Day 173-Flash Fiction Friday-Floundering For Fun

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Heading out over the choppy water towards the causeway, Devin and Kaly prepared themselves for a fine day of fishing on the Neches River. The air was cool and Kaly pulled her coat tighter around her and bent her head down to stay out of the wind. Not wanting to miss anything, however, it was back up shortly, tears streaming down the sides of her face as the wind tore at her eyes, even though she wore sunglasses. She loved being on the water and whether fish were caught or not, loved any chance at going for a ride in Devin’s boat.

Devin had purchased the twenty foot,  center console Fishmaster fishing boat back in the summer and they had already taken it for several eventful trips. She was sure this day would prove no different, when she and her Devin were together, it was an adventure waiting to happen. Peering over the side of the boat, she watched the water rippling as they cut through the waves, Devin was making the turn now that would take them to the part of the river known as the “flats”-one of the best places for floundering they had found so far. It wasn’t bad for reds either, but that was for fall fishing…although not completely out of the realm of possibility. Kaly herself had caught reds at different times of the year, so she knew it could happen.

When they made their home in Port Neches, they were excited about all of the waterways, beaches and bayous available for every type of fishing and set out to do as much as possible. Every weekend they were free from work or some other obligation, they were at the beach, or one of the many parks that fronted a particular body of water. There was Port Neches park, right along the Neches river, or they could take a twenty minute drive and be at Umphrey’s Park, close to the causeway into Louisiana. There were others, of course, and Kaly’s personal favorite thing to do was to surf fish for reds in the fall, so far, she had the family record for the biggest one caught yet.

The flat cold water flounder was what they were after today though, and Kaly stopped her daydreaming just as Devin pulled the boat to a slow, sidling up next to a large tree trunk that rose up out of the lake like body of water they now found themselves in. He asked her what their depth was, and answering that they were in a safe six foot, she readied her fishing pole with a chartreuse worm and got up from her seat. Standing on the bow of the boat, she cast out next to the stump, and just as the lure flew out over the water, she felt a slight resistance and the next thing she knew, she was staring at her brand new fishing pole as it hit the water! It had flown right out of her hand, the line having caught up somehow in the rigging of the pole. Devin could not believe his eyes as she looked at him, mouth agape in horror, and said “How the heck did that just happen?” Embarrassed and devastated, Kaly hung her head and said “I have no idea! One minute I was casting and the next, I was watching my pole go in the water. I’m sorry Honey.”

Not one to make waves, Devin assured her it was no big deal and turned to ready another pole for her. Sheepishly, she thanked him and tried her luck again, making sure to hold on tight this time. She knew she would be in for some righteous teasing from this day forward, and promised herself she would take it and not say a word. Devin was first to get lucky, however, and hollered as he pulled up a nice, flat fatty, hoisting to the edge of the boat and Kaly went to grab the net. “Nice one Babe” she said as he dumped it in the live well. Not to be outdone, she at once turned to cast again, aiming for a spot to the left of the tree stump. As she felt the lure drag the bottom, a small tug clued her in that she had a bite, and she jerked on the rod, setting the hook. “Fish on” she shouted and Devin clambered over to her side of the boat with the net at the ready. Only there was no fish, and as she pulled harder and tried to reel, she realized she was caught on some roots or branches from the stupid tree. She could not believe her misfortune, she was the one who usually had the best luck catching fish, now here she’d been out smarted again.

After cutting the line, Devin declared she had better get one soon, the tide was changing and soon they would have to go back in. Kaly was cold anyway, but refused to be denied, pouting the whole time Devin readied another hook and lure for her. He handed it over saying it was her last chance and with that, she tossed the line out over the shimmering water once again. Bobbing the line in short, quick jerks, she wanted patiently for another bite. Scanning the water, watching the sunlight play off the waves, she felt a sense of calm overtake her and she relaxed, deciding if nothing happened, it had still been a fun day on the water. Just taking a boat ride was half of the joy for her, and spending time with her man was what brought a smile to her face. She could even put up with the cold when she knew they would be going fishing, it was their favorite thing to do. Devin once again brought her out of her reverie shouting “fish on” again! She just could not believe this! This day was turning out to be her nemesis, and she was about to put down her pole and go to his aid when she felt a tug.” AHHH, fish on here too” she shouted and then they were both fighting to reel, reel, reel each of their catches in. Hers was small enough that as she caught site of the fish about to break the water’s surface, she gave one last huge pull, and it flopped over the side of the boat and landed at her feet. Throwing down her pole, she grabbed the net and sidled up to Devin, scooping it under his massive flounder. “That’s the biggest one yet” she announced as he beamed with pride. “Well, at least you didn’t get skunked” he said as he surveyed her little flatty. “Fish is fish, you’re right” she said, and dumped him unceremoniously into the live well.

Feeling somewhat victorious, they put up their gear and got ready to head back in. Settling back down in her seat, Kaly gathered a towel around her legs and got out her iPhone to snap some pictures to commemorate another successful trip, as they glided across the water toward the causeway once again. She mused about the simple things in life they shared and how much joy it brought her, just a happy couple cruising through life from the starboard side.

 

Day 24-Vaca Day 5-Fun on the Piers

When I woke up this morning, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel, but turned out to be a great day and I think I’m on the mend. We decided to go do a little pier fishing and although we didn’t catch any keepers, it sure was fun trying.  Facebook made a lovely video, however I gave up trying to get it to post here, maybe tomorrow. I do have a couple that Connie took to prove we caught something though!

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Later on, my hubby and I did a little shopping and came across a wonderful Mexican imports shop called A Mano out on Hwy 361. They had the most interesting and original decor, things you don’t find in every-other-shop-around-town.

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That is a small sample of all the merchandise they have. You can probably see more of their stuff at http://Www.amano-Mexico.com. After that, we went and shared a gelato, a big ole cheat for me but, what the heck, I’m on vacation! Salted caramel…yum!

Later still, we decided to go back to the pier but a different one. We had better luck this  time, despite the huge ship dredging the channel.

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Just a croaker and a gaff top but hey, we didn’t get skunked! I got a pretty pic of the sun going down and a dolphin, although he’s hard to see unless you enlarge it.

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Every time we’ve been to the pier at that time of the evening, we’ve been just in time to see the dolphins feeding. Since I’m particularly fond of them, that makes it extra special for me.

Another highlight to the day was hearing that my son who currently lives in Ohio, got a new job and starts tomorrow. I can’t wait to hear how it goes, what a perfect end to a very pleasant day. Feeling better is a plus as well, I’m looking forward to our big fishing trip tomorrow, deep sea fishing is the best! Until then, have a wonderful night.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 22-Vaca Day 3-Trip to Padre Island National Seashore

An early morning thunderstorm woke me up at six am, I went scrambling out to the balcony to retrieve what might get wet, left out from the night before, only to find it not raining.😒 After everyone was up and errands and breakfast finished, we headed off on our adventure, sans my hubby, who opted to play golf. Oh well, to each his own.

We headed out, each with our own quest in mind, Bub wanted to fish, Connie wanted to hunt for shells and I wanted to catch the perfect wave on my boogie board, and maybe find a cool shell or two myself. Or a shark tooth, but also, those fantastic nature shots I love so well, birds, beach and whatever else catches my camera lens-or in this case, my iPhone camera.

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On the ride south to the park, I caught a great shot of some Pelicans taking off from the shoreline.

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The blue water was in much closer today than yesterday and the waves look promising.

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The dunes are beautiful in their own way and we were alert for the presence of sea turtles, but didn’t see any, or their eggs.

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Not a soul on this stretch of beach, of course, we went 25 miles down to Big Shell Beach. Not many beach goers this time of year.

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Plenty of small seashells though and Connie had her pick. She collected a bag but I just picked up a few.

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The shells were polished and smooth from the sea. I like the ones with different patterns and shapes.

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The wind was too much for Bub’s tent cover, it had lived out its life. Luckily, it stayed where it was and provided enough shade to get a break now and then until we left.

Other than that and Bubba busting one of his stitches in his hand, it was an enjoyable trip. Connie and I caught some great waves, even though we couldn’t get out to the best sandbar, the current was way to strong today. Dave also enjoyed his golfing and then we all had dinner at Virginia’s, an ok but overpriced eatery at the marina. Now it’s tim to relax and reflect on the day and get ready for whatever tomorrow has in store. See you tomorrow and pleasant dreams!

A Very Productive Trip

image This weekend we were lucky enough to be invited to go with my brother-in-law and his wife on a five hour fishing trip. Last night we checked into motel hell, which was next to the grill/bait shop/check in spot for booking the trips. This place was bad enough to mention it to our wonderful fishing guide Jarod later in the day, who told us he wished he would have known, he would have recommended different accommodations. Oh well, live and learn right? Anyway, upon deciding to retire for the evening, we peel back the bedspread (I knew it was going to be bad when I noticed the sheets underneath were visibly wrinkled) only to find live ants crawling around on the sheets! After a vigorous shaking did not seem to make the filthy things much better, we pulled the spread back up and slept on top of it under two blankets we found in the “closet”. It’s a wonder we fell asleep worrying about whether ants would decide to crawl in our ears but somehow we managed it.

image This morning, a short walk to the dock revealed a beautiful sunrise and I just knew right then it was going to be a good day. Turns out, it was a great one! After loading up, we headed out on to the lake and got ready for an epic day of fishing hybrids. Hybrids are a cross between sand bass and striper and proved to be a blast to catch.

image Our trusty guide Jarod was so friendly, capable and personable, he made the trip very enjoyable indeed. He put us on fish at our very first stop and the action started immediately with yours truly netting the first catch (but certainly not the last) of the day!

image image Soon, there were more to follow, and at one point we had 3 in the net at one time. In five hours we caught our limit plus several throwbacks, including catfish and sand bass.

image image Here, my sister-in-law is working the pole with Jarod patiently waiting to scoop that baby into the net. Not sure who’s fish he’s holding in the next pic because I lost count of how many each of us caught, although I believe I had somewhere between 8-10 caught (not every one a keeper though) and Connie caught the largest one and couldn’t be beat all day long, although I gave it all I had trying!

image Of course, there was plenty of down time as well but I tried to take advantage of these times by taking cool pics like this one showing the sun on the water and a pole just waiting for the next victim to strike it. After it was all said and done, we went back to the dock where he was kind enough to clean and fillet our cooler full of fish. As the guys were watching and waiting to pay him, thank him and tip him for a fantastic experience, Connie and I took a walk down to the water to see if there were any treasures to be had. She is famous for finding things she can use in her crafting like old pieces of driftwood, shells or even old rusty hooks and such. One never knows when such items will come in handy, either for decoration or crafting purposes. Trust me, I have picked up a fair amount of shells in my day as well. Not today though. We did spot this pretty marsh plant complete with a butterfly and she kindly shared the pic with me.

image Aside from not having the best eating experience that we’ve ever had, the awesome fishing made the whole day worth every penny we spent. All of the sun and a tasty beverage from hours ago (the best part of lunch btw) have got this girl beat, so this here angler needs to leave the heat of the patio and go find a comfy couch and some boxed air.

image I almost forgot the best pics of the day!!

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