Friday, December 30, 2011

Weekly Catch Up 12.30

 The boys made out like bandits for Christmas.  Times have definitely changed.  They have more toys than I could have ever dreamed about.  It's easy to spoil them with toys when you want to play with the toys too.  I seem to get them everything I want.  It's bad when your son asks if he can help put together the lego's.  Leo told his Mom that he would not disappoint her if she let him help.  He finally got the point across that they are his and he should get to play with them too.

I made it out to hunt over Christmas and shot a quail.  There was a lot of hunting going on in my family.  Dad got a pheasant, my nephew got 3 rabbits, and my cousin shot a coyote.  The weather would have been more cooperative for a fishing trip.  The word in the woods is that Kirwin Lake, just South of where we were, is having a hot crappie bite.

With weather around 60 degrees during the day, it feels like I should be at the lake.  This weekend we are going to Mom and Dad's so I won't be fishing, maybe a little hunting before the year ends and my license expires.  I need to get my 2012 hunting/fishing license.  Then I can go after the first fish of the year.  Dad has taken me the last couple years.  This year I might be able to make it out before the lakes ice over.

We got our new Bass Pro Master Catalog in the mail yesterday.  I didn't get a chance to look at it before the kids took it.  Before long we will have to have 3 issues shipped to us at once so we can all look at it right away.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Review and 2012 Goals

The new year is coming quickly.  2011 was a good year.  I had a lot of great life realignments.  At the beginning of 2011 we decided to sell our house and move back from Ohio to Kansas to be close to family.  It was tough to leave Ohio with all of the friends I had made, especially the fishing kind.  There are no clubs and barely any lakes in the area we have moved.

Once I got back I started running.  It was good, I was loosing weight and becoming happier.  Then the time changed and it was dark by the time I got home.  I have been trying to wake up earlier to run but that has not been happening.  I had lost 25 pounds.  Since the time change I have gained 15 pounds back.  I eat way too much.

Several times this year I have tried to quit smoking.  I had a couple successful battles but couldn't do it on my own.  Around Thanksgiving I started taking Chantix and have done well while I have been on that.  There are a few times that I crave a cigarette but most of the time I am happy without.

Our new living situation has made me incredibly happy.  I really like my job and despite our lowering in pay our financial situation is a lot better.

With all that I have done in 2011, it will be hard to top in 2012.  I have been doing some thinking of what I would like to do in 2012.

1.  Start running again.  I would like to start tonight.  We have a track that is safe from dogs at night.  I can run there in the winter and run in the country once we get more daylight.  This is priority number 1.

2.  Make the regionals through the Okie BFL.  I had a blast fishing the BFL in 2010.  It will be even funner this coming year.

3.  Take a family vacation.  With the move this year we didn't take a big family vacation.  I would like to go to the Rocky Mountains in New Mexico.  I have never been there.

4.  Catch a fish in a new state.  More than one new state would be a bonus.  If I make a long trip this year my pen size travel pole will have to be in my bag.

5.  Run at least 2 5K's.  I would like to run a 5K outside of town then again in town next fall.

6.  Start preparations on a long hike.  I would like to take 2 weeks in 2013 to hike the Katie trail in Missouri, the Colorado trail or the Appalachian trail.  It would be nice to go as a family with my boys and my wife.  I need to get my wife excited about it somehow.

7.  Camp at least 5 times this year with the boys.  This should be a given and is a low number, but I have failed to do this so far.  I am making it a goal.  That way I can make sure I am being selfish and going camping.

These are not overly ambitious goals, they don't need to be after the year I have had.  I just need to settle down and enjoy life this year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve Pheasant/Quail Hunt

The sun is starting to shine through the window as I wake up.  We are upstairs in Christina’s parents house.  My eyes have not yet started to water when I grab my cell phone and dial Dad’s cell phone.  Mom answers with a sound of sleep still in her voice.  They were still asleep.  This would be rare at this time of morning, except we had been up late visiting the night before.

I asked if Dad wanted to go out hunting before lunch.  She handed him the phone.  He said he would be over after he got dressed and had a cup of coffee.

My eyes were starting to water so I put my contacts in.  I grabbed the older pair of jeans out of my suitcase and chose what I would wear carefully, as I usually get blood on my cloths when I go hunting.

Downstairs the rest of the household was starting to stir.  We had not seen them the night before since we got in so late.  I asked my brother in law if he would like to go hunting with Dad and I.  He did and so did one of my nephew’s and niece.  Another nephew had been out shooting rabbits in the tree break with the .22.  He wasn’t going to get to hold a gun in the field so he didn’t want to come along.

Dad arrived about a half hour after I called him.  It was chilly but not too cold.  You could see your breath and there was frost on the cars, but you could stay warm with a jacket and a pair of gloves.

We decided to start out in a draw next to the house.  While I was waiting on Dad to arrive 2 roosters had flown into the draw.  Everyone was saying that there are no pheasants this year due to the high amount of rainfall they had in Northern Kansas, besides seeing these two I believe them.  On top of that, Christina’s Dad said there was a covey of about 40 quail down there they had seen the evening before.

We walked a cornfield out and started to bring the draw back.  The draw looked perfect for an early morning hunt.  It was thick with Sunflowers and other weeds and had tall grass with a couple trees surrounded by cut cornfields.  I imagined being a pheasant flying overhead and seeing this perfect setup.

It had been a while since I had last hunted.  I knew it would be hard for me to aim on the first shot.  About halfway down the draw I found out how right I was.  We stepped into the covey of quail.  They dispersed fast making a distinctive beat with their wings letting us know they were quail.  I pulled up my shotgun and fired a shot.  Nothing fell.  That was not surprising since I did not bead in on a single bird.  I had tried firing into a group of them.  That might have worked if I had not been loaded with 4 shot for pheasant.

A little ways further into the draw, the dried vegetation was getting thicker.  We stopped to wait for the two in the middle of the thickest part.  As we stood there a couple quail jumped up right in front of us, then some more, right behind me.  This time I took careful aim at one and fired.  It fell.  I heard another gun shot but saw right away that my brother in law had missed.  After looking at the rest of the party to make sure they saw me I took off running to where the quail fell 40 feet away. 

Without a dog, I knew it would be tough to find.  I started walking in circles kicking the brush as I walked to see below it.  The quail was under the brush one time and took off running trying to find cover.  It quickly eluded me.  I continued to look while my brother in law came to help me.  After several minutes I was starting to think we might not be able to find this one.  About that time he says he has it.  He grabbed the quail and handed it to me. 

During this time we see one of the pheasants fly out of the draw into the cornfield on the other side of the road.

We hunt the rest of the draw without seeing anything else.  At the end we decide to cross the road and hunt the fence row between a corn and wheat field.  Halfway through the field I get the signal that we are going to start to turn and push the field out in another direction.  Right then a pheasant jumped out of the fence row.  Dad was quick on taking aim and dropped the pheasant.  It jumped right back up and started to fly.  Dad fired off a 2nd shot dropping the pheasant again.  He ran out to pick it up.  He ran right past where the bird had fallen.  The bird was running.  He caught up to it quickly.  That was one tough bird to take 2 shots from the 12 gauge and still be able to run. 

We hunted the rest of that field out and saw one more hen.  It was getting warm and since it was Christmas Eve we decided to stop the hunt and spend the rest of the day doing other family activities, like eating a lot of food. 

I cleaned the birds and once I got cleaned up, noticed I had indeed gotten blood on my jacket as well as my jeans.  It felt manly walking around the rest of the day with my bloodstained pant legs.

We had wild game with soup for Christmas Eve lunch.  Maybe this will be the start to a traditional family Christmas Eve hunt.  If not, we will always be able to look back on this one time.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Weekly Catch Up

I’m ready to spend some time in the great outdoors.  I haven’t run, fished or hunted for a long time now. 

We had some nice weather last weekend.  Instead of doing one of those things I worked on changing our broom closet in the kitchen into a pantry.  That allowed me a little time outside. 

We have been getting quite a bit of rain here and even got our first snow yesterday.  Not as much as many other places.  Ours mostly came in the form of rain.  A couple hours from here was 12 inches of blowing snow creating 5 foot or higher snow drifts.  

There will be a small window of opportunity to go hunting when we are in Northern Kansas over Christmas.  Dad is going to bring the guns up so we can sneak out between lunch and supper on Christmas Eve.  Both of us want to hunt some pheasants.  He made it out last weekend for a couple hours hunting by himself and found a few birds in Southwest Kansas.  The birds were stacked up near a water source.  That makes since due to the severe drought they had this summer.  I assume if there are birds left around here they will be near a water source as well. 

The boys are heading out tonight to spend some time with Grandpa and Grandma.  We will meet with them up North. 

Another project I have been working on is getting my collection of old Field & Stream magazines and Outdoor Life Magazines into protective boards and bags.  My collection ranges from around 1937 through 1965.  I had found that full set of Field & Stream at an auction when I was a kid and begged Dad to bid on them for me.  He bid 2.00 a box and got all three large boxes they had.  The articles in the older Field & Stream magazines are great.  They tell the story of the trip and make you want to be there.  All of the pictures are hand painted including the covers.  One of my favorite things to look at are the old advertisements for items that you no longer hear about.

I have considered selling the magazines before.  They sell anywhere from 10.00 to 50.00 an issue.  At those prices I have around 5 to 10 thousand dollars worth of magazines.  They mean too much to me to let go.  I do have a smaller collection of older Outdoor Life Magazines that do not mean as much to me that I am considering listing online to sell.

Before I sell them I would like to think of something to do with the money so I don’t just spend it.  It would be a shame to sell the magazines and spend the money on useless junk.  I could use the money for a kayak, or to save for a down payment for a house or a business.  That would make it worth selling the Outdoor Life Magazine’s.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Flick Shaking for Finicky Bass

The first time I saw the flick shake in action I was an instant believer in how well it worked for catching hard to catch bass.  There are many ways to fish it but the most popular is to cast it out, let it sink on slack line then if you don't have a fish on the line reel it in again.  One of the reason's for its effectiveness is it allows you to downsize your presentation on heavily fished waters.  It gives the fish something new to look at.

I have made this my go to bait the last couple years and have refined the technique to help me catch more fish.  There are several presentations as well as ways to set up the rig.

There are several different jig head options and I have tried several of them.  I keep going back to a black 1/16 oz. crappie jig head since I generally downsize to a drop shot size worm when the bass aren't cooperating.  For the regular flick shake size worms I will use the BPS Flickin' Shimmy head in the 1/16 or 1/8 oz. size depending on the depth I am fishing.  When I am fishing with the crappie jig heads I have to remember to sweep my rod to the side to set the hook.  If I lift up I will generally miss the hook set.

There are several options for worms.  I don't stick with just the worms with the curved body's.  Any worm with a lot of squirm to them works well.  For the smallest presentation, roboworm straight tails work great.  The color makes a difference.  Natural colors work well but sometimes the odd colors will really get them.  Once I zone in on the presentation then I will switch colors to find one the bass prefer more.  Once you find a color, the bass will generally stay with that color for several days or weeks.  You may have to switch up your presentation depending on fishing conditions.

The rod and line for this presentation are critical.  The fish generally bite very lightly and you have to be able to feel that in order to catch them.  I use a medium light action graphite spinning rod paired with 8 or 10 pound flourocarbon.

There are four main presentations that I use and I will try all four each time out to see what is working best.  First, I cast, let the bait settle to the bottom then twitch the bait back to me shaking the rod, pulling an inch or two at a time.  When the jig head lurches off the bottom the worm bends and shakes as it moves forward.  Second, I will cast to a good spot and dead stick the bait.  During the fall, on a cold day, this presentation has worked well.  Third, I will cast and reel the bait back to the boat both fast and slow.  The tips of the the worm vibrate or shimmy as it is pulled through the water.  Fourth, I will jig the bait back to the boat.  I jerk the worm a foot or two off the bottom and let it settle back down to the bottom.

Once you start using this bait tinker with it to make it yours, run it weightless, put nail weights in the ends of the worm, there are numerous things you can do to make this work for you.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Weekly Catch Up

It's crazy how things get so busy this time of year.  It seems like I was just getting ready for Thanksgiving, now I'm getting ready for Christmas, and then ice fishing.

We are getting our first real taste of cold weather now.  Still not freezing throughout the day.  I'm excited about ice fishing this year.  I won't get to do much since I live 4-5 hours from where I will have to go to ice fish.

How did I end up living so far from lakes? 

I will soon be registering for the FLW BFL Okie Division for next year.  I have just gotten a promotion at work so hopefully they will still let me take off Fridays for the tournaments.  My boss is a fisherman so I shouldn't have too much to worry about. 

My job has been surprisingly fun.  I was so burned out from working at the last place I worked that I didn't think I'd ever enjoy having a job again.  There was too much stress at the last place.  I also had to change my attitude about working. 

It's nice to be back in a small town with a lower cost of living.  Life is so much easier when your not scared you won't be able to make that next mortgage payment.  We have a deep freeze full of meat and cupboards full of food.  There is about 50 pounds of deer burger and steaks.  I had forgotten how much I love deer.

Thanksgiving was great this year.  All of Christina's family came to our house this year.  It was great celebrating a holiday and not having to drive 20 hours afterwards.

We have finally been getting rain lately.  The Medicine river is flowing again as are many of the streams in this area.  It was brutally dry this summer so any moisture is welcome.  We had our first light dusting of snow when we got up Monday morning.  The kids were really excited when they saw that.

I still haven't done any pheasant hunting.  The bird population is gone in Southern Kansas from the lack of moisture this year.  There were pheasants everywhere this spring.  I haven't seen one for months now.  Dad and I may sneak out for a couple hours around Christmas in Northern Kansas.  They had a lot of rain up there this year and are still reporting lots of birds.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Weekly Catch Up

Basketball started for the junior high this week.  Both the boys and girls have played 2 games each at Cherokee about 20 minutes from here.  We went to both games on Monday and Thursday nights.  It is great to watch my nieces and nephews play.  It is also irritating.  They have so much to learn about the game.  Not just them, the whole team, but I want them to excel.

I decided to try to quit smoking again.  I failed last time I tried to quit on my own.  I made it over a month but started again.  This time I am using Chantix to help with the highs and lows that come from smoking.  It blocks the nicotine receptors in your brain making cigarettes useless and stopping your craving for a cigarette.  I have been using it for two days and it makes a huge difference.  Cigarette's taste disgusting now and you get nothing from them.  I don't get such hard urges to smoke. 

With Chantix you keep smoking for 7 days while you are taking it then you stop.  I don't think it is going to take 7 days.  The side effects are a little scary.  I haven't had any yet but I read where it can cause suicidal thoughts and actions.  I am nowhere near that.  I have been having the vivid dreams the doctor's told me I may have.  That just makes it more fun to go to sleep.

Thanksgiving is next week and Christina's family will be staying with us for the holiday.  It will be fun to cook for 15 kids and 8 adults.

We had the opportunity to pay for the processing of part of a deer so we can have the meat from it.  I am excited.  Most of it is getting ground into deer burger. 

I need to find a new way to exercise other than running.  It is dark by the time Christina gets home from work.  I have the kids until she gets home.  I would run after dark but there are a lot of dogs, that are not fenced or chained up that act all crazy when I run after dark.  I don't want to be bitten.  I can't get up early enough to run, so I need to do something different.  Sometime shortly there may be open basketball at the town near here on Thursday nights.  That would give me 3 days of good exercise a week.  I can run on the weekends and play basketball on Thursday nights.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Warning! Pre-Stitches Pictures Inside

If you have a weak stomach you may want to skip this post.  One image shows an open wound prior to Stitches.

This weekend we went down to Oklahoma City to Mizike's sons baptism.  My family got there Friday night.  We hung up and caught up with what everybody has been up to. 

The next morning we got up and went fishing at Thunderbird Lake.  We had about an hour to fish.  It was windy but we found a small area out of the wind.  Mizike was the only one to catch a fish.  He caught a drum, had another on and brought a crappie to the bank before it got off the hook and flopped back into the water.
Gavin's casting and reeling well now.

Leo admiring Mizike's fish

Me holding up Mizike's fish. 

When we got back we got everything ready to clean the drum.  We had laid a piece of cardboard out and Mizike stuck a fillet knife into it.  The wind caught the card board and the fillet knife and sent them flying into the driveway.  Leo took off after the cardboard and was dragging it back before I realized what had happened.  I saw the fillet knife on the ground in front of him and told him to stop.  He didn't, and next thing I know Leo's foot connected with the point of the fillet knife and spun it around.

There was no blood but I knew the knife had stuck him.  Leo said it didn't hurt and wanted to go inside but I told him to wait a minute to see if there was any blood.  About that time the blood started flowing out of the cut.  I got the first aid kit out of the truck.  I held a rag on the area until the bleeding stopped then cleaned the area and put a band aid on the cut.  Leo didn't complain.

I filleted the drum and got the mess cleaned up.  After that we laid around for a bit waiting on the rest of the crew to show up. 

There ended up being 5 couples and kids staying at Mizike's house for the baptism.  Most of us went to K-State so when the game came on we were having a good time.  In the 4th overtime Texas A&M had just kicked a field goal when we heard whining coming from outside.  A couple of boys came in to say that Leo had hurt himself.  He was running and fell on a pipe and was bleeding.

I walked outside to see and there was already quite a bit of blood on the patio.  Upon lifting Leo's hair out of the way I could see that he needed stitches.  We got an old towel to put on his forehead and got him into the car.  The bleeding stopped pretty quickly. 

At the hospital Leo was bouncing around and smiling.  He was excited about getting stitches.  The only time that he got scared at all was when Christina was telling him that they would be using a needle to sew him up.  He hates shots.  His last group of shots he  had gotten were very painful.  We then explained that it will not be at all like getting a shot and he was o.k. again.

Leo hit his head on the gas main in the back yard.

Cleaned and bandaged and ready for stitches.

Leo laid on the exam table and watched as they stitched him up.  He didn't complain or cry.  They were very impressed at how he acted.  I was too.  Christina cried a little when they were injecting lidocaine into the wound area but Leo was calm.

After the E.R. visit we stopped by McDonald's for supper.  We let Leo pick out what he wanted.  He got a cheeseburger, a 10 piece chicken nugget meal with a coke and a chocolate shake.  He must have been hungry because he polished off everything but the shake by the time we got back to Mizike's house.

The next day we had the baptism, then a lunch at Mizike's parents house.  On the way home we did some grocery shopping and filled the back of the Explorer with groceries.  We got home fairly late and after unloading the Explorer we went to bed.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Scaredy Cakes

Cakes are scared.  It seems like there is a birthday every few weeks.  I guess there is.  With 11 kids and 4 adults between the Reeves and us, we have a lot of birthdays.  We had a combined party for 2 last night since their birthdays are only 2 days apart. 

This was our 2nd get together since we moved out.  Before the party I had the opportunity to run.  I took advantage of the opportunity and pushed myself hard.  I think I ran between 3 to 5 miles.  It has been a while since the last time.  Now that it gets dark by 6:00 I won't have many opportunities.  I pick up the kids after work and Christina doesn't get home until after 6:00.  I might be able to get up early and run before Christina leaves for work.  I need to keep exercising.  The town next to us has a basketball court and I might be able to start playing basketball once a week.

My legs feel like jelly today.  It's a good feeling.  I don't want to gain back the weight that I lost this summer.

I'm excited about heading down to Oklahoma City this weekend.  There's only been 2 times that I've gotten out of town since moving into the new house.  On the way back we can stop at Enid to do some grocery shopping and stock up on some lower priced grocery's along with the Thanksgiving meal supplies.

It looks like we are going to have Thanksgiving at our house this year with Christina's family.  Her sister is coming in from Missouri and her Mom and Dad are coming down from Northern Kansas.  It is exciting to be hosts for the big meal and the weekend.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekly Catch Up

There are several little things that come up every week that I don't put on here.  This title Weekly Catch Up, will be my entries adding the random things that I am thinking about or go on throughout the week.  If you can think of a Catchier, fishing themed name, let me know.  

I haven't been fishing in quite a while.  There is a chance at a little bank fishing this weekend coming up.

I have lakes not too far from here that I can bank fish.  The water is still too low to get a boat in.  I hope that changes by next spring since I have to put the boat in the water to fix the boards on the trailer.

This next weekend I will be going down to Oklahoma City to visit Mizike.  His son will be getting baptized on Sunday.  I'm taking my fishing poles and hope to sneak out for a couple hours to try a little fishing.

We did have a fish fry this weekend to eat up some Sept, 2010 crappie out of the freezer.  Our brother and sister in law and kids came over.  I fried hush puppies, five pounds of crinkle cut french fries and 4 zip lock bags full of crappie and white bass.  It was great to have family over for the afternoon and not have to worry about a 20 hour drive afterwards.

I woke up Saturday feeling under the weather.  Strep throat has been running through the family and I must have gotten it.  I took some ibuprofin to help my fever and sore back that accompanied it so that I could cook fish that afternoon.  It started wearing off after the company left and I laid around the rest of the weekend trying to recuperate.

Saturday night while we were watching TV the floor started rolling.  My recliner was moving and I looked at Christina thinking she was messing with me.  She looked at me at the same time and I said we must have felt an earthquake that happened South of us.  Sure enough, Christina's sister called us to see if we had felt it.  By the time I went to bed everybody was posting about it on facebook.  It hit fairly close to Oklahoma City near where Mizike lives. 

It is time for me to winterize my boat.  I won't be taking it out any more this year.  My gear lube and gear lube pump have been lost in the move so I need to find a new one.  I would like to get that taken care of when it's not snowing on me for once.  I always wait too long and have frozen fingers.  It's not hard to do, but it is hard to know you are putting the boat away for the winter. 

Pheasant season and ice fishing will be around the corner.  That will give me something to look forward to.  We have also gotten netflix recently.  We don't have cable or satellite and have decided not to spend what they are asking for it here when we don't like to watch that much television anyway.  I haven't found many fishing shows yet but haven't looked too hard for them.  I would like to watch the FLW Tour and B.A.S.S.  We have ESPN3 free through our internet provider so I still get to watch college football.

Since we have moved into our house the post office has on multiple occasions insisted that we put a mailbox up on the curb.  I have not changed my address from our brother and sister in laws since I have not been able to get it put up. 

Wednesday night I got home and saw another sticky note saying that since we are new residents we have to put up a mailbox or get a mail slot at the post office, they will no longer be bringing the mail to the mailbox on the porch for new residents.  I was a little upset as they are requiring that new residents have to do this and have been leaving us sticky notes in our mailbox since we first moved in.  They didn't give us any time to get a mailbox shipped in, find post hole diggers and get a mailbox put up, along with unpacking all of our belongings and get our place habitable to live.

Thursday, I had to go to the post office to mail out the las vegas advisor I sold.  The lady at the post office asked if we have gotten a mailbox put up yet.  I let her know that we had one on the way and would be putting it up soon.  She said they have all new residents put mailboxes on the curb.  I said o.k.  She took my money for the package then asked me about a change of address.  I filled one out and gave it to her.  The first thing she said was, "She will start holding your mail until you get your mailbox up." 

I was pissed.  My hands were shaking, and my blood was boiling.  I had just told them that I was in the process of getting my mailbox put up and she still had to go the extra mile to make sure I changed my address so they could hold my mail.  I told her what I thought of the multiple sticky notes I had received and how that made me feel as a new resident.  I also told her she could go a step further than just hold my mail and ship it back to where it came from, because I wasn't coming in there to pick it up. 

For somebody that works in a service industry, that was some poor service.  If the post office wonders why they cannot make money, when they have a monopoly in a certain industry, I would suggest they take a deeper look at how their employees treat people.  I'm not saying it's everybody that works in the postal service.  I know it's not.  I have worked with many postal workers on a regular basis, shipping items that I have sold, and the majority have been friendly and helpful.  In fact I have only had a few negative experiences, but the ones I had were bad.  If I got that type of service from a restaurant, I would never return to that entire chain of restaurants. 

I can't do that with the post office.  What I can do though is limit my use of their services.  I have free online bill pay, I can have my bills and statements sent to me electronically.  I can use fedex or ups for shipping larger items.  I don't want them to go out of business.  They are the most practically priced option we will have, and they offer good paying jobs to those who get hired by them.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Back From Las Vegas

I made it back from Las Vegas safe and happy.  It was fun and slightly different than what I'm used to out there.  The difference being that I went to bed most nights around 10:00 and got up around 7:00 except the last night.

We also played more slot machines and a lot less poker.  Usually poker is where we make our money to support doing everything else there.

I was going to try to play the Caesar's Poker Classic on the first day, but my flight was delayed 2 hours and I didn't get into Vegas until late so I decided to do just a couple small tournaments later in the week.  I also didn't have as much money as I was hoping to take, since I have to repair the boards on the boat trailer. 

We ate a couple different buffets with the coupons from las vegas advisor and had steak and lobster one meal for 11.99.  We ate at the food court several times at the Riviera since it was right there and had a good food selection.

We did play 2 poker tournaments at Circus Circus.  There were about 14 people playing at each.  I ended up chopping 3 ways in the money both days.


On the last night, with the extra money from poker, I decided to stop betting a nickel to a quarter at a time on the slot machines and play for some real money.  I stuck a hundred into a quick hit machine and spun it a few times.  Then the machine lit up and sirens started going off.  At first I was confused, then it hit me.  I had hit the progressive jackpot for 1650.00. 

8 Quick Hits, 9 would have been 10,000.00

I had my buddy go up to the room and get another 100.00 bill for me so I could play the machine beside it while I was waiting to be cashed out.  On my first pull I hit another 50.00.  I cashed both machines out and on the next machine hit for 292.00.  Everything was hitting for me.  I was too excited to go to bed, but I should have.  I stayed up all night making max bets on every machine I could play.  It was a blast.  I had a waitress following me around making sure I had a fresh drink as soon as I finished mine.

I blew through a little bit of the money but still came home with 1500.00.  Not bad for 1000.00 invested in the whole trip.  I was out having fun expecting to only bring home a few hundred.

I've also have the Las Vegas Advisor listed back on ebay.  Hopefully that will get me another 25 to 30 dollars when it sells.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

4 Days Until Las Vegas

Christina leaves today to go to Las Vegas for a conference.  I would be a little jealous as I love Vegas.  However, I will be leaving Sunday for Las Vegas.  It's funny how every time I spell Las Vegas it comes out in my head LAAASS VEEEGAAAS in a loud rumbly voice.

I was going to be attending the KU - K-State game on Saturday but the person I was going with cannot get off work.  I was going to be a little tight on cash for both trips so it's o.k. that we're not going to Lawrence.  I would love to see the Cats play while they are doing so well this year.

I will be meeting a buddy from Ohio in Vegas and got a Las Vegas advisor coupon book for our trip.  It has all kinds of 2 for 1 coupons for buffets, along with show discounts and slot play coupons.  One of the tickets I am excited about is the 2 for 1 buffet at Rio's All World Buffet.  I've been wanting to try it for a long time.  So much for my weight loss next week.  I'll have to run a lot more when I get back.

I'm going to try to hit the 5th annual Caesar's palace poker classic on Monday for a 130.00 buy in no limit holdem event.  It might be a little hard since I'm arriving late Sunday night and will want to experience Vegas right away.  Hopefully I can get to bed a few hours after I get there and arrive early to register for the tournament.  I've been wanting to get in a big live tournament for a while.  This one should have a good turnout.

The rest of the time we will be playing smaller tournaments and checking out some of the casino's that have opened since we were there several years ago.

Maybe when I get back I can sneak off to Anthony lake for a couple bank fishing trips before I call it an end to my fishing season. 

Pheasant season will be starting soon.  It looks like the pheasant population is down around here and around Mom and Dad's.  It has been so good the last few years.  The lack of water and bugs has really hurt the population this year.  I still look forward to getting out and walking a few fields with Dad.  I just want a few pheasants to smoke and fry.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Guests This Weekend

This weekend was great!  The weather was perfect, we had good company and a lot of housewarming gifts.

Mom and Dad were coming down to bring us their washer and dryer.  They decided to buy new ones and give us their old ones.  They also brought some other things, so much that they needed a trailer behind the pickup.  They brought the corn we had put up earlier this year, some ground beef from a cow they butchered at the end of last winter, a lot of jars of canned vegetables, and much more food.  They also brought about 40 pumpkins that they had gotten free.  We kept a few and the rest go to my cousin's and children and our brother and sister in law and their children.

They had invited my aunt and uncle down as well.  My aunt and uncle also brought housewarming gifts.  They gave us rugs, kites, paper plates, napkins, plastic cups, and other goodies.  I was just happy to have their company.

Christina and I worked hard to get the house ready for show Friday night.  Saturday morning we continued and everybody showed up around 2 pm on Saturday.  We spent the day talking and eating.  We had Salad, Lasagna, and Italian Bread that Mom had brought on Saturday evening.  Before supper we had went out to the soccer field to fly the kites my Aunt and Uncle had brought.  I think it was as much fun for the adults as it was for the kids.  We would fly the kites up to where we were out of string then tie on another string to get them even higher.  Leo and I had kite wars and tried to crash each others kites.

Leo pulling on the kite to make it go higher.

Gavin's kite flew high, all he needed to do was hold the string.

My Aunt and Uncle left after supper Saturday and my parents stayed the night.  They didn't sleep well due to the number of trains that go by.  They are loud and fast.  Christina and I sleep through them, but we had lived in Columbus, OH where there were Ambulances, Fire Trucks, Police sirens, as well as Helicopters and gun shots every night.  Mom and Dad live way out in the country where there are only natural lights and natural sounds.  Some people don't sleep good at their house because of the darkness, noisy crickets and coyotes.

We got up and ate Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuits made with sausage from the local meat locker.  Their sausage is the best I've had.  Then we went to church.  Service was a little different this week as Spoken 4 sang and spoke during the service.  It was very inspirational and the guys had great voices. 

After church we had homemade chicken and noodles over potatoes along with peas and homemade zuchini cranberry orange bread.  I ate so much that I had to lay down and take a short nap before Mom and Dad left. 

The rest of the day I took it easy in our living room/den.  It is a very relaxing room that I love to spend time in.
My awesome living room/den.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ran Out of Town

Last night after I walked to the store for milk, I ran for the first time since we have moved into the new house.  I am excited to be on the edge of town where I can get on a gravel road right away and run with no traffic or dogs that want to chase me down. 

At first I felt a little weak from not running in a couple weeks but I got into a groove and had a good run, probably a couple miles or more.  It helps to have a MP3 player now.  The beat of the music makes me want to run longer.

It helps to see that running and eating smaller portions at meal time is paying big dividends.  I am now 22-25 pounds lighter than when I moved here.  My weight fluctuates quite a bit each day.  When I moved back I was 240, this morning I weighed myself and was 215.4.

I haven't noticed a lot of change myself, but others say they have noticed.  It will be interesting to see if Mom and Dad say anything this weekend.

I have a lot going on now with the new house, so I can't do much more than running.  Maybe down the road I can take advantage of the gym being open to the public at 6 in the morning and 6 in the evening. 

My goal of reaching 200 pounds might come quicker than I thought.  If it does, then I will have to set mileage goals, because I enjoy the feeling I get from running.  I have more energy and feel better mentally.

Christina hasn't ran with me in a while.  It's hard with the 2 boys, for us to go together.  Once Gavin can ride his bike then the boys can bike while we run.  I like having a running partner.

The gourds vines have dried up.  A sign that pheasant season is right around the corner

A look down the road as I was running back into town.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Grand Lake BFL - What I Should Have Done Different

It is still bothering me that I didn't figure the bass out at Grand Lake.  I guess I had the opportunity to catch enough to move on to the next day, but I didn't whack em' like I thought I was going to. 

This is one of the first tournaments I have thought about afterwards and still don't know what I should have done different. 

As a co-angler I shouldn't have been using what my boater was.  One of my rules is to throw something different.  If they are throwing top water throw a bait under the water that you can keep up with the boater with, if they are throwing a jig, throw a worm.  Give the bass something different to think about eating.

At the time, I was thinking it would be silly not to switch to what he was using, when he was catching so many fish on those baits.  I didn't know how to use the baits like he did and he was pulling the fish out before I got to them if they wanted to eat that bait. 

With that clear of water I should have tried tubes and senko's.  With those I could heave them far away from the boat without putting too much weight on them.  They would also have a good action to draw the fish from a ways away.  I was having a hard time trying to figure out what to use in really shallow rocky water.  The rocks were really snaggy rocks too.

I didn't try enough different baits and I didn't spend enough time with my go-to baits.

My boater had me fish different water than I'm used to.  That should have been no excuse.  I had the tackle with me to make the adjustments I needed to make. 

As far as equipment goes, I should have had lighter line.  The water was clear.  It would have made a difference to have 8 or 10 pound test. 

The good thing is I learned a lot from this tournament.  Next time I will have to keep my head in the game throughout the whole day.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend of Relaxation

Leo disappeared on Saturday.  He wouldn't answer when I called his name.  I went to throw this unpacked box away and there he was.
This weekend was really relaxing.  It rained all day Saturday and most of Sunday.  We got a lot done with the house this weekend and had some time to play around on the internet and watch TV on Sunday. 

There's still a few boxes to unpack and a lot of organizing to do but we made a lot of headway this weekend.  Next weekend my parents are bringing us a washer and dryer.  My aunt and uncle from Wichita may come down to visit.  Christina is worried about having the house clean by then.  I doubt we will have it the whole way done.  Whatever we can get done will have to do.

The following weekend I will be going to the K-State game on Saturday and leave for Vegas on Sunday.  It's a good thing I had a relaxing weekend this one, because it sounds like it won't happen again for a while.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Choosing A Quality Fishing Rod for a Low Price

There's no need to re-invent the wheel so here's an excellent article I read to help me start looking for the rods I wanted or NEEDED.  Choosing The Right Rod 

Once you figure out what characteristics you want in a fishing rod there are many choices that will be similar to what you are looking for.  You may want the top of the line "insert name" brand rod, but if you would like to save a few bucks you might try looking at the other options out there. 

To start your search I would suggest to use a search engine such as google shopping and type in some key words for what you are looking for.  For a few less options but better search results try ebay.  Here are some keywords that sellers use with their poles.  Modulus, fiberglass, graphite, IM-6, IM-8, fuji guides, fast action, medium action, medium light, medium heavy, etc.

If using ebay search by buy it now, then sort by price. That will get you to the lowest cost with the description you are looking for.  Then try all items, and sort by ending soonest.  Once you have tried that you can try clicking on the box, next to - include item description, and try again.  That will search the items description,  not just the heading, for the keywords you are searching for.

Several of the rods I have gotten have came from ebay.  Others, I have bought from other fisherman I have met in my club and at fishing tournaments.  These guys are always wanting the newest and best on the market and will sell their older equipment at considerably lower prices than you could buy new.

Another good option is to go to a sporting goods store and look until you find a deal that you believe is good.  I have seen mis-priced rods, as well as some deep sales at the sporting goods stores.  The good thing about the sporting goods stores, is, the rods are new, and you can touch and feel the rods.  You can try tapping the tip on a shelf and see if the ting travels back to where your hand rests on the butt of the rod if you are looking for a sensitive rod.

This is how I have picked up some quality rods for a lower cost.  If you can think of some other ways, leave a comment so others can benefit from your advise.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lots of Work to Do

Our house is awesome!  I have been working on unpacking the last couple nights.  We have a kitchen and bedroom now.  There is still tons and tons and tons to do.  It is so nice to have something to do when I get home.  Before I might have some cooking to do, or cleaning, but ultimately I craved having something to do for myself.

Right now its just the boys and me at home.  Christina is at a conference out of town.  The boys are loving their toys being back.  They haven't had their toys in 6 months.  We still have a lot of toys to get rid of.  They don't need as many as they have.

We will be organizing for a long time to come.  We will have a lot of things we will want or need for the new house.  Maybe I can get to selling online again to help pay for it once we get a little more organized.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Grand Lake BFL Results and Moving Into the New Place

View from my camp at Grand Lake

Grand Lake is different than I expected.  Most of the lake has rock shorelines.  At least the areas that we fished.  It forced me to go out of my comfort zone and try different styles of fishing I have wanted to try but had not yet.

I fished with jigs, creature baits, and shallow running cranks most of the day.  I couldn't use most of what I normally use.  The water was clear and shallow with rocks that would catch any hook.  You had to cast far from the boat if you wanted a bite.

The first fish I caught was 13 1/2 inches but was a chunk.  It was a 1/2 inch short of keeper size.  Shortly after that I had my keeper.  Both came from an area that I was able to use my go to baits.  I had a big bite in the same area on a rubber worm and when I set the hook my line broke.

The boater I drew was great.  He has been fishing for many years and helped me to try some different techniques.  I didn't catch any fish on them this time.  (He was picking the water clean before I got to it.)  I will use some of the techniques going forward.

Towards the middle of the day I had my biggest opportunity.  I was casting a shallow crank in a foot to foot and a half of water.  I twitched the crank and right as it stopped a fish hit it.  I set the hook and started reeling the fish in.  As it got closer to the boat I could feel it was a good size fish.  At that point the crank pulled free.  The hooks were small and the bass was big.  Not a good combination.  Next time I will not pull as hard on the fish if I have small treble hooks.

I caught some fish late in the day on a top water pop-r.  They were smaller.  I was hoping to get one big one to try to catch up to the competition.

At the end of the tournament I had only 1 bass at 2 lbs 14 oz.  I finished 51st out of 108.  There were a couple missed opportunities that could have put me in the money.  It took a little over 5 pounds to be in the money and move on to day 2.

My boater had a good day and was able to cull a couple times.  He finished the first day in 6th.  His second day he did not do quite as well and fell to 19th, still cashing a check.

I look forward to the BFL's next year, where I will be trying to make it to regionals again.

Monday night we were supposed to get into our new house.  We stopped by to set up our beds and move things around.  The couple moving out were not quite finished so we just moved a few things into the bedrooms and didn't move in.

Tuesday, I was expecting sort of the same thing, but was hoping we could stay the night.  I got home from work and loaded the truck to take some things over.  When I got there the door was locked.  My wife called the couple and they said I could come get a key to get into the house.  They told me they were done over there and we could officially move in.

The house was completely empty and I moved the rest of our belongings.  My niece helped me move boxes around and dig out the bed frames.  We ended up sleeping in our own bed last night.  The boys slept on an air mattress but will have their beds set up soon.

Leo and Gavin got to work on their toys first thing.

Our pile ready to be unpacked into the new house.
My niece helping me move boxes and dig out beds.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Being a Co-Angler in the FLW BFL

All feels right with the world today.  A dried leaf blows across the road sounding like puppy's feet hopping across the pavement.  There is a chill in the air, almost moist.  The trees are still green.  They will be turning soon to the browns, reds, oranges and yellows that symbolize fall.

A feeling of tranquility waved over me as I stood outside, the sun just starting to peak over the roofs of the houses in town.  Tomorrow I will be traveling.  I will be on another of life's grand adventures. 

I can picture bass on the end of my line.  The strike, the hook set, then the battle to bring them to the boat. 

Last night I started preparations for this weekend.  I gathered all my camping and fishing gear and brought it to the house so that tonight I can organize my tackle into 1 bag and change my line on my rods.  If I forgot anything, this will give me an extra day to remember.  Already, I remembered a bag in one of my hatches of the boat that hods all of my new lures.  I might not use any of them but I want to have it along in case I decide, once I get there, that one of the lures needs to go into my bag.

The timing of this tournament will fit my strengths well.  The bass should be in transition from their summer haunts on their way to the shallower waters of the coves and creeks.  If we get on to them on the main cove points it will be a blast.  Bass after bass will be moving onto the points to feed before traveling on back into the coves to continue feeding.

Being a co-angler I don't have to locate the bass.  My boater is probably out there right now doing that.  Part of the fun of being a co-angler is not knowing where or what style of fishing you are going to be doing.  You may learn a totally different technique than you have ever tried.  I have a feeling that will be the case in this tournament.  This is a new lake for me, in a different region of the country than I am used to fishing. 

At some point I would like to take over the front of the boat.  For now, I don't have the time I need to scout the waters.  The guys in the BFL's are good.  If your not prepared you are more than likely just setting fire to your entry fees.

I have looked at lake maps, at fishing reports, at the weather forecast.  I have looked at the previous years BFL tournaments at Grand Lake.  It takes a lot of weight to win it, around 13 pounds per day.  It will take about 8 - 10 pounds to move on to the 2nd day and get in the money. 

The competition and camaraderie are why I fish these.  Fishing pulses through my veins.  The void of sports as I get older has lured me into the competition of these. 

There is a lot of luck in bass tournaments, but luck is not the key component.  You have to be good.  The more edges you have the more likely you will succeed.  Good line and good equipment is a must along with sharp strong hooks.

The biggest advantage I gained was getting quality rods.  I had always thought that I could catch fish on anything, until I got a quality graphite rod.  I got power and feel out of my rods.  I could feel the slightest of bites and was amazed at how many bites I must have missed with my other rods.  I'm talking 6 to 1.  If I hook all of those I have my limit and a cull, if they are keepers.  Most of my rods aren't that much more expensive than the rods I was buying before.  I have picked several used rods up for 40.00 to 60.00.

Line is equally important.  Some lines have substantially more feel than others do to the stretch of the line.  I rarely use mono-filament any longer.  Each line has a purpose though, even mono-filament, and matched with rod and reel it can make a huge difference.

The bait used is important too.  More important than the bait is your confidence in it.  If your good at catching bass on certain baits, that will be your bread and butter.  Get good with several so you can build your arsenal and react to what the bass want.  Try different things with your baits.  Customize them to make them yours.  Find the best way to fish that bait.  People will try to imitate you and may catch fish on them, but you will do better because you know you are doing it right.

Time on the water will make you better.  The more you live with the fish, the more you think like a fish.  The more you think like a fish, the more you will catch.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Homeless No Mo!

We got a call from the couple moving out of the house we will be renting.  They told us that they called the gas, electric, water, cable, and internet companies to have everything transferred to their new house on Monday.  They said we can call the companies to have them transferred to our name.

We are finally getting our house.  Homeless no more!  I will be able to piddle in the garage with my fishing tackle and tools.  I'll be able to have access to all of my belongings.  The boys can sleep in separate beds.  We get our King size bed back.  I can start selling on ecrater again.

I am excited. 

My brother and sister-in-law have been very generous sharing their house with us and I will be forever grateful to have such a wonderful family.  I am happy for them to get their house back.  My two older nephews have been displaced from their room since March.  Our things are scattered in their room so it is hard for them to get to their things. 

We have bonded through the process of living together.  It was good for me to be part of a big (huge) family.  Hopefully I have learned to be a better person from living there.

Tonight I will start getting ready for my tournament.  I like to get prepared early.  I will go pick up my camping and fishing gear.  Then I will figure out what tackle to take and get it into one bag.  There are two poles that need new line.  Then I will tie on the lures I will start with at Grand Lake. 

I wish I had my worm making equipment so I could make some of my drop shot worms for the tournament.  I had given Mizike my entire stash of homemade worms this summer, thinking that I would get a chance to make some more once I got into our new place.

It looks like there is a Bass Pro in Tulsa so I can pick up some roboworms on my way to the lake if I need to.  I took the whole day off Friday.  The drive will be 5-6 hours, so I will have time to goof around and still get to check in on time.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Turning Point

Healthy bass I caught at Clark County Lake camping trip
Friday after work I booked my flight and hotel to Las Vegas for an October trip.  Then I looked up hotels for the Grand Lake BFL.  The hotels were either higher priced than I wanted to pay or too far away from the tournament.  I have decided instead to camp.  This weekend I crawled over all of our belongings that are being stored in order to find my small 2 man tent.  I can set it up and take it down quickly by myself.  The cost savings for 2 nights will be huge.

I am excited about camping at Grand Lake.  I looked at a burn ban map of Oklahoma and it is not in the burn ban.  I can finally camp with a fire. 

I am most excited about fishing a BFL tournament again. It is the last one of the year and I will not be able to make the regional's.  I will get some good experience on a good lake.  Next season starts pretty early in the Okie league as well so I will have that to look forward too.

Saturday we watched my niece and nephews play tackle football.  They played good.  My second oldest nephew played quarterback and did a good job passing and avoiding being tackled.  The 4th-5th grade team won as well as the 6th grade team.  It seems that there is going to be a good string of teams coming up in Kiowa's future.

The rest of Saturday was spent enjoying great college football and spending time outside enjoying this nice weather.

Sunday we went to Church.  Afterwards we had planned on going golfing.  I thought it would be a fun outdoor activity that we could do as a family.  The kids could walk with us while we golfed.  My Sister-in-law informed us that they don't allow children on the course at Anthony.  I was looking up Medicine Lodge to see the rules there and saw that the course was closed for a Peace Treaty.  Alva's course was a little more costly than I wanted to pay so we stayed home.

We could have done some free outdoor activities.  I will have to remember for the future that we have tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and not too far away is a Frisbee golf course.  We could have went fishing too.  Instead we were lazy and read or napped all day.  After being on the road every weekend it was nice to relax.

Last night we ran.  We put in a good, hour long session.  My endurance is starting to pick up finally.  I turn my MP3 player on and run until I can't breathe any longer.

I didn't run much last week due to a sinus infection that was dragging me down.  I'm feeling a ton better now after being on medicine for a week.

I still have a long ways to go with running.  I only made 1 3/4 miles last night before I had to stop to walk.  I look forward to the day I can run for 4-5 miles non-stop again.  I also have a long ways to go on my weight loss.  I am starting to tell a difference in my mid section and face.  I have lost 12 pounds so far and would like to lose another 28 to get me down to 200 pounds. 

We heard last night that the couple moving out of the house we are moving into are still planning on being out by the end of this week.   

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Time to Move?

This weekend we heard that there may be another house coming up for rent.  We drove to look at it.  It is a nice roomy house with a unattached garage.  It is nice.  There is a lot of work to do to it.  The garage doores are on the ground.  The garage is filled with garbage.  The yard is overgrown with shrubbery.  It is also on the highway and doesn't look like it lets much light in.  It does have an empty lot next to it.  The house we have been waiting on is more ideal for us.  The location, size, garage, roominess and modernness are all appealing. 

It felt sort of like Todd was pushing us to take the new option.  I see his point, we have been invading his home for months now, Christina and the boys for 6 months now and me going on 3.  That's a half a year longer than we intended to stay when we got here.

Christina and I talked about it for some time.  We really want to move into the house we had planned on.  We were discussing options since we feel we have depended on the Reeves too long.  We could try to get an apartment in Medicine Lodge, Anthony, or Harper to rent to us on a month to month basis.  We could take the new rental.  We could move into a motel room.  The other option that we chose to do was to talk to the couple that are moving out of the other house to see if we could get a realistic deadline.  That would help us decide what to do.

We went to the new house they are working on and visited with them.  They have quite a bit of work left to do but said that they would put in a toilet this week so they at least have a toilet, then they will move some things over and stay there while they finish the house.  They estimated us being able to move in a week and a half.

I offered the use of the shower and Christina offered to let them store whatever they needed until they got their new house completed.

It looks like we may be in our new house in a week now.  If we are not I am afraid we are going to have to take a different route.  I'm thinking of checking the local motel for a weekly rate until we get moved in.

We have drained our savings living here now.  We went from spending 300.00 a month on our budget to 1400.00 a month.  That has wiped out our savings pretty quick.  We have been leaving town almost every weekend, usually for a 3 hour or longer trip each way.  We have also been spending a lot more than we are used to on groceries.  Partially due to taxes and higher grocery prices and partially due to feeding 14 people.  We are saving money by not paying rent, but even with that we are spending 400.00 more than I have budgeted each month.

This weekend we are staying home.  We will get to watch McKenna, Anton, and Keaton play football on Saturday.  I don't know what we will do the rest of the weekend.  At least we will not be spending as much money as we would traveling.

The following weekend is the Okie BFL tournament at Grand Lake.  I will be camping so I don't have to get a motel room for 86.00 pre-tax per night.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

First Shoes Then Fishing Lures

Leo figured out how to tie his shoe today on his own.  He has been trying to learn the last couple weeks.  I told him if he learned how to tie his shoe I will teach him how to tie on a fishing lure.  Looks like he will be learning some fishing knots soon.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Canton Lake Oklahoma MiCamping Trip

Friday evening came quickly as I had only worked 28 hours last week.  Ouch, that will hurt in October.

I took off a little early from work to pack up before G-Diddy showed up.  We were just finishing packing when he called and said he was around the corner.  Shortly after that we were driving to Canton Lake for our weekend fishing trip.

Mizike had gotten to the lake a long time before we arrived and had his campsite set up.  We started working on G-Diddy’s tent first.  The poles were not held together by bungee and some of the metal ends had fallen off.  It took a lot of work but we got it figured out.

By the time we started on my tent it was well past dark.  My tent went up quickly with everybody helping.  Then it was on to blow up the air mattresses.  Unfortunately, my pump was dead and never did take a charge.  I was the only one with a pump so we had to blow the beds up by hand.

Mizike and I were sharking (hand on the forehead that means it time to do a shot) each other and drinking quite a bit of Captain Morgan. 

At some point, after I was well inebriated, I was getting something in the boat.  I don’t remember anything after that.  Mizike filled me in the next day.  Apparently I was grabbing something out of the boat and fell backwards hitting my head on the pavement.  My head was bleeding, but I still wanted to go fishing.  I ended up getting back to the tent where my wife bandaged and my head to stop the bleeding.  She said that when I got the tent I was talking about Communists, how they were all around us, and going to get us.

The next morning I woke up on the floor of the tent, curled in a ball.  It was cold.  I got up before looking at the time.  It was before 6:00 AM.  The sun wasn’t out yet.  I fished off the bank in the dark for about an hour.  As soon as the sun was up I had donuts, brownies, and nutty bars on the table for everyone to eat.  Then I started to get a little louder so everyone would wake up.  That’s when I found out what had happened the night before.  I must have had a concussion the way I was talking after the fall and not being able to remember anything.

We didn’t have enough life jackets so Mizike and I drove over to a store by the dam to find one.  We snuck in some biscuits and gravy while we were there.  The whole time I had my bandage on with bloody gauze sticking out the back.  I was getting some strange looks.  We got back and had the boat in the water by around 9:00 AM.  The lake was down about 12 - 15 feet and most of the boat ramps were unusable.  We tried 2 before we found one that was barely usable at the dam.  The trailer tires would drop off the ramp but were were able to pull the boat out anyway.

The most usable ramp is in Canadian Camp Ground.  It seems to have been built for these low water conditions.

We started out trolling the dam.  G-Diddy caught one, then Leo.  It was pretty slow for trolling so we decided to drift jig heads with plastic chartreuse grubs and a worm over a drop that went from 17 foot to 3 foot in about a 100-yard stretch.

Leo kicked our butts.  He was catching about 5 to the rest of our 1.  His pole was about to get stolen.  He would offer to let Mizike reel the next one in and as Mizike would grab the pole Leo would be bouncing begging for his pole back.  Leo had a nice sized walleye up to the boat.  I tried to sling it over the windshield but the walleye shook off, right before I got him to the boat.  I ended up catching a smaller walleye shortly after that.  It wasn’t a keeper like Leo’s would have been.

It got warm and the wind was blowing hard by 1:00 so we went back to camp to get a bite to eat and some rest before going back out around 5:30.  We only fished a couple hours the next time out and had no luck.

Once we were back at the camp we got our feast ready for the evening.  We had 4 pounds of crab legs, 2 pounds of shrimp, 2 pounds of muscles, 2 packs of New Orleans Style Brats and a bunch of Corn on the cob all boiled up in a crab pot. 

We ate a ton.  Everybody was about done when we added 2 more pounds of crab legs and more corn on the cob to the pot.  Leo about ate the 2 pounds of crab himself and more corn.  He said he was miserable from eating so much and was ready for bed.

The next morning we didn’t get up quite as early.  We went out on the boat and tried drifting then trolling but couldn’t find the fish.  The wind had switched for the 3rd time in 2 days and started to blow out of the West.  By the time we got our lines in and boat started there were already huge swells between the loading ramp and us.

At the loading ramp, I noticed a board was loose as Mizike was backing it into the water.  The bolt had come out.  I had G-Diddy hold the boat against the wind at the courtesy ramp while I went and tied the board on with braided fishing line.  It worked for the time being and we were able to get the boat loaded.

We went back to camp and tore it down.  We were on our way home a little before 1:00.

Monday after lunch I started feeling really crappy and exhausted.  My neck was hurting, the side of my head was hurting, the back of my head was hurting, and I felt nauseous and dizzy.  I finally made an appointment to see the doctor since I had fallen and hit my head.  I didn’t know if there was some swelling going on inside my skull.

They didn’t hesitate to have a CT scan done.  The results came back good.  Just a little bruising around the area I hit my head.  I did however have extreme Sinusitis.  That was the reason I was feeling so miserable.  I wish we would have known that before I had a CT scan done.  Now I will be out around 1500.00 for Sinusitis. 

I’m on several different pills now to get better.  

My Walleye and My Bandage
Several Ramps Ended at the Water Line.  Mizike was testing this one when he about slipped on the moss.

Leo and Gavin learning washers

Gavin playing washers in front of the tent

The days keepers (Mostly Leo's)