Good Morning, Fisherdink. Welcome aboard. We have a lot of friends out there.
I'm writing this because we have snow on the ground again and I can't get out to do any fishing, so I thought I'd take up some time throwing out some history here.
The first eight years of my life were spent in Wisconsin. My Dad introduced me to fishing when I was about 6 or 7. We used to fish off the pier at Southport Beach for Perch and Cisco. Occasionally my Dad would take me out to one of the inland lakes to fish for Crappie & Bluegill. I can remember nights, after fishing, cleaning buckets of Bluegill in the basement. One particular occasion I vividly remember was the time when My Dad, Uncle Gil, my Cousin Mark (believe it or not, he had the same name as me) went out to some lake. I don't remember the name since it was a couple of years ago. Like 50 something years ago. My Cousin and I thought it was cool to use a stick as an oar, since there were only two in the boat, and ran across this field to get one from the pile we saw in the distance. The Dad's yelled for us to stop. My Cousin did, I didn't until I hit the barbed wire fence. To this day, I have dents in my face, one on the left side next to my left eye, and the other on the right side on my jaw. Like I said, I vividly remember this day. Well, I got patched up and we went fishing. I'm sure we caught something, but I only remember bouncing off the fence.
In October of 1955 we moved to Florida. My uncle, who lived next door to us in Wisconsin, told my Dad about the jungle climate in Florida and how nice it was. When we first arrived, we lived in a rented house 300 yards from the ocean. That close, and I was hooked on ocean fishing. Just down the beach was the fishing pier where I spent most of my life from age 8 until I moved to California at 16. When I wasn't chasing girls, skin diving, or going to school, I fished day and night from the pier. We caught everything. Red Snapper, Grunt (yeh, that's what they were called), Needlefish, Mackerel, Goggle Eye (Yup, real name too), Pilchards, and I could go on and on.
Deerfield Beach, the town we lived in was a small town, so most of the kids hung out at the pier too. In fact, it was such a small town that when they said the blond haired kid did it, the police came to my house. At night, during the Summer, we would fish for sharks off the pier. Hey, we swam in the ocean all the time and we thought nothing of swimming a chunk of bloody Bonita, attached to a shark rod, out a couple of hundred yards and dropping it. How smart are 14-15 year olds. We caught several in the nine to eleven foot range. The town was even so small that we could call the cops and they would come down to the pier and would shoot the shark for us.
That brings us to the one I caught bare handed. Well, I'm not sure if I caught it, or it caught me. Anyway, I was skindiving and I grabbed it by the tail. It grabbed me by the arm. After all, it was only about 18" long. I saw Marlin Perkins on Wild Kingdom do it, so why couldn't I. Someone forgot to tell me they don't have any bones and can bend in half. Grabbed me half way between my hand and my elbow. After I got back to shore with this thing hanging on my arm and got it off, I took off in the direction of home. My diving buddy was nice enough to call ahead and tell my Mother that I'd just got bitten by a shark and was on my way home. Then hung up the phone. No wonder my Mother's hair was gray. Five stitches.
OH yeh, the jungle climate. Hot, humid, and full of bugs. Back then we didn't have air conditioning anywhere. House, car, none. But as a kid, didn't matter because we spent most of the summer in a bathing suit at the pier or on the beach.
Occasionally we would fish in the Intercoastal Waterway too. A couple of good catches were off the bridge that crossed the Intercoastal on Hillsboro Blvd and Boca Raton inlet. I hooked a small mullet just behind the head and let it swim in circles about the middle of the bridge. Caught a 12 pound Snook. The other one, I did the same thing at Boca Raton Inlet and caught a 12 pound Amberjack. As I recall, the Fall produced a nice run of Bluefish off the shore, using Mullet chunks for bait.
Well, that's it for today. Got to get back to my painting (one thing you can do when it snows). Think I'll run down to Sacramento tomorrow and drop in on Mather Lake. DFG says they are planting it this week. Want to see if some of the weeds are gone. I'll let you know what I find out.
Till next time, remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work, painting, or blowing snow off your driveway".