Wednesday, November 16, 2016

2014 SECTION 2

Saturday, December 6, 2014


I a nice pike that Chuck gave me this summer.  I covered with chunks of salt pork held on by bits of wooden skewer.  That worked just great.  I added a bit of olive oil.
I baked it at 400 until almost done and then at 350.
It does taste very good on this rainy morning.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The look of the lake

This snow is now gone.  The trees are bare and the light sheet of ice that formed on the lake has melted to quiet glassy water.

Cory took the canoe the other day and brought in the lounge that was stuck in by the old dead tree.   Nice to have it out of the view there.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Camp Fire and merganzers

I made a good fire last night and Cory joined me for a bit.  I put the pit down in front of the house with the quiet lake spread out in front of me.
The stars were out.
The moon was just a sliver back in the woods behind the lake, so the stars had a chance to be seen.

Plenty of graceful and energetic merganzers, hooded and common, hit the water in front of our house and the heron is around.  No sign of the eagles.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dock in

Cory and I brought in the floating section of the dock.  I put ropes on it and on the old dock. One of the original main posts just broke with the pull of the ropes.  Time to scrap all this old hodge podge dock and get a new structure in the spring.

The boar turned upside down at the picnic table still makes me very sad. I want to go out for bluegills.

We had a camp fire and the stars came out.  Just a sliver of a moon and not in the right place.

Sure had a fine fire and some good brandy.  Tomorrow winter snow.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Deer finished

I was in pain all day and most of the night yesterday and the venison skinning, cutting and boiling off the bones did not mesh well with the nausea of the migraine.
Finally, it broke.
Then I could not sleep because I was full of caffeine from drinking too much coffee.

But I'm well and rested tonight. 
I posted my Vegas trip snippet report today and so that task is done for another year.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Deer walking on hind legs

There must be some deer walking on hind legs out there because the front legs found themselves into my garage waiting to get skinned and packaged for my freezer.

That is my job today, and it is a bit hard to start as I woke up with a migraine.  However, the same storm that affected my brain warmed up the outside so preparing venison will not be quite so frigorific.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

No fishing now just frying

Cooked up a good breakfast.  The white perch sure was sweet.

Two more left in the freezer.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Probably the last day of catching fish

Yesterday I tried to pull the boat out with the van and got stuck on the wet grass.  We had to call a tow using AAA.  The fellow was nice and pulled the boat up as well.  The guy was 83 and worked with his teen grandson.  We tipped the kid $40.

So today I got the boat twisted about and turned over to rest on the picnic table.  It looks very good.

I fished off the float dock and for a while thought I'd get nothing.  Nothing bit on the jig.  Then I just put on a number 6 this Aberdeen hook and a bit of worm and I caught a half dozen, including two large perch. They bit right off the float.  Nothing bit very far from the float.  Perhaps the fish shelter under it.

I sat in the old UB chair and just enjoyed the Autumn day.

Later we had the fish with a bit of oyster stew and salad.  A good last supper before I head out to the land of buffets, Las Vegas where I'll be hoping to catch a very different sort of fish.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Boating with Casey

Casey and I went out in the boat.
It had water from recent rain, so I winched it up on the ramp and Casey removed the plug, let the water drain and then put it back in again.
It took him a while to get the idea of it, but he finally did.  
It was great to have that help.  It is quite a job for me and I can't do it until the boat is really jacked up a long way.
I bought a come along at Harbor Freight and I hope I can rig that up as a better way to winch up the boat than this rope winch.
We'll see.
I haven't had much energy for doing it yet.
It was a cool day and there was rain just before, and then it stopped.

 We dressed warm and were very comfortable

He wanted to go under the tunnel and into the third lake again.  So we did.  We rowed out to the island and around it, noting the rock piles constructed by local kids.  Interesting.  We fished a bit, but there were no bites.  At first it was weedy and then nothing anyway.
This is a shot from a previous trip when Casey and Peter caught these off the dock

I froze them and we had them for breakfast, Casey liking to taste his big bullhead.

It was a great day.  In the afternoon we went up to George Klapp's party and Casey had a grand time there.  Animals and hay rides and a kid with a real drone.  And plenty of good food.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cleaned a meal

I cleaned a meal of perch and bluegill caught two days ago.  I kept them in the refrigerator and they did fine.  I was sick yesterday.

I caught them in front of the single small white birch where they build the new house in the nice bit of woods on the West side of the Second Lake.  I anchored there.  No place else did I have much of a bit. 
I was out about where the large dock was to my South of perhaps  as far as the dock with the white ladder.  Seemed to be relatively shallow.  That may have been the key.  I caught them on a jig and fish eye as I was out of worms.  Some hit while fishing right off the back of the boat.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Light Rain

Hardly enough to gather much depth in the boat, just a constant myth.

I cleaned the four fish that were in the refrigerator overnight, but I did not fish today.

We've been going out all day, changing the destinations.  Now we are geared for the movies and a good restaurant.  Soon it will be time.

I kept the fish all day under the faucet outside with just a steady drip feeding that water.  Even the white perch was alive and the other three bluegills were very, very feisty as were the fish I took from the bucket two days ago.  I guess the cold water helps.  Then the steady dip much give just enough new oxygen.  It is a fine system for keeping fish caught in the morning and cleaned at night.

However, cleaning fish from the refrigerator works great.  It is especially easy to pop eyeballs for bait because the fish is dead.  And I don't have to worry about losing one in the weeds around the deck.  I clean now with gloves as I have been getting cuts on my fingers and they have been getting little infections.  The gloves work great.

I also used the umbrella for the first time to shield me from rain and it worked just fine. 

Cleaning four fish is nothing much, but it feels at my age like a dozen or so might have felt decades back.  Imagine, I used to clean 50 on a regular basis.

Wind and rain

Well, honestly more wind than rain.
I checked the boat and there was not even enough to bail.

But it is cold. 
You'd think winter was coming.
Time to head to Vegas and then get out my winter clothes for Florida

I think today we are heading up to the Clark for a bit of art.  There will be fish there, but I don't have to clean them.  Aesthetic fish. (PS  switched up to go to the movies with Abigail and Bruce)

Elizabeth wants to go to the Rockwell also so it will be a good bit of museum.  That's for sure.

I'm listening to WRPI and they did have a good stretch of good music without the blowhard affecting his country accent in between.  Good music,   Terrible DJ.

Captain Rick had a dolphin jump in the boat and got it all on video

Quite something.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Photos of the Fall from the water

Caught four more today but the wind was up.  I was happy to have taken these photos during the calm of other days.


Peter and Casey were down one day and caught three off the dock.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fine day

It was calm with just a small drift to bring me home and give be a break from rowing.

I caught just four fish in the morning: one white perch, one yellow perch, one bluegill and one pumpkinseed.

I hooked and lost one white perch off from the woods that border Burden Lake Road.  There may have been another perch following the hooked fish. 

They hit worms or eyes, but the worms got more nibbles.

Only the purple twister tails worked.  White and dark were useless.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Nice morning

The wind was from the South today for the first time in a while, so I drifted out into the second lake and had a good stiff row back against a pretty good breeze.  I could make just a few inches per stroke of oars except when the wind let up some and then I could make perhaps a foot.  The wind can get rougher, so I'll have to watch the weather as that would be a long, hard row back.

I fished the second lake in the area of the buoy (now in for winter) and over to the area adjacent to Burden Lake Road.  I hit three fine sized white perch, two yellow perch, two bluegill and a pumpkinseed.  We'll have fish for supper.

Most hit on a jib with both eyeball and worm, although the white perch hit when there was just an eyeball there.  I did not carry a net.  I should.  All the white perch came in without incident, however.

At the traditional spot in front of the camp in the bay I saw a pileated woodpecker who entertained me for quite a while hopping about and squawking all the while.  I don't think I've heard the sound before, certainly not for as long a time.

In the bay was one lonely duck that Elizabeth thinks is a greibe.  It passed the window later in the day.

Then rowing back a large monarch passed behind the boat.  These were dying in Lake Michigan when we were up there a couple weeks ago, so I was amazed to see one still alive and feisty.

It was like a summer day.  I wore just one long sleeved Tee shirt.  I was quite warm.  It was overcast, but now is clear again with sun.

I kept the fish alive while I had a bite of food and a bit of a rest.  I put the bucket under the faucet and turned on one of the routes that has no hose just a small bit, like a spray from a squirt gun.  That worked just great.  One white perch died just the same, but all the rest were alive and pretty feisty when I took them to be cleaned. 

Dozens of birds at the feeders.  So many tufted tit mouse at the black pumpkin seed feeder.  Quite amusing.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

New Oars

I unwrapped the new nine foot oars today, thinking I'd have to seal them with Thompson's Water Sealer.  However, they had a nice finish on them already, so all I had to do was put on the oar lock hardware.  The bolt was too short.  This means these oars are greater in circumference than the 8 foot oars. 
I bought two bolts at Tremont's for 66 cents and I was ready to go.  The bracket fit just fine.
These oars have a longer paddle area than the other oars, and so they should grip more water. 
They seemed to work just fine, and the boat rowed easily and well even into the wind.

I tired quickly.
This Humira shot has tired me out.
So, I'm resting before I head out again this afternoon.
While resting I made a CD of some Perry Como music.  I got almost an entire 2 albums on one CD.  Should be great car company.

Last week I found a nice old short oar at a flea market for just $5, and so I have quite a few choices if I want to launch a smaller boat or use oars for decoration in the house.

Neighbor Chuck came over and I told him I would not be waking him up anymore with the squeaking of those plastic extenders.  I'll enjoy not hearing them as well.

I went out just before sunset and rowed against the wind up to the spot off the Second Lake Island.  One bluegill only.  I had some nibbles but no other decent hits.  Used a jig and a fish eye, saving the worms for tomorrow.

There is color in the trees that is just wonderful.  Plenty of boats out slowly cruising to see the leaves. 

I drifted home and locked the boat up for the night. 
Prairie Home is a repeat but delightful just the same. 
Supper was a couple slices of left over steak done in left over mushroom onion and mixed veggied done in left over kale and garlic butter with some shreaded cheese.

It all tasted really good with a bit of Fautine VII red wine, tempranillo.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Got about seven

I was out from about ten AM until 1 PM.  I missed quite a few when I could not hook the nibblers.  I suppose they were smaller bluegills.  They stole the bait.
I fished in front of the house for a while.  There was a young blond fishing off the shore.  So that added to the scenery.
But I did not get much action, so I rowed out to the Second Lake Island, against the wind, and anchored in my traditionally favorite spot.  Very light action, but I managed to get a few and I guess for this time of year, that is good.

The lake was very quiet.

Color is just starting.

The wind was slight, sometimes not there at all, and it did not shift too much so I had an easy row,  well....mostly a drift.....back home.

We hope to have them for a big breakfast tomorrow as a steak has been thawed and should be cooked today.  Actually, it is being cooked as I write.

The roosters were quite until about noon.  That was unusual.
We are getting eggs from a nearby place, someone with real free range chickens eating for the most part in the yard.  The yolks are a deep orange unlike anything in supermarkets.  I hope they keep supplying.  She is limiting customers now, but put us on the list.  Perhaps we'll get bounced off when we snowbird to Florida.

One perch in the batch today.

My new oars come tomorrow. 
Very cool.  This one with the thin plastic extended still makes a huge amount of noise.

It is a wonderful Autumn day. We'll eat on the deck.  I have flashbacks to Buffalo Saturday nights when my Mom would cook steak and the smells would mix with the smells of Autumn.  Many changes since then, but at least I don't have to collect on the paper route.

Monday, September 15, 2014


No fish for me lately, but plenty of water.  We are up at Lakeside, Michigan.
Elizabeth had the panko crusted yellow Lake Michigan perch and liked it.  I just am not a fan of panko.
This was at Frankie's Other Place in Union pier.  I had rack of lamb and count it as the best in years.  We spent a night there eating and talking and just had a grand time. We even called Frank and talked him into a late night drink along with some hog wings that are famous here.

  Here is the Yelp review I wrote:
The ad in the local New Buffalo paper caught our interest.  A twenty dollar multicourse deal and live entertainment.  We were delighted with the food, service and the music although to really hear that we had to go in the bar area.   We ended up ordering the more expensive choices, the perch in Panko batter, the rack of lamb, escargot.  All were delicious.  I grabbed a bottle of ménage a trois and my wife had a fancy martini, both on sale that night,  An attentive staff kept us relaxed and well served.  All were friendly and very accessible. The early dinner music was what dinner music should be.  So often I'm annoyed by harsh sounds in restaurants played too loud.  This music created the ambiance desired for leisurely dining.  After dinner we moved from dinner to the bar where Keith Scott played some really fine blues guitar and engaged us with friendly questions and conversation.  He was very good and we called our blues loving son to come and meet us for drinks and Keith's second set.  It was quite a night.  Finally, I just can't say enough about Jessica who was attentive to us the entire night.  She helped us decide what to order and even after we moved into the bar she stopped and made certain we were happy and having fun.  Such a personable and pleasant young woman, good humored and very knowledgeable, Jessica supplied the customer focused attention that would encourage us to come back and without any of that stuffiness we sometimes encounter from staff in upscale eateries. She was just delightful.    Our only complaint was that the music was advertised in the paper to start at six but did not start until seven.  We were there from six until almost ten.  We were not unhappy, and we never felt rushed to finish or that we were hanging around too long.  The place seemed pretty busy with late diners, but many missed a closer listen to the blues in the bar.   I'd recommend an after dinner drink.

I am thinking that the fish at home are biting.
And Elizabeth bought me a set of nine foot oars I found on Ebay for my birthday.  They should arrive soon after we are home.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday afternoon, September 7

I replaced the broken oar extender using some of the heavier gray pipe I bought to make oars.  Elizabeth ordered some 9 foot oars for my birthday at a decent price on Ebay.  So, I'll have plenty for the Fall rowing.

After two days of sluggishness I finally rowed out, going against a solid wind into the Third Lake.  The new pipe is much more rigid and does not make that squawking that woke up neighbor Chuck one morning. 

Chuck's grandkids were over today with a fine 24 inch pickerel they caught.  I cleaned and froze it for some future supper.

I anchored off the island in the old spot I fished so many years.  In fact, the 26 inch pickerel I showed the boys mounted on the wall was caught right where I was fishing today.  Using something called Crappie Gulp on twister tail jigs I caught a bucket of bluegills.  I'll clean them soon.

It is a perfect Fall day with sun and a good wind and little humidity.  I love this weather.

Fish cake Sunday morning

I had marinated some bluegill in Civetta's barbecue sauce and they were good, but the sauce is very strong and the fish absorbed perhaps a bit too much.

So I filleted the leftover fish, chopped up the meat, mixed with some cooked chana dal beans, a few bread crumbs and an egg.

The result was very tasty.

and I found it even much better when I added this green hot sauce.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thursday, September 4

Early morning row produced no fish but gave great exercise with the wind stiff enough to be a challenge coming home.
One bite.  No catch.

A day of errands and an hour and a half looking for the misplaced kindle and then packing for Lakeside Michigan.
Neighbor Chuck over for a drink and a celebration on his healing after months and going back to work tomorrow.

A supper of fish just the same as if I'd caught them this morning.
Oh.  very nice.
Elizabeth had the perch.
The key to a happy marriage is giving the woman the perch.

The bluegills were just fine.
I made a makeshift sangria from an organic red wine, juices and a bit of Triple Sec.
Just perfectly satisfying for me.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Solo fishing catch today

The lake was almost completely windless all morning.
Early there was some overcast parts and later even a half hearted sprinkle, but most of the weather was all sun and very hot.

I guess this is also humid.  I don't seem to be feeling that.

One plastic oar extender just snapped.  Too bad.
I still get buy but I need to make some oars soon and I think now I'll try to reinforce them with a bit of metal where the plastic is the weakest part.

I fished in the Second Lake bay down along the shore in the shade from the morning sun.

Few boats passed.

Two kayaks passed, one with a pretty nice looking blond.  He was fishing. She was on her phone.  Nice.  So much better than water skis.

I caught 11 fish.  Many of them were very small.  It was not like yesterday or like my last time in that hole along the shore.  It was slow.  Here is the entire mess of fish.  One meal.


I know most fishermen laugh at perch this size and at my cleaning them.
Well, once my Buffalo mother laughed at the chicken wings everyone seemed to want.  They too are small.  And bony.
I'd rather have fifty perch this size than just a few large ones.  They are so sweet and cook up so easily.

I remember too once when Keith was about 5 years old.  Just he and I were in the boat and we had anchored over a school of fish just like this one.  He could fish with a small hook and a small bit of worm right off the back of the boat and he could see the fish bite.  He was filling the bucket and I suggested we move along and try something different.  But he wanted to stay and so we did until that school was exhausted or moved on.  He had such a good time.  And when we ate them I marveled at how tasty they were.

I was out over an hour and then came back to clean up the fish.  Here is my cleaning station.  No longer do I worry about cleaning in the direct sunlight.  Years ago I never worried about that because while there was sunlight I wanted to get out on the water again.  I often cleaned fish from 9 PM until early hours of the morning, in the living room, watching old Black and White movies.  That is one reason I started filleting.  No scales and so the mess was minimal.

Now that I am rarely looking at 50 or more fish to clean, I scale.  We like them cooked whole and not filleted. 
Here are my tools.

I built the fish cleaning board from a battery cable clamp and some left over pine.  After a couple decades the pine gave out, so I added with fine piece of hardwood that was one of Keith Reynold's scraps and exended the board just a small bit.  The bottom park of the batter clamp often fits well in the mouth of the fish.

Decades ago I did not clamp the fish for scaling or cleaning whole, but now my hands are just not reliable.  I love having this clamp hold the fish so that the most I lose with clumsiness is an occasional tool.

The scaler here is new.  I bought it in Florida last winter.  Before that I had the last of the old scalers I bought for a dime a piece at a KMart bluelight special.  I gave many of them away to my fishing club students.  I still have one.  However, I love this scaler.  It is designed much better.
The knife on the left is a serrated steak knife that up until today I was using.  Today I went back to doing some of the cutting with a fillet knife and liked it better, especially on the smaller fish.  The knife on the right is an old fashioned butter knife, shaped wide.  It is perfect for popping the eyes out of the fish without piecing them.  I save the eyes in small packets in the freezer and use them for bait.

Years ago I would have laughed at wearing gloves, but I seem to knick my hands lately and some of those knicks became strangely infected and gave me a good bit of difficulty. 
I like these gloves.  Mr Clean is the brand. 

Here is where I clean, tucked under an old umbrella to keep the sun off me and my fish.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fishing with Elizabeth August 31

It was a fine autumn like day, overcast, but without rain until early afternoon.
I went out in the boat for about an hour this morning, just along the shore here near the house.  The wind was coming from the South, so I stayed close to home.  I am out of shape for the rowing and did not want an hour against a stronger wind.
I hit one perch right in front of Kay's.
Then I picked up Elizabeth and together we took this nice little mess of fish.

Here is a couple nice closeup shots

The boat rowed easily even with Elizabeth in the front seat.  I think the stability makes it less apt to need back seat balance for ease in rowing. 
I'm still using the makeshift oars and one of them squawked like a chicken.  I removed the tape and that seemed to help.
It was so fine to have her along.  She seemed comfortable and happy in one of the plush seats with her feet on the other seat.
The threatened wind and storm never came.  Actually, for a time, all the wind calmed and we had an easy time.

It was fine to be on the water and at least temporarily over whatever it is that keeps me locked inside.
Fall is here and the good fishing will be the next few weeks.  For some of that we won't be here, so I should take advantage of as much of the fishing as I can manage.

Later, I spent a good bit of time on the telephone to  improve my Vegas booking, and then we went to a play in Albany and out to dinner at Basil Thai, so mornings are plenty of time for a short ride and to gather a meal of panfish. 
I need to get that in perspective.
Even a busy social life should easily include boating and the bit of exercise that comes from rowing.

The cleaning went well with just using a serrated steak knife and leaving the fillet knife for future fillets.  The serrated knife is great for scrapping out most of the white belly material and it cuts the bone better although it needs more pressure.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Marinated bluegill on the grill

I dropped five large bluegill in that Civetta's marinade and then cooked them on the grill.  The taste was too strong for eating without something with it.  I liked it.  No one else seemed to. 
I am thinking that the fish meat pulled from the bone would mix well in some sort of salad or perhaps with jacama in a pan fry.

I like to grill the fish with a steak because that produces good smoke and flavors the fish.  Here is the result.


Monday, August 11, 2014

fishing and eating

Finally a day of solo fishing with the energy to make it grand.
I rowed across the windless lake.
Nothing was biting.
To escape the sun I decided to tuck myself into the shade along the South bank of the Second Lake. 
In that area is a place where for many years I caught wonderful batches of bluegill, sometimes some of the largest ever seen in the lake.  Of course, they were more plentiful during the spawning in spring, but I thought I'd give it a try.
The house there now is completely different, the deck modern, the dock new.  Missing were old pipes that used to be there in the water, remnants of some old dock.
Now there is a rope swing for swimming.
However, I see that there is still some road drainage of a small trickle of a stream and still a good shade tree.
And sure enough if I cast into the small area I once fished long ago, there were large bluegills and some perch.  Here was action when the rest of the lake seemed slow at best.
There was not wind.
I did not anchor.
I just drifted and kept myself away from the boats moored at the docks.
I did best with no jig, just a small bit of worm on a light line.
At one point I woke the dog and he woke his owners who silenced him.
It felt almost intrusive to be so close in on someone's property.  I remembered how I used to be there almost every night. An older woman  (of the age I am now)  lived there with a little yapping dog.  She never said a word to me, but I wondered what she thought of seeing the same fisherman in the same spot night after night.
I did  catch on exceptionally large perch and one very large bluegill and then many that would do and one that would make for a great joke with Elizabeth.
When I tired, I rowed home and dealt with some of the Peter issues that needed attention.  Then I cleaned them, talked a bit to Chicago son Keith about Vegas, and then did the sink cleaning with a very fine toothbrush with a tip of bristles that stuck out and were great for grabbing bits behind the small rib cage bone.
We had one meal for supper.  Another was frozen.  The largest of the bluegills I cleaned whole with heads and then  put in the barbecue sauce to marinate.  I'll make them tomorrow or the next day on the grill.
Here are the fish frying in the pan.  Note the little one.

 Here is the boat docked again, the scene from the deck we would see when we dined, a fine wild scene as I like it.
 Here was where we dined.  The table is set for Elizabeth to come home.
 So I asked Elizabeth how many she thought she would eat.
Well, three perch and a bluegill would be good, she answered.

Three perch and a bluegill?  I asked.

And so I showed her what I had fried up for her.  Three perch and one bluegill, the tiniest fish I've cleaned this year.

Then after dark I sat by a fire and drank scotch.
Neighbor Jeff came down for a just five minutes to say hello.


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