Sunday, May 27, 2012


Home in Port Charlotte
expecting a high of 93

Tropical Storm Beryl did, indeed, reach named storm status yesterday.  It's maximum winds are at 60MPH and is forecast to bring lots of rain to Jacksonville, FL late tonight or early tomorrow morning.  My sister, Katy, relocated from Colorado to Jacksonville last year and she's about as nervous as she can be.  I assured her there's nothing to be afraid of, just secure everything on your property so it doesn't blow away and have a hurricane party!

We had a hell of a thunderstorm at home on Friday night, with over 1.5" of rain in about 2 hours.  It's clouding up and thundering outside now, as I write this on Sunday at noon.

I went fishing with Al yesterday.  I picked him up at 5:30AM and we went to the Gasparilla boat ramp and were shocked to find it full by 6AM.  There was an overflow lot we used and got underway just after sun up.
We started in an area I worked for trout before, near Pine Island/Bokeelia.  We hits some Speckled Trout there again but the biggest one was a quarter inch short of the required 15" limit.  When Al released it there was an Anhinga (aquatic bird) waiting in hiding under my boat.  The bird snatched the released fish and swallowed it whole, much to our surprise.  Apparently aquatic birds aren't bound by the same size limit as we anglers.  Before leaving we caught some Jack Crevalle, Spanish Mackerel and a Grunt.

In this same spot we enjoyed watching a family of bottle nose dolphin clearly teaching their young how to fish.
The adults would roll and dive, come up with a fish, toss it around and the young would eat it.  Where else can you watch that?

We moved onto Boca Grande Pass and drifted cut baits in 30-40 feet.  We caught undersized red grouper, gag grouper, keeper mangrove snapper, grunts and a very respectable Atlantic Sharpnose Shark.  We tried the flats in Bull Bay but had no luck.  It was still a nice spot to get out of the wind and enjoy the steak/cheese sandwiches Al had brought for lunch.

In the afternoon we went back into the Pass and drifted the day away, catching more of the same.
The Pass was like a parking lot of boats as the Tarpon tournaments are underway but we didn't see any Tarpon hookups.  Apparently they got the holiday off?

We returned to the boat ramp at 5PM and called it a day.  When I dropped Al off he let me use his power washer to clean the blood/dirt/fish crap off the boat.  Wow...what a great tool.  I gotta get me one of those.  It usually takes me an hour with a brush/bucket to clean my boat.  I did it with that power washer in 10 minutes and I'm sure it was cleaner.

I'm home for the next few days, courtesy of the soldiers/sailors/marines/airmen who gave their lives for our freedoms.  I offer thanks to them and their families for their sacrifice.  One of favorite singers in the Keys, Michael McCloud, has a song called Memorial:

My father told me stories about heroes and glory serving in the second world war.
How young men were drafted and very soon thereafter, very few were young men anymore.
My father's companions died in the canyons and the oceans and the fields overseas.
And there we must leave them, we have nowhere to grieve them, this Memorial is all that they leave.

Where is the place to remember the faces and the names of those heroes forever more.
Sailors and soldiers who never got any older cuz they died for their country in the second world war.

It was a time in our history when there were no mysteries about what's right or what's wrong in this world.
When freedom was threatened my father was ready for a journey half way 'round the world.
My father says that time just might be the last time our country had one common theme.
To defeat the oppressors and to beat the aggressors and come home to the American dream.

Where is the place to remember the faces and the names of those heroes forever more.
Young men and women who fought for our freedom and died for their country in the second world war.

Fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers who fought for our freedom in the second world war.
Sailors and soldiers who never got any older because they died for their country in the second world war."

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