Our Travel House

Our Travel House

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Live Bait Wanted !!

   What to do?? The live smelt bait only lasts 2 days. Gotta do something radical.
   So I thought & I thought---hmmmm..boaters and bait shops seem to be able to keep their smelt alive by using a live bait box. They feed a holding tank with fresh sea water and always have lively bait.
   Researched the net and found out all kinds of hints. Saw a few aereated gadgets like the one we use but they only maintain the smelt for a few days. Advice was to ice 'em down, no square corners in the box ( red nose kills 'em), they stress easily (so do I @ $5 per 50) , etc, etc.....what to do??...gotta get crafty here !!
   Decision made--make up a live bait box of personal design..
So off & running we go to a marine supply store and who knows where else..ok--Pump? AHA, aereated live well pump (will contend with salt water)---hose that'll stand up to ultraviolet rays--intake filter to keep debris out...already have a battery to run the pump and we'll put a charger to it.
   Now, where to put our contraption?? that'll be easy as we're surrounded by water.
   My friend, Carl & I worked up an appetite running around so at his suggestion we stopped at a mexican food stand and ordered fish taco's...first time for this...MMMMM  good !
   Got some weather coming in so we may not get the project done today but I think we've got all the parts we need so it's time to scrounge up tools needed and wait for a clearer day to finish as " some assembly required"..

Wait for Bait ?? NEVER

   I guess one of the challenges for us snowbirds (aka Damned Yankees) is to learn all about the fishing tricks here in the South.
These fish are smart ! They got teeth too. I can't tell ya how much bait and how many times I've lost not only bait and lures but sometimes my whole setup. Soooo, I decided to put yankee ingenuity to work. ( it won us the war) .
   I consulted all the bait shops and jibber jabbed with all the fishermen about how to keep my bait alive and lively for more than 2 days. Of course they suggested using an aireator.DUH !! Been there, done that. So we decided to try a live bait box like the trawlers use.
   I sometimes get in the mood to fish late at night, no bait shops open at that hour. I was buying bait and floating the bait bucket but the sun and top water temperature wasn't keeping the shrimp bait alive more than 2 days. Gotta do something different.
   I wasn't the only one that wanted lively bait late at night so I consulted some other yankees. We decided to network our ideas.
1 of the crew had a large cooler. Went to the marine supply store and bought an aireator live well pump. Found out it didn't have enough "lift" to overcome the 6' drop into the canal. So we tried a Sump pump in the water that had a 28' lift rating. Made a T tap connection to feed the box with a throttle valve to maintain the water level. Proper filtering and some adjustment later we thought we had it !! Went and bought some 1/2 dead shrimp and crabs and loaded the box up.
  Checked our stash this morning and WOW, that bait had come back to life ! I lifted the lid to check and 'DAMN". one of those shrimp jumped out and slapped me plumb in the face !! Amazing how lively bait can be with proper conditions!
  I'm gonna train these shrimp! Gotta get 'em to gaf the fish, probably gonna take a few days but I thing my "yankee ingenuity" will overcome this task too. 
   I'll be reporting on the progress of this endevour.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Best Place in the USA ????

For those that follow our blog, you know we're nestled in down  here in the far SW corner of Florida. So far we've had nothing but hot to warm weather day & night.
  Like the majority of us, we read quite a few travel blogs and from all that input I've come to the conclusion that this area is the only corner of the USA that isn't suffering from frostbite. I see that Billie Bob and the OFM are camped in South Texas and have had a lot of uncomfortably cold days & nights. The travelers in the Q (Arizona) are running the furnaces every night too. Our nights here allow us to leave the windows open and I don't think our furnace has come on for 3 weeks.
   Been night fishing on the new drawbridge til the wee hours. It's always amazing to this Yankee how full of life the ocean is, even  at night. There are many sighting of "large" shadows of fish that can be seen in the shadows of the bridge lights moving below the surface. It takes a little practice and concentration but if you stare long enough these creatures just "pop" into sight. The fishing goes hot & cold as the hours slip by. The stars are fascinating to observe and the other fisherppl swap lies and stories of the one that got away. What a great way to play!! (& NO commercials!!)
   Getting all that fresh air sure helps me get a great night's sleep.
  Been trying to figure out how to keep the live shrimp bait alive longer. Seems I lose 'em after a day or so even though I have an aereator in the bucket. Live shrimp work the best and there's gotta be a way to extend that. Any ideas?? I even put the bait bucket in the water during non-fishing hours but still can't keep em more than 2 days. HHMMMM !!
   Been doing a little park project this week. Helping to finish off a future apt. Since I like to keep busy and have done restoration work most all my life, I volunteered to finish off the plasterboard. Feels good to have a project to do..we're working on it just a few hours per day and it's progressing nicely.
   Plan is to go hear some great music just down the street this evening. I love extended happy hours !!
  A little work and exercise, great cookouts, enjoyable music and warm weather in the winter definately is a great agenda !!

Friday, January 4, 2013

January Memories--Joys of Fatherhood

If you've been a follower of this blog you'll know we went fulltime this fall. Part of the process of prepareing for this lifestyle is downsizeing, which involves getting rid of stuff.Some stuff is easy.Sell it, donate it or dump it. Other stuff is valueable but common sense dictates a "no room for it" rule.
   Haveing always been a homeowner lets you accumulate lots of memories. Things like the family pictures. Now, you could hang on to them and see them get destroyed in some compartment in your rig. Orrrrr---give 'em to one of your children that will value them.
   Last summer I asked my youngest daughter if she'd take all those pictures. She completely filled her little car and took them home to her place. I wondered what she'd do with them.
   Tonight we went out and about in town, listened to some great music and had a fun evening and wandered home late. As most of us do, I fired up Facebook and intended to catch up on the day. Most of the kids keep in touch via FB and I saw that my daughter had posted some of these pictures. WOW, what a memory trip ! Some made me laugh and some made me weepy. Have any of your kids had that effect on you?
   I thought about posting some of those pictures here on the blog but decided that that'd be boring to most so decided not to..
   Our stay here in Florida, at Matlacha, has continued to entertain our needs. It suprises us every day with it's laid back presentations. We meet quite a few people every week from all over the country, Canada and beyond. The sunrises & sets are forever amazing us. The ocean background is always awesome. I'm at a loss for words trying to explain how "at home" we feel while here!
  As I do while writeing every blog, I keep pausing and proofreading myself.  My, My I'm gushing sooo much..I better quit.
It's probably illegal to be this content.
  2013 --??---so far, so good. So glad it all didn't end 12-21-12....LOL