Thursday, July 31, 2014

Big Bass...

You may have heard the Robert Earl Keen "Five Pound Bass." I remeber when I was a kid and fishing Sam Rayburn with my dad how catching a 5 pound bass was a pretty big deal. I remember camp-outs where when a big bass was caught we would run up to the old Hank's Creek Marina to us their to weigh a big fish.  scales and show it off. Now a days I have a nice set of digital scales in the boat and I think the modern  bass fisherman merely declares a 5 pound bass "good fish" and goes on in search of double digit numbers. Yesterday I did a personal best by catching a seven pound 3 ounce largemouth bass. I was by my self so it was hard to get a good picture of me and the bass. 

Here he is. The thing that makes this so notable is that I caught him on 4 pound test line and a 1/32 ounce  
H & H spinner. I was bream fishing. I guess this fish was bream fishing also. After taking the bait up a little creek channel he swam to deeper water, about 5 feet. I thought at first this might be a giant catfish because he stayed under like that. I kept steady pressure to tire the fish, there was one jump and I netted at the side of the boat. The four pound would have never lifted this fish in the boat. All this took under ten minutes.  

This is a look down his throat. When I was a kid I was always trying to cure an old bass head by stretching it over a mayonnaise jar and salting it.with the idea it would dry in an open position kind of like shark jaws. I think my parents loved this experiment. My mother still occasionally mentions it. He's not swimming in my belly. I released this fish and whispered "grow big" in his ear.

The lure. That's a 1/32 ounce H & H spinner. I guess that old bass thought to have just a little snack. The H & H bait company is located in Baton Rouge. I used to joke that cajuns who made this lure scientifically designed it to fit exactly in a breams mouth. They make them in Honduras now instead of Baton Rouge so I guess Hondurans know the exact size of a breams mouth also.  

Here's Robert Earl:

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Another Not My Boat Blog Post...

These are photos I took of boats from the beach house deck while on vacation. Looking at boats wakes up something ancient in me. I think about the first man who may have been lounging by the seaside and saw something pass by on the water. I bet it made him hoot, made him holler. Bet it made him want a boat. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The I Jammed at the Beach Blog Post...

Sure we brought guitars including a cigar box guitar I made as a birthday gift for Suzi. It's made from one of  her dad's old cigar boxes which I estimate to be of 1950s vintage. Funny story here. Suzi used the U.S. mail to send me two cigar boxes and a shirt as a birthday present. They were mailed in January, the month of my birthday and the package was post marked as such. I got the package in late March. Since Suzi's birthday is really in May and I delivered this guitar in July I am just as prompt as the mail.  Here's Suzi and guitar. Look out Pine Knot! By the way I think Suzi turned 31 on her birthday or that is how long I have known her or something like that. I guess that makes her husband Charley (they spent all week at the beach with us) 39 because I want to say I made his acquaintance in 1976.   
Matt sets the groove on maraca while my cigar box guitar celebrity endorser Bill Cooney cranks a tenor banjo.  By the way if you note product placement we are now sponsored by Snark tuners which is a really great product and I stay in tune a lot better that if I was sponsored by Bud, Old Mil, or Milwaukee's Breast. 

Cathy and her cousin Michael know a lot of the same songs. When Cathy was a teen she babysat Michael. Little did his parents know she was spinning Beatles, Houses of the Holy and Dr. Hook and the Medicine show records during this time ( maybe even the Eagles "On the Border" but they act like they don't remember that one) and what the hey looks like everything turned out ok. Hope all ya'll can say the same. 

There was a band in New Orleans and the guys are still around that called themselves the Radiators. Said their music was fish head music. I guess they were trying to do the Jimmy Buffet parrot head thing but just be a little stinker. In this photo I think Warren is working on arrangements for a Radiators tribute band.   

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It Came With It's Own Power Spot...

Here's a photo of the beach house we rented for vacation. It's call the Boat House and it's at Surfside beach.
It's very handy especially for the less mobile folks like Don Miguel who other wise could not have made the trip. It has ramps up, down from the porch and to the beach. Here's Miguel and daughter Selena. 

One of the things that was great for me and there were many great things was that bench you see in the back ground behind Miguel and Selena. I think there was some kind of mystical link there that I could spiritually sense when I was on it. 

I have met power spots that made me feel this way before. Usually some old rotted porch on a house way out in the country used for a stage where it seemed like I could play guitar really well and because of the isolation as loud and as long as I wanted or maybe a New Orleans street corner when the unexpected is always seen. Seems like these days I have managed to be able to raise my hands above my head and summon that lightening bolt spark where ever I am and the power spot thing has not been so important. 

I took good advantage of my new found power spot at the beach house. About every other day on vacation I would roll up a beach towel for a pillow and stretch out for a nap on this bench in the soft warm Gulf breeze. And I would be laid out like the girl on the cooling floor in Blues man Son House's sad sad song "Death Letter." Just like that girl people would come up to me and peer right down in my face and say "Mudbelly you ok? You wanna go ina house to sleep?" you comfortable?" Yes it was a most comfortable place that fit me well. Unlike the girl in the song I was not waiting on judgment day. I was getting ready, resting, going on to the next thing soon. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Vacation is Over...

The beach! That's been the cry for the last week as we hit the water with fishing rods, floats and sand toys to have a great time with family and friends. This is what the end of vacation looks like on a Sunday evening from the back seat of beach buggy we rented.

 Usually I am recharged by vacation and I have on my mind new things and new purposes and a fresh enthusiasm for work and home that the time off gave me and I am ready to get back to the world. I feel different this time. I feel recharged but maybe it's is a change with my age as I look forward to spending more time like this with friends and family.

I'll try to list who was with me and Cathy at the beach with us this week. Our kids, Morgan and wife Ali, Mary and husband Miguel, Rose and husband Juan and the grand kids, who stayed most of the week, Coraline and Warren, Cathy's brothers and sister Matt, John wife Mari, brother Jim and daughters Samantha and Chandler, sister Margaret and daughters Grayson and Addison,  Cathy's parents Bill and Geneva, Don Miguel and wife Alejandra and daughters Crystal, Selena and Ashley, friends Suzi and Charlie who stayed all week, friends Lupe and Norma Aunt Shelia and Uncle Art and last but not least who stayed most of the week Cathy's Cousin Michael and kids Everret abd Stella. I think that's everyone. See all ya'll next year. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Girls on the Beach Blog Post...

I knew that would make you look. Getting a lot of site traffic is a fine art.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Great Fish Taco Massacre...

Everybody has brought food. Some shop for general supplies, Suzi cooked casseroles and quiches, Stella brought powdered donuts and last night John brought a bunch of trout and redfish he previously caught and we staged the big fish taco massacre. Here's some scenes. 
The food picture. 

Wind is bad today so fishing might be a wash. We will see.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Big Shark...

At this point in my life I am never ashamed about what I catch. I am always glad to catch something. The bait this little black tip shark ate was bigger than he is.

Coraline does the "R" part of CPR. Catch, photo, release. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Matt catches a nice shark this morning but poor old shark dies because he is hooked to deep for a clean release. He's a legal catch. Much longer that the 24" the book says. He's been turned into fillets for the grill. 
Michael caught a small shark about like I was catching yesterday. 

Everett gives an assist on a gafftop sail catfish I hooked. I also had a whiting and a very small bonnet head shark. 

Cathy with her brother Matt and sister Margaret.

Warren checks the bait bucket. "Anybody in there?"

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Secret Remote Beach...

Camp Catfish is in session and people are starting to arrive from far and wide. Fishing is good so far. 
Rose Cathy, Margaret, Grayson and Addison get wet. 

Coraline and Warren like the water.

I caught three sharks, a lady fish, a hardhead and a gafftop

Here is the biggest black tip shark. The surf is full of these ankle biters. Matt kept a 17 inch speck and a nice whiting and several throw back specks and a small bonnet heard shark. Michael caught several small specks. Fishing looks to be good for the week. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Mary...

                                     23 years old today. 


Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Family Photos...

After a visit from relatives this weekend and the sharing of photos and ancestor information I have a lot of things to look at and work on. My cousins had many photos scanned and many more that were unidentified people and places. I'll start with this one. 

I made a photo of a photo for this one. What's the scene? Looks like maybe 1920s cars or slightly earlier. Is it a tent revival, a circus, a medicine or minstrel show? What's the significance to the Wiley family? We don't know. If you have a clue, please post. 


Tuesday, July 08, 2014

I'm Tired...

Of changing boat trailer tires. I know some will say "well he ran the tires off that trailer going to the lake so much." Kind of the case as I had to change a tire the second time in just a few weeks. 
This tire is one of the originals that was on the trailer 8 years old. It's mate got replace two years ago when a knot arose on it. This one hulled it's self out a few weeks ago on the way to the lake. I replaced it with the spare. This was a trip I blogged about, tire change, big storm, Cathy caught the most fish, got stuck in the yard and so on. Given the track record and if I was betting the odds I figured no more flats this summer and no spare needed. 

Not the case. Looks like on the way to the lake Saturday I lost a boat fender which damaged this two year old tire. Thankfully I made it to the lake for a great ski trip with the Finans and made it home ok afterwards. Ten ply rules. 

Tires are replaced. Ready to go. Think I'll get a new jack soon. The one I keep in the boat is from a homemade stretching machine that Mr. Cummings, one of my old Taekwondo instructors made from an old jack and a ratchet. If these tires last a good long time I might be to old and weak to manipulate such a device the next time. As the title of this blog indicates, the older you will get...

Monday, July 07, 2014

Jam Session at the Fish Fry...

At the Wiley family wild rumpus/mom's 90th birthday/fish fry weekend we had a jam session at my house. Me Morgan and Cathy played and we had a couple of new people, my cousins wives Becky and Connie sing and play with us. Nice to have new people over for a jam. It brings out new songs and helps keep you on your toes and out of your own musical rut. 
Here's a photo by my cousin Beverly of the stage set up. Left to right, Connie and Becky, Cathy, Morgan and me. 
These photos are by Connie. This one shows how much my guitar matches my boat. Come to think of it my tuba would match my boat also but of course tuba goes with everything.
In the background Buddy and Betty jam on percussion. 

There was a big jam where percussion instruments were passed out and every one took a solo on an old jug band tune about box cars on your mind. Ali and Jessica solo. 
Cousin Dixie is on the list as substitute drummer next time I need one. 

Donnie bangs two stick together. I think he knows what he's doing. 

Hey tambourine Becky! Play a song for me. I was sleepy but woke up now. 

My mom griped a bit because I played too many honky tonk songs and embarrassed her in front of the relatives.  Looks like she might have adopted a can't beat them so join them rhythm.

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Sunday, July 06, 2014

Happy Birthday Coraline...

Four years old! 


Saturday, July 05, 2014

Cousin Fest...

We wound up the cousin fest/mom's 90th birthday party that has been going on for the last few days with a fish fry and a jam session at my house last night. Hopefully I will get some photos sent to me as I did not take all that many since I was at my usual self appointed places of behind the fish cooker or a guitar. It's been a great week. Speaking of photos we looked at a lot of old family photos some going back over 100 years old. Maybe some time in the future some distant cousin will browse this blog and wonder "who are these people." 
Cake by Ali. 

Fish by me. 

Hushpuppies and guitar by cousin Wes's wife Connie with Wes, Buddy and Cousin Betty in the background. 

Here's Dixie, Mike, Donnie, Cousin Beverly, Mom, Cousin Mary Lou and Becky.
Nice mild summer weather for a big outdoor sit around. 

Here's cousin Justin and Bill on the swing, Brother Glenn, Morgan and Cathy.

Cousin Wayne does his part. 
Cousin Beverly, a Wallace cousin manages to sneak into the Wiley cousin without even causing any trouble. 

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