Monday, December 31, 2012


As a lady angler I have been seriously depressed. I spent my birthday on the water and that occasional trip to the water was few and far apart. I am making a New Year's resolution to get out on the water as often as it is physically possible. I am wishing for all the Lady Angler's who think like I do, much of the same. Lets not think about how much it costs to go out and the hassle afterwards of cleaning and put away all the shit. But, instead lets concentrate on how much we get out of being on the water, whether it is simply sun worship, drinking, diving, fishing or cruising. There is nothing better for the human soul then to be on the water and taking in the glorious sea.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The one that got away

I know, I know, of course it got away. Well, it did. But I was not alone, so someone else can confirm the story. LOL There we were my boyfriend Jeff and I, fishing in about 5 foot of water in the bay in Islamorada. I was trying to catch some bait fish on the small rod when all of a sudden something HUGE hits the chum bag right next to where I was standing. Low and behold it was a 4' barracuda. Holy crap, I freaked out! I was not expecting such a large fish in the depth that we were fishing. I immediately dropped my rod and tried to remove the chum bag from the cuda's mouth. Yeah right! He twisted and twirled into the bag, but finally released it. Jeff was now dead set on catching him. Haha! Yeah right, not with me on the boat. At first we were looking around to see where he had gone. Well, he was directly under the boat, waiting. I had a good eye on him, but Jeff decided he was going to take a chance at catching him. Unfortunately for Jeff, he had a noise making bobber on and it scared the cuda everytime he dropped his line in. So after a few tries, it was my turn. I put on a piece of cut bally and dropped in my line, straight down. Now I could see every inch of this fish, the water was crystal clear. He was slowly approaching my bait and BAM! He hit it. I was still in shock from the earlier event that I just let him run. Then all of a sudden, nothing! He was gone. So I start to reel in my line, no, wait, he is still on!!!! Again, he started to run. He almost completely stripped my spool clean. Then a jump out of the water. He was amazingly huge. What a rush! Now he was heading back to the boat, oh crap! I tried to reel in and wait, reel and wait. I couldn't do too much with the line that I had, but I couldn't let me spool me either. "That's it", I said. I had to get serious if I was going to bring him in. So I stared reeling and reeling and then SNAP!! Now he was gone. But I was so thrilled just to have had the fight, it made the whole day worth it.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Fishing at our campsite along the Peace River in Arcadia, Florida I put this crazy spinner lure on the end of my line. Just casting back and forth, not really expecting to get anything. Just my way to relax away the hours. Since being on the river does offer time away from the hustle and bustle of life's everyday events.
Felt a little tug and then saw a this guy jump. A pretty good battle, but short lived, not having a net or anything else to get this fish landed, I decided to simply walk it on to the banks. Conveniently, it had one last jump in it, which landed it on the shore line.
I looked at it with confusion, since I am not really a fresh water fisher person, but I knew it wasn't something native to the area. My son spotted the commotion and immediately shouted out that its a "Snakehead", what the hell is that. All I know is that it was a big fish, I cleaned it with a small knife, because my son made me leave my knife kit in the car. He said that we wouldn't be needing it, well, surprise!
Dinner time was right around the corner and we cooked the fish on an open fire, giving it an extra smoky flavor. After getting home and saving the remainder of the fish, my daughter, Monica made a fantastic fish salad. I always make fun of the fresh water fisherman because they can't possibly have as much fun as the deep sea enthusiast, like myself, I guess I am going to have to eat those words.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Finally got the opportunity to get out on the water. The weather, fuel prices, and timing has been preventing this avid boater to stay on dry land far too long. Got the opportunity to go out during the week, family was in tow, my son and daughter, her three children and her man were all in attendance. It seems I am not the only one who has the calling of the sea.

We headed out and the weather was just beautiful, trolling lines out, just waiting for that sound the drag makes when a fish hits. Not a lot of time passed when we got our first hit, by the end of the day we had 4 beautiful dolphin and 3 tuna aboard the boat. We enjoyed a fantastic fish fry that weekend.

That same Sunday, would be Mothers Day and our annual trip. It always seems to be good weather on that day, it would be our 11Th Annual trip. The same crew was in attendance and we headed out to the same location. We found the gulf stream out at about 15 miles and the rods began to bend, another 4 beautiful dolphin on the boat and to our surprise 2 triple tails. This was ladies day and we have never gone home empty handed. The end of the day was fantastic, the guys cleaned up and filleted the fish. Feeling like my life has been handed back to me I melted into my sheets for the evening dreaming about the next fishing trip.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


This story came from a friend from Alaska, I am sure that the conservationist have a hard time with this, but it is the Aboriginal way and should be respected. Nothing is wasted and it is perfectly legal. This is the way they feed their families.

It was up in Pt Barrow (furthest north city of Alaska) a couple of weeks ago when they landed 3 bow head whales. They harvested a 40 footer, a 34 footer and a 24 footer. That's a lot of sushi. They used a Cat to pull the 40 footer ashore. It weighted approximately 80,000 pounds (roughly 2,000 pounds a foot). They use heavy equipment to butcher and distribute these. This picture was on the beach about 3 hours after the first was landed. It is almost all distributed, you'll see the 4 wheelers and pickups for hauling it home where it is stacked in the front yard for the winter as it's always below freezing. They shoot any polar bears crazy enough to mess with their stash.
"Now that's fishing ;-)"

Monday, September 22, 2008


Looking like giant leaves floating in the sea thousands of Golden Rays are seen here gathering off the coast of Mexico.The spectacular scene was captured as the magnificent creatures made one of their biannual mass migrations to more agreeable waters. Gliding silently beneath the waves they turned vast areas of blue water to gold off the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula Sandra Critelli, an amateur photographer, stumbled across the phenomenon while looking for whale sharks. She said: 'It was an unreal image, very difficult to describe. The surface of the water was covered by warm and different shades of gold and looked like a bed of autumn leaves gently moved by the wind. It's hard to say exactly how many there were, but in the range of a few thousand. 'We were surrounded by them without seeing the edge of the school and we could see many under the water surface too. 'I feel very fortunate I was there in the right place at the right time to experience nature at her best.' Measuring up to 7ft (2.1 meters) from wing-tip to wing-tip, Golden rays are also more prosaically known as cow nose rays. They have long, pointed pectoral fins that separate into two lobes in front of their high-domed heads and give them a cow-like appearance.
Despite having poisonous stingers they are known to be shy and non-threatening when in large schools.
The population in the Gulf of Mexico migrates, in schools of as many as 10,000, from western Florida to the Yucatan .


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sea Story by Carol Parker

The Old Man & The Sea

I was lucky to marry a man who shares my love for the sea. We pounded the waters in South Florida for many years while a dream lay submerged in my subconscious. In 1982 my father left me some shares in the company he’d retired from. I hung on to them for several years until that old dream resurfaced. What triggered it was something simple: a toilet – rather the lack of one – on our boat. The older I got, the more annoyed I became about the lack thereof.
“This is disgraceful and I will no longer be subjected to such an indignity,” I warned Joe in the middle of Blackwater Sound as he handed me the too-familiar plastic bucket.
That’s when we began searching for a boat with a toilet. We started small but each boat we looked at was larger than the last. Finally I found my dream in a boatyard on the St. John’s river: a thirty-two foot hefty little ship with the undeniable lines of a working trawler. Lots of beautiful teak inside. Heavy wooden doors with brass hinges. Best of all: the bathroom. Not just a toilet but a full shower, sink, large mirror and vanity. We made a ridiculously low offer on it. It must have been destiny because, to our astonishment, we became the proud owners of our own tiny ship.
I was so thrilled with the bathroom (Ahem! – the head), I wanted to rename the boat “Dear John.” But Joe said it’s unlucky to change the name. (Unlucky for him since he’d have to part with the extra hundred bucks it costs to change the name of a documented boat.)
When the “Odyssey” arrived at Manatee Bay Marina in Key Largo a year after we’d begun searching, I knew what it meant to have my ship come in. I wandered through it, marveling at the fully equipped galley, lying on the berths, and staring at my own brass portholes. I couldn’t stop fondling the wood, walking around the cabin to the bow, leaning over the rail. And it wasn’t even in the water yet.
That first day we painted the bottom. The next two days, I cleaned and polished and caulked while Joe installed the marine air conditioner. (I would nap in cool luxury while he trolled for dolphin on that stretch of liquid desert called the Gulf Stream where he’d tortured me for years. And I would delight in making frequent trips to the head.)
The day we launched “Odyssey” and began cruising south toward our dock in Key Largo, my dream shattered. We hadn’t been on the water for fifteen minutes when the boat stopped dead. Joe descended into the bowels of a nightmarish realm called the bilge. A perpetual stream of moans and grunts, clanks and clangs, preceded a sweaty, grease-smeared face that popped up like an evil Jack-in-the-box, sneering something about water in the fuel tanks. He descended again, swearing vengeance on the former owner.
Joe’s knack for fixing things got us underway in an hour or so and my dream revived quickly when I realized one of the select fantasies connected to it lay just around the next bend. There, a sweltering snake of cars would slither to a halt at Jewfish Creek while the bridge opened to let us through. We’d been a scale on that snake’s back for years. I’d watched with envy as the big graceful boats glided through, always wishing one of them was mine.
My heart thumped as I went below, got on the radio (Joe hadn’t installed one topside yet.) and requested a bridge opening.
“Which way are you headed, Captain?” the bridge tender asked, “North or south?”
At the word, “Captain,” my heart fluttered to a stop. So did my brain. I answered professionally as any good sailor would, “Uhhh.”
“Never mind. I see you,” he said, to my relief.
There is no way to describe my feelings, gliding through that bridge opening the first time, waving at all those poor scales in their cars.
We took turns at the helm, learning the feel of it. We arrived at our dock in approximately three hours, doing about seven knots. (Somewhere along the line, the word “trawler” must have evolved from “Crawler.”)
For the next two weeks we worked in anticipation of our weeklong shakedown cruise, one of the best weeks of my life – and one of the worst. “Shake-up” cruise would have been a more befitting word. But it taught us much.
One lesson only took a half an hour: always be sure the door to the main locker is shut before going into the head. The doors face opposite each other in the passageway with room enough to open only one at a time. The open one butts against the other, holding it shut. The locker door is apt to swing open while cruising if not shut properly. I learned this the hard way, in the head, while shouting through the porthole and banging on the overhead, trying to get Joe’s attention.
Another lesson: Never try to grab a mooring buoy while the boat is still moving. I learned this by watching Joe fall overboard while trying to retrieve the boat hook I dropped after it practically wrenched my arm from its socket. But nothing could mar my dream. Not even Joe’s falling overboard a second time for no apparent reason while I tried to untangle the rope from his foot.
We bobbed around in bays and sounds. We meandered through creeks in the backcountry. Schools of porpoise flanked our bow. I hung over the rail, thrilled down to my boat shoes, watching them arch out of the water and beam their fixed smiles at me. We fished. We swam. We watched the sun set from the fly bridge where we danced and toasted each other with champagne. We cooked fish dinners, played cards, and even watched a little TV.
Oh, those magic nights we spent anchored in secluded Tarpon Basin and Buttonwood Sound! I slept like a baby … waking every hour. Each time, I strained my eyes in the dark toward the black outline of islands that seemed to loom closer and closer. Joe was not pleased the few times I woke him to ask, “Wasn’t that boat over there much farther away the last time we looked?” But it wasn’t difficult to drift back to sleep, being rocked in a giant cradle, rippling water lapping a lullaby on the hull.
And those glorious mornings when seabirds called to wake me. We ate breakfast in wonder, gazing out at a paradise of islands where rosaries of ibis and egrets soared from their night roosts. Joe took the dinghy and shopped for supplies and the Sunday paper. I, of course, remained with my ship. By the end of the week, when Joe had exhausted every foul word in his vocabulary, we headed home.
After that week, we began venturing farther and farther away until recently we had the confidence to complete a two-week voyage to the Dry Tortugas. I felt as if I’d stowed away on a ship to exotic ports.
Occasionally a demon still possesses the engine or some other thing-a-ma-jig and Joe has to exorcize it. But when everything’s running smoothly, you’ll find me at the helm of my ship, nudging the islands along the Intracoastal Waterway. And every so often, I can’t resist cruising North to Jewfish Creek Bridge.
Someday if you happen to be waiting there, you might see a little trawler glide through. And waving from the helm, you’ll see a petite chaser of dreams who believes they do come true.