swim to a shallow enough area to flip the boat back over and all the hassle that would take, I just told Dave, lets head back in and hit a couple of bridges.  The fish were there, though.  We had a large snook, tarpon, or cuda feeding right beside the canoe at one point.  It was pretty big too.   Anyway, we ended up catching a schoolmaster and mangrove snapper, waded around scoping an area out for some more lobster (I did grab a big one, but it took off) for regular season that opens in a couple days, and we had a great time.  Oh yea, a large shrimp jumped in the boat, too.  I will not be heading out in the middle of the night any time soon in a canoe for shark, but maybe I will give it a try during the day.

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