Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Windy


December 17, 2019—Not even the sunny, warm skies of south Florida are immune to cold fronts. One is moving in today, and with it has come a lot of wind and slightly dropping temperatures. Tomorrow the high will only be around 71, as compared to about 80ish today and yesterday.

Early this afternoon, we did some exploring and found the Venice fishing pier, as well as Caspersen Beach in south Venice. The wind, however, was problematic. The normally calm gulf created crashing waves that were not conducive to fishing. At Caspersen Beach, we thought we saw people looking for sand fleas (a crustacean) for beach fishing, but we discovered was they were looking for shark teeth! Apparently that beach is known for the teeth.
Our campsite at Oscar Scherer State Park near Venice, Fla.

It was much too windy to fish on the pier (maybe tomorrow), so we high-tailed it back to the creek at Blackburn Point where we fished yesterday. We had few real bites. I finally caught a toadfish, which we threw back. (Toadfish can be toxic if not cleaned properly, but we have eaten it before. It’s all in knowing how to clean the little beastie to make it safe to eat.) Because the fish swallowed the hook and we could not disengage it, we had to cut the hook off. Hopefully the little guy survived.

As the clouds continued to come in and the temperature dropped a bit, we called it quits for the afternoon.

Around 5 p.m., we decided to try fishing the fresh-water lake, using lures. It took Jim about 10 minutes to tie on a lure. (His fingers didn’t want to cooperate tying the tiny knots.) Finally, he took the pole and cast out into the still water. A few minutes later, as I was reeling in my own lure, he stood next to me. Why wasn’t he fishing? On his first cast, he caught a tree; the tree won.

Our “fish dinner” tonight consisted of delicious homemade spaghetti sauce, noodles, green beans, and salad. It was excellent.

Until next time,

Your Reluctant RoVer,

Linda

Monday, December 16, 2019

On the 'left coast'


December 16, 2019—Last week I was in Palatine, Ill., enjoying the company of my daughter, son-in-law, and their teenaged children, and suffering whenever I went outside: When I left, it was around 20 degrees, and there had been snow flurries in the morning. I returned to Jacksonville to somewhat chilly weather (60s, but raw). After a few days at home, we loaded the camper and we are now in south Florida, on Florida's west coast, also known as the "left coast." 

The sun is warm; the sky is clear--sorry friends who are in the Midwest and are shoveling out of a heavy snow storm! 

We are camping at Oscar Scherer State Park, located in Osprey, which is next door to Venice, Fla. This state park is like an oasis in the suburbs. You can actually see a subdivision abutting it as you drive down the roadway! It is a nice park, although it does not have the fishing we thought it would. There is a creek that runs down its length, and there is also a closed-system fresh-water lake, which theoretically has fish. (We haven’t tried fishing in these two bodies of water yet.) The park offers a myriad of activities, from guided hikes to folk-music concerts.
The news today said that the Midwest was in the middle of a snow storm. The white in this picture is now snow; it is sand on a beach on the Gulf of Mexico in Venice, Fla. Highs were in the 80s, with low humidity and cloudless skies. 

Although the park doesn’t seem to have a lot of fishing onsite, it is located near the gulf and the intracoastal.

Before taking our poles out of the truck, we drove around to explore possible fishing sites. One of those was a jetty. Several anglers were trying their luck, but we didn’t see anyone catch anything except a hardhead catfish. Next to the jetties were some nice beaches. And yes, the sun was warm (around 80 degrees). I don’t know how warm the water was, but a lot of snow-birds were trying to get rid of their winter whites.

We stopped at a local bait shop and learned about a few places to drop our lines. We tried one spot, on a creek that goes out to the gulf. I caught a slightly undersized mangrove snapper; Jim only caught a tiny little pin fish. It didn’t matter; we had fun.

Tonight the park is offering another folk concert around a campfire. We intend to take it in.

We’ll be here until Friday morning, when we will go back home and prepare for a visit from my Chicago family.

Until next time,

Your Reluctant RoVer,

Linda