Several days ago, Phyllis and I decided to get on the water and teach the dolphins about social distancing. They were more interested to show us how much fun they were having socializing. After saying goodbye to the dolphins, Phyllis caught a whiting, and then we caught a great takeout lunch at Captain’s BBQ! A beautiful day all around!
Trip Date: 4/28/20
What an enjoyable time on the water today with Vickey (Ga Ga) and her grandson Jackson! We had such a great time! He saw an alligator right after we left the dock, and his excitement just continued to grow. As we turned away from the alligator, he pointed and said, “Look at all the lily pads!” We then saw turtles on a log, and even spotted three turkeys on the land near a great blue heron hunting for lunch. As we went down the river, I pointed out the navigation markers on the water, and explained that they were like road signs, but to help boaters know where they were going. He took much delight in pointing out each new marker that we came to. After seeing much of the river, we stopped so he could have his snack. When he finished his snack, he asked for another, and Ga Ga told him his mom might not like it if she gave too many snacks, to which he responded, “We don’t have to tell her, Ga Ga”. After his snacks, we tried several spots to fish, and finally found a nice little fishing hole, where Jackson caught his very first fish ever, a bluegill! He was so excited to pull it in, and told Ga Ga that he read a note that said he needed to catch three more…and that he did! He caught four fish! At one point, we cast and the hook landed up in a nearby tree branch, and he started giggling uncontrollably and said he didn’t want to fish in the trees because we might catch a squirrel, and he didn’t want to catch one of those. On the way back to the dock, we spotted an osprey nest on top of a navigation pole, and as we got close, the mother osprey left the nest and circled around us to distract us from going to close to her nest. He loved going under the bridge to get to the dock, and he told me excitedly to duck so I wouldn’t bump my head on the bridge. I thoroughly enjoyed this trip, and think he will be a lifelong fisherman! Quoting Vickey, “This really was the perfect adventure! During such a tense time, to see the beauty of nature through a child’s eyes is just what I needed!”
Trip Date: 6/2/20
In my lifetime, over my entire employment career, this may be the best evaluation I have ever received! This 4 ½ year-old client drew a picture of my boat, me, and him catching his first fish while holding the rod and reel! He used construction paper to make the water. He put a lot of effort into letting me know how much the trip meant to him! The most telling of all is the smiles he put on both of our pictures! Not only did he have a great time, but he noticed that I did as well!
Trip Date: 6/2/20
Phyllis started off the morning with the first, the most, and the biggest by bringing to the boat a ladyfish which didn’t stick around long enough to have her picture taken. Debbie followed up pulling in a sheepshead, and remarkably, Phyllis caught its twin. Three underslot reds then decided to line up and take their turns on Debbie’s line, knowing we would have to return them to the water. The last fish of the day was a keeper flounder, which Phyllis decided was a catch-and-release flounder. Captain’s BBQ was our reward after a fun day on the water.
Trip Date: 2/5/20
Out on the river Thursday morning, Phyllis caught a cluster of oysters, which are not safe to eat raw in the months without an "r" in their name, (May, June, July, August), so she returned them to grow a little more. Although it was hot out, we had a great time on the river, and finished with a nice lunch at Captain's BBQ.
Trip Date: 7/16/20
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AND PICTURES BELOW
Yesterday, I took my sister-in-law, Christine, her grandson (my great-nephew, Sebastian), and his mother, Linda, on a boat ride up the St. Johns River. We saw a gar jump out of the water attacking another fish, and then watched as the gar swam away with the fish in his mouth. We saw some great blue herons, tons of turtles, a nest with two baby osprey, a house boat, and lots of alligators. One house had a large pelican statue and a gator statue on their dock. When we were headed back to the dock, Linda asked Sebastian to tell me what he was going to get for lunch on the way home, and he told me, “Donald’s Chicken!” It was so much fun spending the morning with them!
Trip Date: 5/8/20
After a nearly 3-month-hiatus resulting from a defective trailer on November 7, I am pleased to announce that I am back on the water! I would like to thank Jason, Tommie, and Rodney at Big Boys Play Toys in Palatka, Florida, for all of their hard work in getting me set up with my new trailer that fits perfectly in my garage. I decided to brave the cold weather this morning and was entertained by the dolphins. They were playful and fun to watch, and having a good time with each other. The fish were not very active this morning, however, so I decided to call it a day, and meet some friends at Captain's BBQ for a delicious lunch before heading home. I did release the remaining 40 or so shrimp that I didn't use, and they quickly swam away when they hit the water. They were the lucky winners of the day!
Trip Date: 1/27/20
I took the boat out today to do a little scouting. With all the oysters, I should have taken some crackers and hot sauce with me. Even though I was by myself, I wasn’t alone. The dolphins were very active today, feeding and playing very near the boat. I also scared up quite a few stingrays. It was very quiet and peaceful on the water! As usual, I ended the outing with a great lunch at Captain’s BBQ, and then headed for home.
Trip Date: 3/12/20