Monday, February 27, 2017

The Best Thing About a Mardi Gras Fish Fry...

We pulled off another fish fry this weekend. I say we because I could not have done it with out the help of folks like Matt, Pop, Geneva and others who went on so many fishing trips with us. I thank the guys who cooked, Aaron, Runt and Morgan. They know what they are doing, are very efficient and keep food quality high. Thanks to all friends who brought food, dressed in fancy costumes for the occasion. The eats were great and I count several that were present among my oldest compadres. Thanks to Sheri and Nat for pictures and video. Thanks to all the musicians who showed up to play.  There is one thing, the best thing that I did not see coming was the time I got to spend playing music with the three of my kids (Katie is in Chicago and will be down next month) that were able to make the party. There were many compliments from my friends about how well the kids, grown people all were playing and singing. 

Getting ready for one of these fish fries starts way before hand but the real action starts the night before with food preparations beginning and with out of towners arriving. This was when Rose got here and the music playing started. It continued on the next day with friends making up the fish fry band and into the evening with a big campfire sit around song fest and I guess it really ended when we played music at church Sunday evening. To paraphrase the blues singer Howlin' Wolf "I was left with the feeling if I don't get to do this no more I have had my fun." Kids, you guys played great. 

With the cooking area and instruments set up Cathy overlooks final details.

Fried Catfish.

Mardi Gras baby. 

A band what am a band. 

Me and one of the church choir members, Marlene. 

Morgan, Quince, Warren, Jared and Jackson. 

Mary shows how to put your back to the riser and make a stand. Inside that belly poking that guitar out is the next band member, Ezra. 

Anne is breaking in a new guitar. 

Morgan, Warren, Jackson, Pop. 

Rose and Morgan

Me and Quince. I opened a dorm room door in about 1976, looked up and down the hall and this guy is what I saw. 

Rose and Pop. 

Catherine on vocals and washboard. 

Rose and Morgan 

Song circle. 

Anne and Ali. 

Hays Carll said "This line of work no one retires." 

Cathy, Rose and Coraline.

Thanks again all who made this so fun. Now we got to go fishing. 

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

People You Meet...

I travel and meet people. Here's a guy we met on a recent trip to New Orleans. Now I don't usually do all the talking when I meet a guy like this but I let him talk and just get his story. I am sorry to say I was so busy listening to his story that I did not get his name even though we had two separate visits as we waited at the bus stop on Magazine Street.  

This fellow was the oyster shucker at a neighborhood bar called Tracy's. Kind of an Irish place and it seems as if the oyster bar, located in the corner of the open dining area was all his to operate as he pleased. He told us his hours were 12pm to 8pm. That's pretty good for a town like New Orleans, not too work too early and off before things start happening. He handled all the details of oyster supply, arranging delivery of the freshest, best priced shellfish to be found from the most reliable suppliers. Since it was early in the season prices were not good and ran about $12 a dozen. He told us because of that he usually put 14 oysters on a plate. 

Sadly we never got to try out his oysters since both days we visited the bar was not open yet and the one time we went in for a bite to eat it was after the oyster bar was closed, our friend no where in sight and the offerings from the kitchen were just the typical wings, sandwiches and fry baskets you might find anywhere.    

Our friend told us that he once shucked 1600 oysters in a shift. I don't recall the length of the shift and I don't really remember how many it was but I do know it was a righteous fete. He wowed us with a disappearing/reappearing cigarette trick. He shared a bit of his faith and I saw him being kind to a street looking person. Come to think of it, who was this man we met? Haven't we heard about a man like this before? Shouldn't we be hardworking, friendly, kind and be able to do simple magic tricks? 

I think so.  


Sunday, February 12, 2017

White Bass Report...

The grandkids came and we made a run to the Sabine River for some bank fishing to check on the white bass. Looks like boaters that had been out early were doing well. They are not quite in full swing from the bank and we caught 8 fat white bass. That may not seem like many but it fed 5 adults and two kids with a little bit of left overs. White bass are not quite the fine eating that Rayburn channel cats are but we won't turn down fresh fish ever.

Warren holds up one. With only 8 caught it's hard to make a scientific analysis but it seems a plain curly tail jig out fished the roadrunner today.  

One reason we like that Sabine is that there is plenty of sand for the kids to play in. 

Also a good place of a picnic lunch. 

Grandma fishes while the kids play. 

Once up on a time I was a dangerous dude. Nowadays I breeze right past homeland security in the airport and the game wardens drove right up, launched their boat and paid zero attention to me standing there fishing.  

While I fried fish we had a little crawfish to go from T-Boy's in Huntington. I think I got to do about everything I liked to do yesterday. I fished, I cooked, my mom came out, and the grandkids were there. I did not play guitar but that's ok. The grandkids were well aware that this was not "the big fish fry." 

Contrast to the grinnel fisherman in the last blog post is the fly fisherman. Several fly fishers on the river yesterday. 

The catch. 

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Canoe Trip Marion's Ferry...

Took the canoe out today and launched at the old Marion's Ferry site. Lot of Texas history here as well as my family history. The Liberty/Nacogdoches Road crossed the river here. It was also called the Orcoquisac Trace which linked Doches with a Spanish Settlement and mission built in 1756 near the mouth of the Trinity River.

My dad's mom, Granny was a Nerren. John and Elizabeth Nerre came anbd settled at Marion's Ferry in the late 1840s. John was murdered there in 1852 and his killer hanged but all the Nerrens in the county sprang from this family. Here's the old town marker. It's no longer in the correct position but does note the Landing established in 1828, 200 buildings on site in 1831 and the county seat 1846-1854.

Beaver den on a creek. See the entrance at the water's edge?

Nice quite little creek. As usual we find the abandon appliance. That's been there for a while. I did not see and roads that led to this location. 

Beaver has been taking big bites out of this log. 

Cyprus knees. 

Caught two yellow bass. 

Also a blue cat. All fish hit a road runner jig. 

There were a couple of old boys fishing off the bank and one had caught a grinnel. The grinnel is prehistoric dating from the Jurassic to the Eocene period all the way up to the present. The guy asked me if I had eaten grinnel and was it good. I have caught a few but never eaten. He said he had not eaten it either but was going to find out tonight how it tasted.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Found some fish in shallow water....

Since late summer we have been catching catfish deep. Total catch today was 26, a bit below average. The day started well and we arrived at the lake about 4pm. We started fishing deep and for about 30 minutes we had fast action as soon as the bait hit the bottom but there were lots of throw backs. Here's a shot down the lake with what looks to be a controlled burn going on. I recently saw a controlled burn in the Angelina National Forest so I guess it's that time of the year.

Black helicopter. Is it Trump? Is it Putin? Lady Gaga fixing to let down? Seal Team 6?  Everybody wants to know my fishing spot.

We moved to a shallow water secondary point inside a main point if that makes any sense to ya'll. In other words where the catfish gather. We found fish here last spring. I remember lots of minnows skipping on the water and those bait fish were here again today. So were the cats.

Moon photo made before dusk with my worn out scratched lens Canon camera. I was told I could have a new camera for my birthday several weeks ago but have not made a move on that yet. 

Sunset on the water. 

Action shot. 

That's a 3 pound six ounce channel cat. Caught under a slip cork in two feet of water. 

Cathy fished in shorts today. The facebook memory thing shows that 8 years ago we fished this same day, it was bitter cold and we only caught 4 fish. 

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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Pond Fishing...

Winter seems to be intent on turning to spring or maybe even summer. We know it's not that old pesky rumor about global warming about to go around again. We do know as far as secret science such as this  goes that if Trump don't like it we won't have it here. At least that's what a song I heard said and since he don't like it I expect the good fishing we have had out of Pop's pond to last all year instead of slowing down when this little body of water almost dries up during the hot East ,Texas summers. 

Here's photos of folks having fun at the Christmas Cooney gathering, which really happened in January but don't tell anyone. I think Chinamen or some other heathens have their religious holidays at other times than December and we of course don't want to be accidentally lumped in with them .    

Matt holds up a fish while Grayson and Coraline fish. 

Warren wonders how that got on there. 

Chase gives Warren a hand. Note the pocket fisherman. 

Caitlyn claimed this was going to be her last cast. 

Brother in law John puts the pocket fisherman to work. 

Peter scores. I bet he don't have a Texas fishing license. 

I think Sam may have caught the most fish but I will take credit for supplying the tackle and the lure selection. 

Grayson and Warren take a break from all the hot action. 

He won't swim in my belly today. 

I picked up a set of 6 mini rattle trap baits made by the Creme lure Company of Tyler, Tx. Most of the time these fish like a beetle spin but I caught several bream on this little hard bait. 

I'm going fishing again soon as I can. 

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