Monday, January 3, 2022

Whooping cranes, fishing, and lots of food!

The last week has been absolutely crazy. First off Renita and I made another kayak fishing trip to Port Bay. We also partook of the comradery in our rv park as there were five community meals, with opportunities to play cards/bingo after many of the meals. Finally, we made a New Year’s Day trip to Lamar looking for more whooping cranes. Fishing has really been hit and miss this year. Still, we had several good days and having run out of fish to eat, decided to make another trip to a new favorite spot. The forecast was for a little wind which is really important as our kayaks don’t do well in large waves. Launching the kayaks, we pushed off and paddled to the same spot where we had caught three nice keepers. Casting out live shrimp we immediately had bites. Our first catches were all hardhead catfish. Releasing them I cast to another spot and felt a hard bump as a fish took my shrimp. It didn’t run and so I set the hook by winding in, (we use circle hooks, and a traditional hook set doesn’t work). It was a nice eating size black drum, and rebaiting I cast out again. This time my pole twitched once and then went still. I started to wind in, and the fish took off. After a great fight I was able to net a twenty-five-inch black drum!
Now it was Renitas turn as she felt a fish bite and fought in a keeper speckled trout. Speckled sea trout are nothing like the trout we catch in Wyoming. They are a white meat fish and taste great. I had a bite and missed it but when I wound in another fish hit. It even jumped into the air! It was another good size speckled trout! As we fished the waves grew larger and they were soon big enough to cause us some problems. Pulling up our anchors we headed into the waves at an angle fighting to reach safe shelter. They were the biggest waves we have ever encountered, and I was proud of Renita as she fought the wind and waves like the pioneer woman she is, (we both qualified for pioneer fishing licenses from Wyoming, as we have lived there continually for forty-five years). After a tough paddle we reached protected water, (we both wear our life jackets at all times). At the new spot we only caught small black drum, small catfish, and crabs. Renita even caught a stone crab, but we were unable to land it in the net.
Heading back home we filleted the fish and had enough for three meals, (the white pelican actually has the carcass in its bill and then swallowed it)!
It had been a short but great day.
New Year’s Day we left our house early and headed to Lamar looking for whooping cranes. We had heard the the crane family had put on a show the morning before. Reaching the first field we spotted two cranes feeding, along with sandhills and even a herd of deer.
As they fed another pair waited at a safe distance for the dominant pair to fill up and leave. Whooping cranes are extremely territorial and will fight each other, even stabbing the other with their bills. It has even been documented that a whooping crane killed a feral hog by stabbing it in its skull! Leaving the whooping cranes, we next went to Big Tree. Not a lot was happening there, other than butterflies, but at the pond a large flock of black bellied whistling ducks flew off and I got a good shot of them in flight.
In our rv park, we are blessed to have two great activities directors. Zita and Alan. Each week we have a Thursday night Buffet and on holidays we have special meals. On Christmas day we had two turkeys and a large ham! Everyone else brough a side dish or dessert. There is always too much, and we both have to be careful when we fill our plates.
This year we had a crab and shrimp boil for New Year’s Eve and then on New Year’s Day had a traditional southern celebration. The meal always has, cornbread, collard greens, gumbo, Black eyed peas and mac and cheese. The black-eyed peas are for good luck in the new year, the collard greens, (or boiled cabbage), represents money, and the corn bread represents plentiful food. Again, we ate too much. Now it’s time to catch up on the blog, make some more jewelry, rest inside as a strong cold front has blasted in. Last night we had gale force winds and the temperature dropped from eighty to forty. Tonight, we may have temps in the mid-thirties, and we even have a slight chance of a freeze!

1 comment:

  1. WOW what a busy time. Great catch. Love the duck pic. Stay safe and healthy. Happy 2022.