Winter 2017-2018

Februrary 2, 2018

Kayaking on the Silver River in Ocala


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Anhinga - Similar to a Cormorant - The swim after fish

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John's best side

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February 1, 2018

Put in at Hunter Springs Park in Crystal River

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Ladyfish - Fun to catch, not eat

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January 22, 2018 Hunter Springs Park 

We tried to fish in the springs there, but there were way too many manatees to do so without the risk of hooking one. John caught a small jack crevalle and a lady fish. Not quite what we were hoping for but removed the skunk.

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Blue Heron

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What we left behind
Our home in Blairsville, Ga


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The tide was a little low on the canal near our park


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You know it's cold when...
January 2, 2018 at Nature Coast Landing RV Resort

Joan catches a nice spotted bass in a lake in Lakewood Ranch. We each caught a couple this size. 


We met cousins Dave and Marty at Linger Lodge, near Lakewood Ranch. This is a destination place that is truly old Florida. It has very good food also.

Manatee Springs SP (Dec 3-4, 2017)

Sunday - Even though it was 205 miles, it didn’t seem too bad. There was light traffic and we could see the gulf much of the way. We got in, set up on site 73, then headed into town for dinner and a Wally run. When we got back, we took a walk down the boardwalk to the river. The black vultures (100s of them) were getting settled in to the trees along the banks. We have to sit at the outfitters to get WiFi.
Monday - We drove to Horseshoe Beach to check it out, but were quite disappointed. There were only a couple places where we could fish and the kayaking would not be very interesting. There were many homes on the water and not much else to see. We will not be likely to return.

St. Joseph Peninsula SP (Nov 27-Dec 2, 2017)

Monday - It was a pleasant 146 mile trip here, mostly on State Hwy 20, which is mostly two lane, but not much traffic. We got set up, had dinner, then walked the beach while John fished a little. No bites. A couple were fishing and caught a small pompano while we were talking to them. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset.
Tuesday - We did some scouting around the campground to see if there is any fish action, and were encouraged to see pelicans diving for bait out into the bay. We are both still coughing and blowing after colds and hope to be up to putting kayaks in by Thursday.
Wednesday - A setback today. Someone is doing a burn in the area and filled the campground with smoke. John is especially sensitive so if it doesn’t clear, we may need to leave. Thankfully the wind changed enough to send the smoke away. We did have to stay in the MH most of the day. John was able to get on the roof and fix one of our Fantastic Fans. There was a corroded ground connection.
Thursday - We woke up to smoke in the area again, so our plans to put the kayaks in this morning had to be put on hold. About noon it looked fairly clear so we launched and headed out into the bay to try to catch something. We saw loads of action, but appeared to be only mullet. Finally, in deeper water John had a large fish on that gave a terrific fight and took out some drag. It turned out to be a 13 inch pompano, which is a great eating fish. That one turned out to be the only one of the day. We will have it for dinner tomorrow and enjoyed chicken and rice that John does on the cast iron Dutch oven.
Friday - Mostly a down day today with a few walks. We enjoyed the pompano done to perfection on the grill. The sunset in the evening was epic and John enjoyed it while fishing the gulf. Sadly the only thing missing was the fish.
Saturday - We hiked the nature trail that follows along the bay. It is sandy, but beautiful to be able to be along the water. In the afternoon we drove out of the park to check out an area where we thought might provide good access for fishing. Not so much.

Rocky Bayou SP (Nov 19-26, 2017)

Sunday - We have decided that this stop is too much out if the way and will not be a part of our trip next year. It was a windy trip, but the MH did very well. The sun was bright and the air cool. We got into our site (33), got set up, and took a walk.
Monday - Brrrr!!!! It was 37 degrees this morning. We hoped by the time we reached Florida it would warm up. It is supposed to do so later in the week. We took a walk down to the boat ramp and tried the Tenkara rods to see if we could catch some Mangeove Snapper. We managed a couple pinfish but the snapper wouldn’t cooperate. The campground is full.
Tuesday - We needed to stock up, so we went to Publix and Walmart in the morning. They are very close. It is still a little too windy and looking like rain to put the kayaks in, so we went down to The boat ramp armed with our fly rods. Joan finished for a while, but not catching anything, she decided to read. John found a good fly, a yellow streamer, and started catching mangrove snapper. Sadly, they were all about 1 inch short of being able to keep. Fun anyway.
Wednesday - It was even windier today, so we hiked the Rocky Bayou Trail. It was an easy hike, but you need to watch out for protruding roots.
Thursday - Happy Thanksgiving friends. We departed from turkey tradition and enjoyed shrimp and steak on the grill. It was just the two of us, but enjoyable. We took a nice hike in the afternoon under welcomed sunshine and enjoyed watching Casa Blanca in the evening. We could almost smell the smoke it was so thick in most of the scenes.
Friday - We went down to the boat ramp and John fished while Joan read. John saw many mangrove snapper, but none would bite.
Saturday - We drove to Turkey Creek Park and hiked the one mile boardwalk that follows the creek by the same name. Many use this facility for exercise and swimming in hot weather. There is a kayak launch at the far end, but it is about a 100 yards from the parking there. It is really a beautiful creek and the boardwalk is quite impressive.
Sunday - We opted to stay close today because Joan is battling a cold and John seems to be finally getting over his and we didn’t want to pass it on to others. We also haven’t quite felt up to putting the kayaks in, but hopefully will do better at our next stop. John tried one last time down at the boat ramp, but managed only one short mangrove snapper.

Cottonhill COE (Nov 18, 2017)

Saturday - Thank you Lord! Even though John forgot to make a reservation here, they had our favorite (33) available for us. It was a shorter, two and a half hour trip here, with lite traffic on Hwy 27. We are only here for one night and the weather is supposed to go from delightful to messy for our next leg to Rocky Bayou SP.  After lunch, we tried fishing, but it was too windy and weedy. We needed to be in the kayaks, but the wind wouldn’t allow it. Hopefully, we will get some improved weather on the Panhandle.

Whitetail Ridge COE (Nov 16-17, 2017)

Thursday - This is the most difficult leg of the trip down because of the hills and curves. We made the 218 miles in the expected five hours. Everything worked and we got in and set up in site 35. The weather is perfect.
Friday - John took advantage of the perfect weather and got some fishing in, trying a black hopper from shore. He caught two small spotted bass and a nice bluegill. We enjoyed a couple of nice walks around the loops. There are many empty sites, but reservation tags are on most of them for Easter week. John somehow missed getting a reservation for our next stop at Cottonhill, so we are praying we can get in without one.

View Pictures: (coming soon)

Whitetail Ridge COE (March 31-April 1, 2017)

Friday - It was another nice couple hour drive here with perfect weather after a very rainy night. We drove a few miles from the campground to Charlie Joseph's hamburger, hotdog, and chili place for lunch. The food was good as was the service. We fished mid afternoon and again in the evening, but managed only one bream.
Saturday - We took a couple of nice walks and John fished a few shorelines and managed a few team, a small bass, and a much nicer bass. He used a chartreuse squiggly-tail nymph under an indicator for the first two, but resorted to a plastic worm on a Duck Commander for the larger bass.

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